Synopses & Reviews
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.
" Porfiry's second outing is entertaining and educative, thanks to the author's passion for his canvas."
" Full marks to the author for bringing Petrovich back to life in this ambitious work that is a real pleasure to read."
It's the middle of a hot, dusty St. Petersburg summer in the late 1860s. A doctor brings home a fancy box of chocolates for his wife and son-a strange gift on a scorching Saturday afternoon. Within an hour, both mother and child die an excruciating death, and the doctor is immediately arrested, suspected of poisoning. As investigator Porfiry Petrovich concedes, in such cases the obvious solution often turns out to be the correct solution. And in the city's sweltering, oppressive atmosphere, even he lacks the energy to delve any deeper. But when additional, apparently unconnected, murders occur on the other side of town, a subtle and surprising pattern starts to emerge. Porfiry is forced to reassess his assumptions and follow a tenuous, uncertain trail that takes him into the hidden, squalid heart of the city and brings him face to face with incomprehensible horror and cruelty.
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.