THE CLEANSING FLAMES

Written by R.N. Morris

Review written by Carole Tyrell

Carole Tyrrell worked in the theatre for nearly 10 years and was always fascinating by the way death and the supernatural formed many of the greatest and most enduring works. She has read crime fiction for many years and enjoys the broad range of the genre.


THE CLEANSING FLAMES
Faber & Faber
RRP: £7.99
Released: 19th May 2011
Pbk Original
The Cleansing Flames begins, appropriately enough, with a fire on Easter Sunday in 1872 and is the fourth in the St Petersburg series. As junior magistrate, Pavel Virginsky watches, a hatchet faced man approaches him and hands him a printed poem against God before vanishing.

This act sets off a chain of events for the dissatisfied Virginsky which lead him towards a group of revolutionaries and a desperate act. On the same night a journalist, Damya Kozodavlev, is passing by the slowly melting Winter Canal as 5 sailors dive in for a swim. But six people come out of the water and one of them is a corpse. He has a familiar face which Kozodavlev knows too well and he's glad to escape the scene on the pretext of calling the police. Instead he vanishes into the night only to die in another fire at his home which also kills 5 children.
 
The novel features the investigator from Dosteyevsky's Crime and Punishment, Porfiry Petrovich, and his subordinate, Virginsky. I thought it was a very interesting idea to take a character from such a classic as Crime and Punishment and create another life for him. Raskolnikov also makes a fleeting appearance. Petrovich is in charge of discovering the identity of the man in the Canal and why Kozodavlev died. The trail leads him to suppressed magazines staffed by earnest dissidents, eager for change, a vanished reporter and a printer whose ownership of a printing press cost him his life. He has an encounter with the police thug, Salytov, who carries off a suspect from under Petrovich's nose.

However, the latter is unaware that Virginsky is courting dangerous friends. The younger man is drawn like a moth to the flame to them especially a woman, Tatyana Ruslanovna. When he meets the hatchet faced man again, by chance, he reveals his job and suggests that he might be useful to their cause by providing information. But they want a sacrifice to prove his allegiance and he can't back out now.....

The theme of fire runs through the narrative; the many blazes in the city and the slower burning flames of a coming storm that will engulf the old order. However, this isn't a novel for readers who want a fast paced thriller as it unfolds at its own pace using its historical backdrop well. The Romanovs are in power but religion, and its rituals especially Easter, are beginning to be viewed as tools of oppression with rumours of desecrated churches.

The central relationship, almost father and son, between Virginsky and Petrovich is well drawn as is the bureaucracy of the Russian Civil Service. For example, the mistake of submitting the wrong colour of official chit leads to a crucial error on the poster appealing for information about the dead man from the Winter Canal. When Petrovich is denied access to a suppressed publication the young librarian quietly accepts a bribe and enables access by another route he thinks to himself that the young man will go far.
 
This is an ambitious novel set in an interesting and exciting historical period with enough plot twists to keep the plot moving. I found the ending a little predictable but it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book.




website beautiful women cheat women who cheat on husbands
buy generic viagra online viagra vs extenze go
open infidelity signs online affair
how much are abortions read online
website read cost of abortion pills
android text monitoring app the best spy app for android free spyware android phone
cheat wifes west-bot.com women who cheat on husbands
i cheated on my husband and got pregnant sigridw.com should i cheat on my husband
why married men cheat link My husband cheated on me
why do people cheat link i dreamed my wife cheated on me
abortion in islam go cheap abortions
amoxicillin 250mg revia 50mg keflex pill
sildenafil citrate 130mg jcmikkelsen.dk prednisolone 20mg
viagra 200mg read thyroxine
kamagra fitness.markmcgookin.com thyroxine
discount coupons for cialis site cialis discounts coupons
wifes who cheat what causes women to cheat looking for affair
abortion effects how much is the abortion pill abortion clinic chicago
prescription discounts cards read free prescription discount cards
sumatriptan migraine headache http://sumatriptannow.com/migraine-headache sumatriptan migraine headache
coupons prescriptions prescription coupon free printable cialis coupons
discount coupons for cialis click prescription coupon card
coupon for prescription lilly cialis coupon free printable cialis coupons
gedeones odontologia geodon pfizer
tadalafil 20mg tablets tadalafil cialis tadalafil 20 mg
viagra kaufen viagra online kaufen viagra bei frauen
risperdal eureka open risperdal eureka
discount coupon for cialis coupons for cialis 2016 cialis coupon card
cialis 20mg bioselect-us.com cheap cialis
voltaren wirkstoff voltaren forte voltaren nebenwirkungen
lamisil spray lamisil lamisil spray
viagra recenze viagra recenze viagra
clomid cycle clomid tapasztalatok clomid testosterone
abortion price abortion pill cost abortion pill cost
cialis coupon 2015 prescription coupon card cialis online coupon
abortion pill debate pro abortion how to get an abortion pill
what is abortion pill akum.org about abortion pill
viagra viagra wiki viagra online
prescription drug cards cialis discount coupons online free prescription cards discount
naltrexone studies saveapanda.com low dose naltrexone contraindications
low dose naltrexone where to buy blog.griblivet.dk naloxone for alcoholism
naldrexone williamgonzalez.me who can prescribe naltrexone
naltrexone mechanism house.raupes.net ldn for ulcerative colitis


Home
Book Reviews
Features
Interviews
News
Columns
Authors
Competitions
Blog
Shop
About Us
Contact Us

Privacy Policy | Contact Shots Editor

THIS WEBSITE IS © SHOTS COLLECTIVE. NOT TO BE REPRODUCED ELECTRONICALLY EITHER WHOLLY OR IN PART WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION OF THE EDITOR.