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Download The Gentle Axe: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Gentle Axe: A Novel, by R. N. Morris Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (291 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: R. N. Morris Narrator: Simon Vanc Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Porfiry Petrovich Series Release Date:
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A satisfyingly grisly yarn, mawkish and macabre—‘CSI: St. Petersburg.’ "

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A fabulously dark and descriptive story…. [Vance’s] clear, warm voice delivers Russian words and phrases with a lucid ingenuity.”


Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ace | 2/20/2014

    " Not quite a sequel to Crime and Punishment, but this tale features Raskolnikov's nemesis Porfiry Petrovich about a year and a half after their run in. This isn't Dostoevsky, but I enjoyed the effort. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Tyler | 2/20/2014

    " I had a hard time getting through this book, but in the end, I actually really enjoyed the story. The actual writing isn't bad, but it's laborious to extract the minute details. Story was good though, and very Russian (at least in my mind). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Arthur Jongebloed | 2/19/2014

    " This is one of the most riveting murder mystries i have ever read it's like csi: st. petersburg "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Peter | 2/16/2014

    " This is a neat form of detective book, take a very famous literary investigator, one created by a great Russian novelist and turn him into a character with a world of his own. R.N. Morris has taken Porfiry Petrovich of Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky and turned him into a dark Russian investigating magistrate. It was a brilliant move and is the start of a series. It will be interesting to see how this evolves. "

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About the Author

Roger N. Morris sold his first short story to a teenage girls’ magazine while still a student at Cambridge University, where he read classics. Making his living as a freelance copywriter, he has continued to write, and occasionally publish, fiction. One of his stories, “The Devil’s Drum,” was turned into a one-act opera, which was performed at the Purcell Room in London’s South Bank. His book A Vengeful Longing was shortlisted for the 2008 CWA Gold Dagger Prize for Best Crime Novel and highly commended by the CWA Ellis Peters Award for Best Historical Crime Novel 2008. He lives in North London with his wife and children.