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Ray Celestin lives in London. He studied Asian art and languages at university and is a script writer for film and TV, as well as publishing several short stories. The Axeman's Jazz is his first novel.
In Ray Celestin's gripping third book, The Mobster's Lament, it's a mobster's last chance to escape the clutches of New York's mafia families, but as a blizzard descends on NYC, a ruthless serial killer is tracking his every move. Fall, 1947. Private Investigator Ida Davis has been called to New York by her old partner, Michael Talbot, to investigate a brutal killing spree in a Harlem flophouse that has left four people dead. But as they delve deeper into the case, Ida and Michael realize the murders are part of a larger conspiracy that stretches further than they ever could have imagined. Meanwhile, Ida's childhood friend, Louis Armstrong, is at his lowest ebb. His big band is bankrupt, he's playing to empty venues, and he's in danger of becoming a has-been, until a promoter approaches him with a strange offer to reignite his career . . . And across the city, nightclub manager and mob fixer Gabriel Leveson's plans to flee New York are upset when he's called in for a meeting with the `boss of all bosses', Frank Costello. Tasked with tracking down stolen mob money, Gabriel must embark on a journey through New York's seedy underbelly, forcing him to confront demons from his own past, all while the clock is ticking on his evermore precarious escape plans. From its tenements to its luxury hotels, from its bebop clubs to the bustling wharves of the Brooklyn waterfront, award-winning author Ray Celestin's The Mobster's Lament is both a gripping crime novel and a vivid, panoramic portrait of 1940s New York as the mob rises to the height of its powers . . .
So, so much more than just a crime novel, this beautifully written tale, inspired by real events that took place in New Orleans during 1919, weaves a hypnotic web of intrigue, tension and suspense. New Orleans struts and parades her way through the story, the author brings not only the city but also the time and people vividly to life. A musically talented Mr Armstrong makes an appearance, alongside The Mob, Voodou and a chilling letter from the real killer written in May 1919. The murders that scatter the pages are secondary to the reasons the three main characters need to find the Axeman. The author doesn't flinch from the horrors of the killings, however this isn’t a gore filled parade, there is a lilting, soulful, expressive quality to the writing which creates a captivating tale just oozing in atmosphere.
Winner of the Specsavers CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger - Best First Novel 2014. New Orleans, 1919. As music fills the city, a serial killer strikes ...New Orleans, 1919. As a dark serial killer - The Axeman - stalks the city, three individuals set out to unmask him ...Though every citizen of the 'Big Easy' thinks they know who could be behind the terrifying murders, Detective Lieutenant Michael Talbot, heading up the official investigation, is struggling to find leads. But Michael has a grave secret, and if he doesn't get himself on the right track fast, it could be exposed ...Former detective Luca d'Andrea has spent the last six years in Angola state penitentiary, after Michael, his protegee, blew the whistle on his corrupt behaviour. Now a newly freed man, Luca is back working with the mafia, whose need to solve the mystery of the Axeman is every bit as urgent as that of the authorities. Meanwhile, Ida is a secretary at the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Obsessed with Sherlock Holmes and dreaming of a better life, Ida stumbles across a clue which lures her and her musician friend, Louis Armstrong, to the case - and into terrible danger ...As Michael, Luca and Ida each draw closer to discovering the killer's identity, the Axeman himself will issue a challenge to the people of New Orleans: play jazz or risk becoming the next victim. And as the case builds to its crescendo, the sky will darken and a great storm will loom over the city ...
From the bestselling author of The Axeman's Jazz, Ray Celestin's gripping third book, The Mobster's Lament, follows a gangster's last chance to escape the clutches of New York's mafia families, but as a blizzard descends on NYC, a ruthless serial killer is tracking his every move. New York, 1947. Mob fixer Gabriel Leveson's plans to flee the city are put on hold when he is tasked with tracking down stolen mob money by 'the boss of all bosses', Frank Costello. But while he's busy looking, he doesn't notice who's watching him . . . Meanwhile, Private Investigator Ida Young and her old partner, Michael Talbot, must prove the innocence of Talbot's son Tom, who has been accused of the brutal murders of four people in a Harlem flophouse. With all the evidence pointing towards him, their only chance of exoneration is to find the killer themselves. Whilst across town, Ida's childhood friend, Louis Armstrong, is on the brink of bankruptcy, when a promoter approaches him with a strange offer to reignite his career . . . Both a gripping neo-noir crime novel and a vivid, panoramic portrait of New York, The Mobster's Lament takes you to the heart of a city where the Mob has risen to the height of its powers . . .
Der mysteriose "e;Axeman-Morder"e; versetzt ganz New Orleans in Angst und Schrecken. Seine Waffe ist eine Axt, sein Markenzeichen Tarotkarten, die er bei seinen Opfern hinterlasst. Detective Michael Talbot ist mit dem Fall betraut und verzweifelt an der Wendigkeit des Killers. Der ehemalige Polizist Luca d'Andrea sucht ebenfalls nach dem Axeman - im Auftrag der Mafia. Und Ida, die Sekretarin der Pinkerton Detektivagentur, stolpert zufallig uber einen Hinweis, der sie und ihren besten Freund Louis Armstrong mitten in den Fall hineinzieht. Als Michael, Luca, Ida und Louis der Identitat des Axeman immer naherkommen, fordert der Killer die Bewohner von New Orleans heraus: Spielt Jazz - sonst komme ich, um euch zu holen.
*Shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel of 2017* Dead Man's Blues is the gripping historical crime novel from Ray Celestin, following on from the events of his debut The Axeman's Jazz, winner of the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger for Best First Novel 2014. Chicago, 1928. In the stifling summer heat three disturbing events take place. A clique of city leaders is poisoned in a fancy hotel. A gangster is found mutilated in an alleyway in the Blackbelt. And a famous heiress vanishes without a trace. Pinkerton detectives Michael Talbot and Ida Davis are hired to find the missing heiress by the girl's troubled mother. But it proves harder than expected to find a face that is known across the city, and Ida must elicit the help of her friend Louis Armstrong. While the police take little interest in the Blackbelt murder, crime scene photographer Jacob Russo can't get the dead man's image out of his head, and so he embarks on his own investigation. And Dante Sanfelippo - rum-runner and fixer - is back in Chicago on the orders of Al Capone, who suspects there's a traitor in the ranks and wants Dante to investigate. But Dante is struggling with problems of his own as he is forced to return to the city he thought he'd never see again . . . As the three parties edge closer to the truth, their paths cross and their lives are threatened. But will any of them find the answers they need in the capital of blues, booze and corruption?