The Axe has been reviewed by Mark Rose in a US blog called bookgasm.
It's an interesting review because it seems to indicate how 'hype' can affect a reader's, or blogger's, receptiveness to a book. He says: "This book has received so much mainstream hype that I began to worry about its likability. Other reviewers seemed to care a little too much about the Dostoyevsky angle, and because it featured a shining star in the modern academic literary canon, it was sure to be praised."
Well, actually, I would take issue with the last point. I think the Dostoevsky connection may well be what is getting the book noticed. But not all reviewers have looked kindly on my presumption. Any how, I'm pleased that Mark Rose follows this up with: "Thankfully, Morris does not pretend to be Dostoyevsky. Instead, he takes a character study and a locale, and crafts a very passable murder mystery out of the whole thing. If he can use Porfiry Petrovich as his foil to get attention, then more power to him."
His final line is one I'm very happy with: "It’s an excellent first novel that bodes well for the future."
I've had my first Dutch review, or the first that's been brought to my attention. It appeared in NRC HANDELSBLAD, which, according to my Dutch editor "is just about the most renowned Dutch newspaper around."
I believe they liked it. "The Gentle Axe makes you long for more work by Morris, who is intelligent enough not to place too much intellectual weight in his novel, thus ensuring that it is smart without being pompous. Serve with cabbage soup and plenty of vodka."
The full bookgasm review is here.