Ruler of the Night

Written by David Morrell
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

In 1855, Britain’s passenger train service to and from London, and all points in between, is in its infancy. A mysterious murder is committed in one of the first-class compartments on a train traveling from London to Sedwick Hill. Well-known author and investigator Thomas DeQuincy, along with his lovely young daughter, Emily, are aboard the same train in adjoining compartments. DeQuincy helps Scotland Yard’s Detective Sean Ryan and his partner, Detective Sergeant Joseph Becker, solve the crime. Soon other crimes are committed within the railroad system: a bomb explodes on a busy train platform, and later, a compartment on a moving train catches fire and is then hit by an oncoming train. As a result, fewer people risk traveling the rails, and the value of the stock of the railroad drops substantially, creating panic among the investors.

The author has combined factual events of the time period with a fictional story. The reader will be involved in the intricate plots and subplots while the ongoing Crimean War is being fought between Britain and Russia. Could this be a Russian plot to disrupt the British market, is there a serial killer on the loose, or could these actions be a plot against the railroad? This fascinating mystery story has implications regarding terrorism that readers today will recognize. A worthwhile read for all mystery enthusiasts.