Inspector of the Dead by David Morrell is the creator of Rambo. In this novel he creates quite the motley crew of police investigating murders in Victorian England that suggest Queen Victoria is the eventual target. Thomas De Quincey, an opium eater, likes to tell people his mother added the De to make them more distinguished. The implication is that the opium gives him super powers of deduction, reasoning, and insight. He consumes enough opium in a day to kill a horse, literally. His daughter, Emily, is the scribe of the group, caretaker of her father, and love interest of the third member, a London policeman, Ryan, who has been wounded in an earlier incident involving Thomas and Emily. The fourth member of this odd quartet is another policeman, who is older, Becker.
Revenge is a horrid stimulus. The senseless death of his father, mother, and sisters starts in motion for the surviving son a cold and calculating series of events to avenge his family, fifteen years after the fact. The history lessons of this novel make the reading so enjoyable. The characters are characters and this historical fiction is riveting. Horrid because it can go sideways so quickly that the original intent is lost. It the end it is just horrible irony.