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 ...
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.
'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
Publication date: 08/05/2014
Publisher: Mantle an imprint of Pan Macmillan
|Publication date:||8th May 2014|
|Publisher:||Mantle an imprint of Pan Macmillan|
|Genres:||Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Thriller / Suspense,|
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.More About Ray Celestin