The Axeman’s Jazz

Book Title: The Axeman’s Jazz

Author: Ray Celestin

Publisher: Pan

Publication Date: April 23rd 2015

Genre(s): Mystery & Thrillers, Historical Fiction, General Fiction (Adult)

Pages: 448

Format Received: Paperback

Goodreads: 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 find 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 protégée, blew the whistle on his corrupt behaviour. Now a newly freed man, Luca finds himself working with the mafia, whose need to solve the mystery of the Axeman is every bit as urgent as 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 trumpet-playing friend, Lewis ‘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…

My Review: A 5* rating is not enough for this novel. I want to give 100*. I honestly cannot recommend this novel enough – it is one of the best I’ve read. Ray Celestin has written a treat for all crime thriller lovers EVER and the best part of it all is it is actually based on a true life event.

Set in the 1910s decade in New Orleans – 1919 to be precise – the novel instantly draws you in. It is an absorbing novel with well researched historical elements. The way Celestin writes is so thorough and descriptive you feel that rather than being the reader, you’re actually one of the characters. If you’re a fan of shows such as Boardwalk Empire you will absolutely adore this book.

If you enjoy a meaty, gritty story with a twisty plot, I suggest reading this novel – it’ll have you awake all the way through the night.

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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