With the publication of his novel, First Blood, author David Morrell was hailed as the father of the modern thriller novel. In his latest work, Murder as a Fine Art
, Morrell reinvents the 19th century suspense novel. Using an omniscient narrative rarely seen today, Morrell immerses the reader in the fog-bound streets and alleys of mid-1800s Victorian London while he tells the fictional story of the hunt for a serial killer who is imitating the real life Ratcliff Highway Murders that terrified Londoners decades earlier. Caught in the web of the manhunt is another historical figure, Thomas De Quincey, author of an infamous memoir called Confessions of an English Opium-Eater
. Another of De Quincey’s writings, "On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts." is being used as the blueprint for the latter day mass killings.
Morrell is known for the detail, both historical and technical, he puts into his novels. He once learned to fly private airplanes just so he could write authentic flight scenes for his novel Shimmer
. He applies the same microscopic eye to Murder, from the sounds and smell of Victorian London streets, to the slang of the poor, to the overindulgence of the wealthy. Also thrown in is a goodly amount of Dicksonian outrage over the oligarchic social structure of 19th century Britain. Never, however, does the detail take away from the movement or suspense of the plot.
Whether you are a fan of historical fiction or a fan of modern thrillers, you won’t be disappointed in Murder as a Fine Art