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The Axeman's Jazz by Ray Celestin
  

The Axeman's Jazz

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Winner of the Specsavers CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger - Best First Novel 2014.

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.


The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. With figures like Oscar Wilde being dragooned as sleuths in crime fiction, perhaps jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong is not such a stretch – Celestin’s debut places Armstrong as one of a group on the trail of a serial axe murderer in early 20th-century New Orleans. The Axeman’s Jazz sports an acute sense of period, shored up by an evocation of the sound of early jazz – no easy thing on the page.
~ Barry Forshaw

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Synopsis

The Axeman's Jazz by Ray Celestin

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 ...

Reviews

'Debut novelist Ray Celestin has based his beguiling crime thriller on the true story of a serial killer who terrorised New Orleans for more than a year after the First World War. Beautifully written, the evocative prose brings the jazz-filled, mob-ruled 'Big Easy of pre-prohibition America to life in glorious effect with a story full of suspense and intrigue. Stunning' Sunday Express

'A rewarding crime novel, swinging its way to a terrifying denouement with all the panache of a New Orleans marching band. This is an excellent debut, with a promise of more good mysteries to come.' The Times

'Celestin smartly evokes the atmosphere of 1919 New Orleans, and a city dominated by music and the mob. Gripping.' Sunday Times

About the Author

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.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999

Author

Ray Celestin

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Publisher

Format

Hardback

Categories

Thriller / Suspense
Debuts of the Month
All Shortlists and Winners
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites


ISBN

9781447258865

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