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Editorial Reviews. From School Library Journal. This follow-up to Murder as a Fine Art () is set in while England is in the midst of the Crimean War.
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Class distinctions are sharply drawn. Emily, a thoroughly modern woman who eschews hoop skirts in favour of bloomers and straight skirts, is a moral force, exhibiting patience with her father while others offer him none, and providing just enough guidance, as well as concern for his health, to keep the little man from succumbing to the multiple visions that dance in his head.

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He struggles with his addiction, but not as hard as he might. Even as the recently appointed prime minister accuses De Quincey of delusion born out of opium use, our hero seeks to open his eyes. The humour here is easily overridden by the gore. Copious amounts of blood ooze their way into the story, and some of the individual murders are as gruesomely staged as those in the television show True Detective.

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Join Today! The notorious Opium-Eater returns in the sensational climax to David Morrell's acclaimed Victorian mystery trilogy. The railway has irrevocably altered English society, effectively changing geography and fueling the industrial revolution by shortening distances between cities: a whole day's journey can now be covered in a matter of hours. People marvel at their new freedom.

But train travel brings new dangers as well, with England's first death by train recorded on the very first day of railway operations in Twenty-five years later, England's first train murder occurs, paralyzing London with the unthinkable when a gentleman is stabbed to death in a safely locked first-class passenger compartment.

In the next compartment, the brilliant opium-eater Thomas De Quincey and his quick-witted daughter, Emily, discover the homicide in a most gruesome manner. Key witnesses and also resourceful sleuths, they join forces with their allies in Scotland Yard, Detective Ryan and his partner-in-training, Becker, to pursue the killer back into the fogbound streets of London, where other baffling murders occur.

Ultimately, De Quincey must confront two ruthless adversaries: this terrifying enemy, and his own opium addiction which endangers his life and his tormented soul.