Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Two more reviews...

The first is by Carola Groom in the Financial Times. "Morris’s St Petersburg comes alive in intense imagery, yet beneath the over-dressing there is a stench of decay," she reckons. She also uses the word "entertaining", which has to be good, right?

The next is by Adam Colclough in Shots Magazine. You have to scroll down the list of titles on the left until you find A VENGEFUL LONGING. What the hell, to save you the effort, I'll quote the whole review. It's short. And sweet.

During a swelteringly hot St Petersburg summer the wife and son of a doctor fall victim to a horrific case of poisoning. Even to Porfiry Petrovich, the investigator created by Dostoevsky and revived by Morris in A Gentle Axe, it seems like an open and shut case, and then further, seemingly unconnected killings take place plunging Porfiry and his new assistant into a deadly maze of cruelty and violence.

Novels that resurrect legendary characters and insert them into new plots can sometimes be disappointing, that, thankfully is not true of A Vengeful Longing. Throughout the book Morris demonstrates a facility for handling characterisation and atmospherics that would shame many ‘literary’ writers and his ability to create and sustain a complex and compelling plot is the equal of any other writer currently at work in the genre.

By far the best feature of this and Morris’s previous novel is the meticulous way he recreates nineteenth century St Petersburg, revealing it as a dusty, dangerous, place where glittering opulence and grinding poverty exist side by side and deadly tensions simmer constantly below the surface of everyday life; long may he and Porfiry Petrovich continue to lead us down its mean streets.

1 comment:

Nik's Blog said...

Fantastic reviews, Roger.