Customer Reviews for

Murder as a Fine Art

Average Rating 4.5
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(20)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Fantastic Historical Thriller

The first chapter of Murder as a Fine Art is one of the most disturbing I've read, and I like to read my share of horror and thrillers. Author David Morrell is genius as he starts off the novel by taking the reader into the mind of the 'artist', the killer himself. Base...
The first chapter of Murder as a Fine Art is one of the most disturbing I've read, and I like to read my share of horror and thrillers. Author David Morrell is genius as he starts off the novel by taking the reader into the mind of the 'artist', the killer himself. Based on the real Ratcliffe Highway murders that occurred during 1800's London, this novel was a suspenseful mystery that I found hard to put down. Writer Thomas De Quincey, also known as the Opium-Eater finds himself a suspect in a set of vicious murders that seem to mirror the unsolved Ratcliffe Highway murders of forty years past. De Quincey wrote an essay called "On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts" where he discussed the Ratcliffe murders in detail and almost as a fan of the detailed work of the murderer. This essay is what makes him a prime suspect. De Quincey, now in his sixties and heavily addicted to Opium, lives with his daughter Emily who helps care for him. De Quincey has arrived in London under mysterious circumstances and soon learns that the killer is the one who lured him back. Detective Inspector Sean Ryan and constable Becker are trying to crack the case. The original Ratcliffe Highway murders were followed by a second set of murders twelve days later and the detectives are afraid the copycat killer will strike again soon. The story takes twists and turns that had me on the edge of my seat as Ryan, Becker, the Opium-Eater and Emily try to put the clues together and discover the identity of the killer. Author David Morrell seamlessly takes us from the mind of the killer to the cat and mouse chase of the investigators with his descriptive and fast paced storytelling. I loved how David Morrell breathed life into these characters and made them jump off the pages. I felt bad for the Opium-Eater as his past comes to light and he reveals the pains he has lived through. At the heart of his existence is his addiction to Opium, it rules his every thought. An interesting and terrifying aspect of his addiction is that as things are happening to him, he wonders whether what he is experiencing is real or if he is in an Opium induced nightmare. I felt myself rooting for Emily and Becker, I wanted these two to get together. What an unexpected facet to the storyline their attraction was. Speaking of Emily, she is an interesting character. I liked that she was no-nonsense but caring at the same time. She's a bit of a rebel and refuses to wear the uncomfortable hooped dresses and tight corsets that are in style, preferring instead to wear comfortable bloomers under her skirts. The relationship she has with her father is well fleshed out and I could easily believe their storyline. David Morrell brings the seedy underbelly of 1800's London to life perfectly. The atmosphere of the novel is dark and mysterious throughout and on top of that, he creates a cast of characters that the reader can root for. The author adds historical facts throughout the storyline which just adds to the reading experience. I love it when a writer of historical fiction does their research. This was 5 star read for me, I highly recommend it to fans of historical mysteries and thrilling stories. Victorian London, murder, mystery, suspense and historical facts and fiction are all woven together masterfully to create a novel that grabs the reader and does not let go until the very end.

posted by thebookwormNJ on June 7, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

6 of the 5 Star ratings prior to 8/9/13 are from nook/texters -

6 of the 5 Star ratings prior to 8/9/13 are from nook/texters - have no bearing on the book. Can't they get a life somewhere else. Serious book review people - make Barnes & Noble aware of how they use this system and start complaining - in the stores, on this sit...
6 of the 5 Star ratings prior to 8/9/13 are from nook/texters - have no bearing on the book. Can't they get a life somewhere else. Serious book review people - make Barnes & Noble aware of how they use this system and start complaining - in the stores, on this site - mark the reviews as 'off topic' or inappropriate, flag them as 'not helpful' so they fall to the bottom. Make yourself heard if you don't like nook/texters ruining the book review process.

posted by Anonymous on August 9, 2013

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  • Posted June 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic Historical Thriller

    The first chapter of Murder as a Fine Art is one of the most disturbing I've read, and I like to read my share of horror and thrillers. Author David Morrell is genius as he starts off the novel by taking the reader into the mind of the 'artist', the killer himself. Based on the real Ratcliffe Highway murders that occurred during 1800's London, this novel was a suspenseful mystery that I found hard to put down. Writer Thomas De Quincey, also known as the Opium-Eater finds himself a suspect in a set of vicious murders that seem to mirror the unsolved Ratcliffe Highway murders of forty years past. De Quincey wrote an essay called "On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts" where he discussed the Ratcliffe murders in detail and almost as a fan of the detailed work of the murderer. This essay is what makes him a prime suspect. De Quincey, now in his sixties and heavily addicted to Opium, lives with his daughter Emily who helps care for him. De Quincey has arrived in London under mysterious circumstances and soon learns that the killer is the one who lured him back. Detective Inspector Sean Ryan and constable Becker are trying to crack the case. The original Ratcliffe Highway murders were followed by a second set of murders twelve days later and the detectives are afraid the copycat killer will strike again soon. The story takes twists and turns that had me on the edge of my seat as Ryan, Becker, the Opium-Eater and Emily try to put the clues together and discover the identity of the killer. Author David Morrell seamlessly takes us from the mind of the killer to the cat and mouse chase of the investigators with his descriptive and fast paced storytelling. I loved how David Morrell breathed life into these characters and made them jump off the pages. I felt bad for the Opium-Eater as his past comes to light and he reveals the pains he has lived through. At the heart of his existence is his addiction to Opium, it rules his every thought. An interesting and terrifying aspect of his addiction is that as things are happening to him, he wonders whether what he is experiencing is real or if he is in an Opium induced nightmare. I felt myself rooting for Emily and Becker, I wanted these two to get together. What an unexpected facet to the storyline their attraction was. Speaking of Emily, she is an interesting character. I liked that she was no-nonsense but caring at the same time. She's a bit of a rebel and refuses to wear the uncomfortable hooped dresses and tight corsets that are in style, preferring instead to wear comfortable bloomers under her skirts. The relationship she has with her father is well fleshed out and I could easily believe their storyline. David Morrell brings the seedy underbelly of 1800's London to life perfectly. The atmosphere of the novel is dark and mysterious throughout and on top of that, he creates a cast of characters that the reader can root for. The author adds historical facts throughout the storyline which just adds to the reading experience. I love it when a writer of historical fiction does their research. This was 5 star read for me, I highly recommend it to fans of historical mysteries and thrilling stories. Victorian London, murder, mystery, suspense and historical facts and fiction are all woven together masterfully to create a novel that grabs the reader and does not let go until the very end.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 2, 2013

    A Fabulous Historical Mystery! David Morrell has created a beau

    A Fabulous Historical Mystery!

    David Morrell has created a beautifully crafted murder mystery set in London in 1854. It is based around the true Ratcliffe Highway murders that occurred earlier in the century and as the book opens, these murders are being duplicated and worse. The murderer is the "Artist" and the book opens with we, the reader, following him on his acts of horror. What really makes this book excellent is the writing and the character development. Morrell fully shrouds the mystery in foggy, overcrowded, unsanitary London. Scotland Yard is at its beginnings and through the eyes of Detective Inspector Ryan and his newly appointed assistant, Constable Becker, we see early police detective work. English Literature fans will be surprised at the featuring of Thomas DeQuincey ("Confessions of an English Opium Eater") and his forward-thinking daughter, Emily, as detectives themselves. Part of the story is told through Emily's diary entries which are very interesting as they give a woman's point of view.The reveal of who the Artist is was quite stunning. This is a fast-moving mystery that is filled with many unexpected twists and turns. I loved it!


    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2013

    Amazing and well-crafted historical fiction

    Gripping and extremely well-researched.... one of the best novels I've read in a while. Historical fiction is best when the lines between reality and fiction are blurred; Morrell is a master of that fine art. Wjj

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Creepers was by far my favorite of Morrell's books, but after re

    Creepers was by far my favorite of Morrell's books, but after reading "Murder as a Fine Art" (very quickly I might add) I'm starting to rethink things. This book is truly outstanding. If you enjoy delving back into the past, times reminiscent of Jack the Ripper and a time when no one felt safe, this book will keep you glued to the pages. The history is wonderful, the story terrifying, with a beautiful father daughter story that holds it all together, this is a read not to be missed.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite Author David Morr

    Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

    Author David Morrell has long been one of my favorite authors. He has a long list of best sellers including Rambo, the Brotherhood of the Rose, and Creepers. He is well known for his high octane action thrillers. His latest book, Murder as a Fine Art, is a bit different from his previous books but still up to his usual high standards. He deftly transports readers back to London, 1854 where he combines fact and fiction to give readers a satisfying thriller. The main character, Thomas De Quincey, actually existed as did the crime referred to as the Ratcliffe Highway murders – a series of mass killings that equaled those of Jack the Ripper for terrifying London and all of England. Thomas De Quincey was obsessed with the Ratcliffe Highway murders and wrote about them in an essay he titled: On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts. He was the first person to write about drug addiction in his essay Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. 

    In Murder as a Fine Art, we travel along with De Quincey through the streets and prisons of London as he searches for a gifted killer. There seems to be a hidden connection between the murderer and De Quincey. Suspicion falls on De Quincey and he must fight to clear his name. De Quincey’s daughter is a very intelligent and capable character. However, she was a woman in 1854 where women were not encouraged and in fact discouraged from thinking. I also loved Constable Becker. This tale demonstrates the culture of the era. Once again David Morrell has stretched and exercised his great talent.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    Well.Done

    Horror! Thriller! Mystery!

    This book does not disappoint. One of the most violent things I have ever read. And still it is a page turner.

    Brilliantly written.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    This book is superb!! I am a huge fan of mysteries set in Victo

    This book is superb!! I am a huge fan of mysteries set in Victorian England and this one is top notch. THe plot is interesting but I really enjoyed the historical research on the culture of the period that the author incorporated. I've read dozens of books set during this time period and know a lot about it, but Morrell shines a light on Victorian thinking & beliefs that were eye opening for me!! A great read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    Brandon

    Keep it comin. This is so awesome

    1 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2014

    Great read

    The story grabs you early on and keeps you guessing until the end. Very submersive, great environmental detail and a great plot. The author delivers again.

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  • Posted April 21, 2014

    If I could give this book more than five stars I would. A fanta

    If I could give this book more than five stars I would. A fantastic thriller with great characters. I highly recommend this book.

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  • Posted December 5, 2013

    Based on a real character who wrote numerous things in Victorian

    Based on a real character who wrote numerous things in Victorian England, Thomas DeQuincy, who was sometimes knows by the title of one of his books CONFESSIONS OF AN OPIUM EATER, this tale of horrific murders builds on real murders known as the Ratcliffe Highway Murders. Morrell has definitely done his research in playing "what if" in building a murderous character whose whole life has been one tragedy creating tragedies!




    The historical times are portrayed wonderfully, describing manners, citizenry, police forces, and the building of the terrors and financial spread of the opium trade throughout the world. DeQuincy and his "modern daughter", Emily, team up with a policeman and a detective to catch a murderer who is fooling everyone in London.




    I thoroughly enjoyed this imagined murderer in a story that tells so much about real history. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2013

    Ysy e .

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    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2013

    I love it!!!

    Even thouth i havent read it yet i feel like it speaks to me

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2013

    Hahaha

    0 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 7, 2013

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    Posted December 27, 2013

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