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R. N. Morris

Forfatter af The Gentle Axe

23+ Works 693 Members 37 Reviews 4 Favorited

Om forfatteren

Includes the name: Roger N. Morris


Værker af R. N. Morris

The Gentle Axe (2007) 338 eksemplarer
A Vengeful Longing (2008) 142 eksemplarer
A Razor Wrapped in Silk (2010) 44 eksemplarer
Summon Up The Blood (2010) 38 eksemplarer
The Cleansing Flames (2011) 32 eksemplarer
Taking Comfort (2006) — Forfatter — 16 eksemplarer
The Dark Palace (2014) 13 eksemplarer
The Red Hand of Fury (2018) 11 eksemplarer
The White Feather Killer (2019) 8 eksemplarer
Psychotopia (2018) 6 eksemplarer
Urban sociology (2007) 4 eksemplarer
The music box enigma (2020) 4 eksemplarer

Associated Works

Victoriana: A HWA Short Story Collection (2020) — Bidragyder — 3 eksemplarer

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Like many young men in London in summer 1914, Felix Simpkins feels the tug to serve king and country by enlisting in the crusade against the Germans. It would be the only individual act Felix can think of, the sole rebellious gesture against his emasculating mother (and typically self-defeating), but he can’t quite bring himself to, which flattens his self-esteem even further and risks public shame. For in these mad days when the populace has become intoxicated by jingoism and xenophobia, women of patriotic temperament press white feathers, a sign of cowardice, into the hands of physically fit men not in uniform.

Meanwhile, Detective Chief Inspector Silas Quinn of Scotland Yard feels unsettled too, for other reasons. He’s just returned from psychological sick leave, which has further damaged his reputation among police officers of all ranks, many of whom resent him for his brilliance as a detective, his independent methods, and his insistence on truth rather than convenience. Apparently, the resentment goes right to the top, for Quinn has been relieved from command of a special crimes unit and been relegated to a pen-pushing job in which no one need pay attention to him, except to note his lapses.

Military security now requires keen focus on enemies within. Guilt no longer matters. If a crime takes place, arrest someone of German lineage, connections, or alleged sympathies. Justice will be served, and the public, placated. Naturally, this directive rubs Quinn the wrong way. And when he hears that a minister’s daughter has been killed shortly after a patriotic meeting at her father’s church — at which women collected white feathers to hand out — he itches to solve the case. But he’s forbidden to; and the men who’ve supplanted him are watching, waiting for him to step out of line.

Morris excels at characterization, historical atmosphere, the requisite reversals, and the craft of whodunit, with which he keeps you guessing until the end. So many scenes in his novel start out one way and shoot off unexpectedly in another, the essence of tension, because something touches a nerve in his legion of fragile people. Some readers may find these tortured souls off-putting, and I admit, the near-universal willingness to abuse others creates a bleak mood.

But the rewards here are many, not least an unvarnished portrayal of police work in 1914, and a similar depiction of a great metropolis straining at its bounds. The famous English credo of decency and fair play seldom applies; that’s an ideal, existing mostly in Quinn’s mind and nowhere else. But with one notable exception, Morris lets his flawed people strive for connection, which shows their fullness and lets you feel for them.

Exhibit A here is Quinn, who’s difficult in his way, though not cruel. He’d like to unburden himself if he could, and his impulses are decent and generous, but he can’t always express them. A psychologically minded detective among colleagues for whom perception and deduction are blunt instruments, he comes across to them as cocksure, even arrogant, yet inside, he’s anything but. Whether it’s his halting overtures to a pretty police secretary or his reluctance to return to the house of a former landlady who realizes he needs care, Quinn makes an unusual male detective, vulnerable and cerebral at once.

Morris allows himself deeper, more rounded descriptions and motivations than many mystery writers, yet you never feel disconnected or impatient with the narrative. Quite the contrary; I wish more mystery writers trusted themselves (and their readers) to write like this. My only complaint centers on Coddington, Quinn’s nemesis within the police; he’s the notable exception to the generosity granted the other characters. The psychological portrait remains blurry, so I don’t know much about Coddington, except that he’s unreasonably jealous and pigheaded.

The White Feather Killer delivers a terrific story with fully realized characters and an authentic historical background, depicted with precise care. Bravo.
… (mere)
Novelhistorian | 1 anden anmeldelse | Jan 26, 2023 |
I was very unhappy with this book. It took until the VERY end to get good. The characters were uncomfortable. The stereotypes are somewhat painful. This one is a stinker and should be avoided.
plunkinberry | 3 andre anmeldelser | Jan 5, 2023 |
Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
fernandie | 1 anden anmeldelse | Sep 15, 2022 |
June, 1914 and several bizarre suicides have been brought to the attention of the Special Crimes Department and DI Silas Quinn. Unfortunately for Quinn his past may be catching up on him.
The book drew me in straight away. I loved the style of writing, and the mystery and was intrigued by Quinn and his team. They were characters that I enjoyed reading about.
Although this was the fourth in the series it can be read as a standalone story, though I am looking forward to reading the first three.
A NetGalley Book
… (mere)
Vesper1931 | Jul 29, 2021 |



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