A stunning historical mystery from Ray Celestin, following on from the events of The Axeman's Jazz.
Ray Celestin lives in London. He studied Asian art and languages at university, is a scriptwriter for film and TV, and has published several short stories. His first novel, The Axeman's Jazz, won the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award and was shortlisted for the Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year Award. This is his second novel.
Celestin's promise of two further instalments of this lively, jazz-based series can only be cause for celebration * Sunday Times * This is the sequel to the prizewinning The Axeman's Jazz . . . Under the constant threat of bloodshed, the three stories gradually weave together into an intriguing portrait of a time and a place . . . the historical detail is captivating . . . The young Louis Armstrong turns up, and his powerful, searching, explosive jazz pulses through the pages, a soundtrack to Ida's increasingly dangerous investigation * Spectator * Celestin certainly doesn't short-change us on plot as his book centres on investigations into the disappearance of a celebrity heiress, the brutal murder (complete with gouged-out eyes) of a gangster and an attempt to poison a group of pro-Capone city dignitaries. But he also packs in enough details about the people, buildings, musicians and criminals of Prohibition-era Chicago to fill a fair-sized history book. He writes so vividly that at times I was convinced I could see 1920s Chicago in front of me and, even more impressively, he writes so well about music that I could virtually hear it. His first book was one of the best crime novels of its year and this sequel is even better. VERDICT: 5/5 * Daily Express * A magnificent crime novel, at least as good as his stunning 2014 debut . . . His portrait of an edgy, sexy, corrupt, dangerous, deeply racially prejudiced city, where savage violence cohabited with exciting music, is totally absorbing -- Marcel Berlins * The Times *