The Gentle Axe by R. N. Morris
A Novel

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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.

About R. N. Morris

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R. N. Morris sold his first short story to a teenage girls' magazine while still a student at Cambridge University. One of his stories, The Devil's Drum, was turned into a one-act opera, while another, Revenants, was published as a comic book. He lives in North London.
Published March 22, 2007 by Penguin Books. 308 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Business & Economics. Fiction

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one of Morris’s previous publications was a comic book.) The complications of the plot soon come to envelop both the older and the younger prostitute, a photographer of the risqué, a Russian prince, a vanished actor, a young student (compared by the characters to Raskolnikov), a publishing house ...

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The New York Times

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Morris borrows his setting (St. Petersburg, Russia) and his main character (the plump, pale-eyelashed Porfiry Petrovich) from “Crime and Punishment” and begins the action in December 1866, more than a year after Porfiry solved the crime at the core of Dostoyevsky’s book: the murder of an aged paw...

May 20 2007 | Read Full Review of The Gentle Axe: A Novel

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