The acclaimed author of The Gentle Axe returns with another atmospheric thriller starring investigator Porfiry Petrovich
Hailed with glowing reviews , R. N. Morris's The Gentle Axe borrowed Porfiry Petrovich of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment to create a wholly new, hauntingly authentic novel of suspense. A Vengeful Longing, Petrovich's next outing, is even more engrossing. As the laconic investigator follows a trail that begins innocently with a box of chocolates, he is drawn deep into St. Petersburg's squalid heart. Aided by Morris's effortless prose, readers are immersed in the stifling world of nineteenth-century tsarist Russia and treated to an unforgettable rendering of a brutal time and place that will ensnare every fan of sophisticated historical fiction.
|Publisher:||Recorded Books, LLC|
About the Author
R.N. Morris was born in Manchester, England, in 1960 and now lives in North London with his wife and two children. He 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. Another, “Revenants,” was published as a comic book. A Vengeful Longing is the follow-up to his first novel, The Gentle Axe, published by The Penguin Press in 2006.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
R.N. Morris continues to captivate Dostoyevsky's Detective Magistrate Porfiry Petrovich 'Crime and Punishment' career in St. Peterburg. In the 'Gentle Ax' I was amazed Morris pulled it off without ruining the original incarnation. To pull it off, as Morris has in 'A Vengeful Longing', is simply astounding. Morris doesn't just tell us another story about Petrovich. He builds on him. After reading Morris' take on Petrovich, it was immense fun to reread 'Crime and Punishment'
It was with trepidation that I started on R. N. Morris' book. After all, his hero is borrowed from Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime And Punishment, which I endured with gritted teeth as a literature undergraduate. But Morris' take on investigating magistrate Porfiry Petrovich is surprisingly readable, and his portrait of the seedier side of 1860s St Petersburg, sweltering in the heat of summer, is rather entertaining. Petrovich, the dogged antagonist to Dostoyevsky's angsty protagonist Raskolnikov, is drolly weary here. Exasperated by poor sanitation in the city, tormented by his haemorrhoids and smoking endless cigarettes, he is hot on the trail of two seemingly open-and-shut cases. A suburban wife and her handicapped son die horribly after ingesting poisoned chocolates and a philandering soldier is shot dead by, apparently, an avenging father. The fun here is not so much thw whodunnit but the colourful cast of characters and the vivid vignettes of a Tsarist city conjured by Morris. In fact, hardcore murder mystery fans might be a tad exasperated by the ambling pace of the investigation. But for readers looking for a literary jaunt with better than average style and sass, this detour delivers a fairly scenic route.