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A Gentle Axe ***SIGNED & DATED***

R. N. Morris

ISBN 10: 0571237843 / ISBN 13: 9780571237845
Published by Faber & Faber, London, 2007
Used Condition As New Hard Cover
From William Ross, Jr. (Annapolis, MD, U.S.A.) Quantity Available: 1
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Limited of 500 copies. First British Edition, First Printing with full number line. Signed, without inscription, by author on the title page. Unread As New book in As New dust jacket. NO remainder mark, NO previous owner markings or inscriptions, NOT price clipped, NOT a Book Club Edition, NOT an Ex-Lib. Dust jacket covered in protective clear wrapper. All our books are bubble wrapped and shipped in a sturdy box with Delivery Confirmation. Bookseller Inventory # 000035

About this title:

Synopsis:

Stumbling through Petrovsky Park one cold morning in search of firewood, an elderly woman makes a horrifying discovery. A burly peasant twirls in the wind, hanging from a bowed tree by a rope about his neck, a bloody axe tucked into his belt. Nearby, packed neatly into a suitcase, is the body of a dwarf, a deep axe wound splitting his skull in two.

It does not take long for the noted police investigator Porfiry Petrovich, still drained from his work on the case involving the deranged student Raskolnikov, to suspect that the truth of the matter is more complex that the crime scene might suggest. Why do so many roads lead to the same house of prostitution and the same ring or pornographers? Why do so many powerful interests seem intent on blocking his efforts? His investigation leads him from the squalid tenements, brothels, and drinking dens of the city's Haymarket district to an altogether more genteel stratum of society. As he gets deeper and deeper in, and the connections between the two spheres begin to multiply, both his anger and his terror mount.

Atmospheric and tense from its dramatic opening to its shocking climax, The Gentle Axe is a spellbinding historical crime novel, a book that explores the darkest places of the human heart with tremendous energy, empathy, and wit. As lucky as St. Petersburg residents are to have Porfiry Petrovich in public service, we are equally fortunate to have R.N. Morris on hand to chronicle his most challenging case to date.

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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Bibliographic Details

Title: A Gentle Axe ***SIGNED & DATED***

Publisher: Faber & Faber, London

Publication Date: 2007

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: As New

Dust Jacket Condition: As New

Signed: Signed and Dated By Author on Title Page

Edition: 1st British Edition, 1st Printing.

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Seller William Ross, Jr.
Address: Annapolis, MD, U.S.A.

AbeBooks Seller Since August 4, 2008
Seller Rating 5-star rating


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