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A Gentle Axe

R. N. Morris

ISBN 10: 0571237843 / ISBN 13: 9780571237845
Published by Faber & Faber, London, 2007
Condition: As New Hardcover
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About this Item

Unread Pristine Book in Excellent Dust Jacket that is in a Protective Mylar Cover. No marks, no bumps, no sunning, no clips. A First Printing with all the numbers. This book carefully packaged and shipped in a sturdy box. The author has signed this book on the title page "and" under the signature the author has written the date "1 Feb 2007" - the release date. Shipment is always in a sturdy box and well cushioned. This UK is a Wonderful 1st edition/1st printing Collector's Copy. Bookseller Inventory # 002087

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A Gentle Axe

Publisher: Faber & Faber, London

Publication Date: 2007

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:As New

Dust Jacket Condition: As New

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

Fresh off the case of a deranged student who murdered his landlady, noted police investigator Porfiry Petrovich barely takes a breath before a bizarre and very grisly double murder lands him back on the streets of the tsarist St. Petersburg he knows all too well. The sardonic sleuth follows a trail from the drinking dens of the Haymarket district to an altogether more genteel stratum of society-a hunt that leads him to a conclusion even he will find shocking. In the tradition of such first-rate historical novels such as The Alienist and The Dante Club, The Gentle Axe is atmospheric and tense storytelling from its dramatic opening to its stunning climax.

Review:

Porfiry Petrovich, the police investigator who worked on the case involving the deranged student Raskolnikov in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, is given another life in R.N. Morris's The Gentle Axe. It is 1867 in St. Petersburg, Russia, on a cold winter morning. An elderly woman is scouring Petrovsky Park in search of a few sticks of firewood. What she finds instead is horrifying: a big, burly peasant hanging by a rope from a tree, with a blood-covered axe tucked into his belt. Nearby, she finds a suitcase. Packed inside is the body of a dwarf, with a deep head wound caused by an axe. Conventional wisdom says that the peasant killed the dwarf and then, in a paroxysm of guilt and remorse, killed himself. That scenario is good enough for everyone but Porfiry.

In a wonderfully atmospheric novel, Morris has created a world-weary protagonist in Porfiry, a man still exhausted from his last case, joined by a collection of absolutely believable characters to flesh out the novel. Mysteries abound and multiply in layers of characterization and narrative. Porfiry's investigation goes on, despite repeated attempts to take him off the case, and it leads him from the dregs of society to its most genteel heights. He follows clues, hunches, people, and stories to get to the bottom of the mystery--and when he does, it comes as a complete surprise, but one that makes perfect sense. This carefully written and entertaining novel will satisfy lovers of mystery, historical crime, and just plain good novels. --Valerie Ryan

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