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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, listeners are equally fortunate to have R.N. Morris on hand to chronicle his most challenging case to date.
"Morris' heavily atmospheric thriller treads much of the same literary ground Dostoevsky covered in his great novel. The wretched and squalid lives of the poor, the philosophy of Hegel, the growing rage of the lower classes, and the Russian national character - even the Russian soul - are all important elements of the world Morris re-creates." (Booklist)
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Daniel on 06-14-07
Not enough of its intended uniqueness.
As with any plot driven novel, something is needed to set it apart from the many others of its ilk. In this case, it is the "new" Czarist Russia, circa 1865 or so. However, I personally prefer character driven books (Harry Bosh comes to mind...) and so when reading a plot driven book I need a pretty good dose of its intended "uniqueness," which does not happen that well in this case.
Lots of loooonnnggg Russian names which were troublesome to keep organized and I found myself working hard ot maintain interest at the 8 hour mark, but pushed through.
Soid narration and good plot with just enough mid 19th century Russia kept me to the end of a book that I might have given up if it took place in 1980s New York....
5 of 6 people found this review helpful