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A Vengeful Longing (Porfiry Petrovich, #2)
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A Vengeful Longing (Porfiry Petrovich #2)

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  177 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
A Vengeful Longing confirms what RN Morris' previous novel, A Gentle Axe, suggested - that here is major talent in the increasingly overcrowded historical crime field. On the evidence here, Morris is writing novels that rival the very best in the genre in terms of atmosphere, plausible historical detail and exemplary plotting. Two people - a mother and son -- are murdered; ...more
Paperback, 317 pages
Published February 7th 2008 by Faber & Faber (first published 2008)
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Aug 03, 2008 Bonnie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Mystery lovers
I learned that Roger Morris is a master storyteller and that I have to take the time to write a full blown review for this. So, look for it on BonnieGlover. com in a few days. I'm still blown away by the ending. Never saw it coming.
Mar 03, 2009 Stuart rated it liked it
Using Dostoevsky's hero, Porfiry Petrovich, from "Crime and Punishment," R.N. Morris gives the detective the task of solving a string of murders in 1868 St. Petersburg. The gritty, summer-hot streets of the city, the ever-present flies, and the feces-filled canals are all too real — almost uncomfortably so at times. Porfiry uses intellect and reasoning in this wily who-done-it.

My problem — and it is MY problem — is that, because of my schedule, I was only able to read this book in many short ins
Kari Coleman
Nov 25, 2008 Kari Coleman rated it it was ok
I really thought this book would be more interesting than it was. I was completely drawn in by the synopsis on the front cover, but there was just something missing for me. I loved the suspense and trying to figure out how the murders were connected, but I got a little bogged down with the names, since I am definitely not from St. Petersburg.

Below is the short blog I wrote for this book:

I found this new author in my typical way of roaming through the library and seeing what titles caught my att
Aug 11, 2016 Bonnie rated it it was amazing
Following in the footsteps of acclaimed novel The Gentle Axe, A Vengeful Longing solidifies the reputation of R. E. Norris. His detective is Porify Petrovich who solves crime in 18960s nineteenth-century Russia. In the middle of a hot, sultry day, the father, a doctor, brings home a box of chocolates and admonishes his wife and son to eat them quickly before they melt. Raisia has gained weight lately and does not want to add more bulk. But, mother and son begin to eat the melting chocolates. ...more
Paul Pessolano
Jan 31, 2011 Paul Pessolano rated it liked it
This is mystery that takes place in St. Petersburg, Russia in the late 1860's. Detective Porfiryh Petrovfich is put in charge of investigating what appears to be the murder of a Doctor's wife and child. It seems a clear cut case but Porfiey and his new assistant, Pavel Virginsky, start looking into less obvious solutions. In their investigations the suspects and murders start to pile up.

Porfiry's superiors are looking for the fast, easy, and obvious solution to clear the murders, but Porfiry kee
Sheilagh Lee
Mar 12, 2011 Sheilagh Lee rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
A Vengeful Longing
By R.N. Morris

Category Mystery,Suspence

This is the second in the series however I have not read the first A Gentle Axe after reading this book however I’ll have to find that book and read it. . A doctor brings home a fancy box of chocolates for his wife and son an unusual gift on such a hot afternoon. Within an hour, both mother and child die a poisoning death, and the doctor is immediately arrested, suspected of poisoning. Detective Porfiry Petrovich a character from Dostoevsk
Anne Hawn Smith
Nov 21, 2009 Anne Hawn Smith rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mystery fans, Russia fans
This is the second book I have read by this author and I had the same mixed feelings about the books. They mystery is great and the Magistrate Proferri is wonderful. He is something of a Colombo character and I really like him. The problem with the books is not really the fault of the author. It is the naming system the Russians use. Each character is called by about three different names and it is very confusing. This is especially so when you are using an audiobook, which I was. With a book, ...more
Apr 02, 2012 Simon rated it really liked it
A Vengeful Longing by RN Morris

This is the second in Rogers excellent series of
novels recreating Dostoeyevskies character
Porfory Petrovich who was the investigating
magistrate in Crime and Punishment.
The book opens with what looks like a straight
ahead poisoning using chocolates but soon
escalates into mulitple murders and intrigues
and takes a good look at the seemy underside of
late 19th St Petersburg with the prostitution
and thinly veiled child prostitiution as well as
all sorts of other
A Vengeful Longing is the second of R. N. Morris’s mystery series starring Porfiry Petrovich, the man who brought Raskolnikov to justice in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. In this outing, a series of seemingly random murders stretch Porfiry’s skills to their utmost and provide his new assistant with a horrifying introduction to the world of an investigating magistrate in 19th century St. Petersburg. Yet again, Morris creates a powerful and imaginatively rendered atmosphere, this time r ...more
Jul 12, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
A great follow-up to "The Gentle Axe," this novel finds Porfiry Petrovich and his assistant Virginsky -- the starving student from the previous book -- juggling three seemingly unrelated murder cases. We know better, and Porfiry ultimately unearths the connection among them all. St. Petersburg again springs to life, this time in the stagnant, sweltering summer, when the fetid canals make the weather even more unbearable. The story is richly detailed and well plotted, though the ending comes ...more
Jun 21, 2009 PDXReader rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mystery fans, historical fiction fans
Recommended to PDXReader by:
A Vengeful Longing was a fine, intricate mystery, and overall I thought it was worth my time. I love the protagnist, Porfiry Petrovich. There was something about him that reminded me of "Colombo" -- perhaps his slightly rumpled appearance, or his ability to remain under the radar so that others underestimate his superb deductive capabilites. The author does an excellent job of creating a sense of time and place, particularly in the second half of the novel, as he takes his readers to mental ...more
Nov 03, 2014 Lizixer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A rainy Sunday, a need to shake off a cold by snuggling under the blanket and a perfect read for just such a set of circumstances.

Great storytelling and evocation of pre-revolutionary St Petersburg with the ever present stink of the Ditch in summer; the corrupt and hypocritical upper classes, the abject poverty of the peasant and the factory dweller and the earnest young men burning for social justice and ripe for revolution...and the odd psychopath charting their way through the rigid class sy
Natasha Tasrib
Jun 24, 2015 Natasha Tasrib rated it really liked it
I wonder why did I never heard of this author before. His writing is not any less good compared to famous crime authors. being a fan of Harlan Coben myself, I find this book to be just as hooking. Could hardly put it down once I'd started. What's different about this book is the setting of place and time. Set in Russia during the Tsar era, makes it even more interesting. Eventhough the stories are actually jumping from one to another, the author managed to make his ideas and storytelling seems ...more
Jun 22, 2013 Vilo rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
A mystery set in St. Petersburg, Russia, during the time of Czar Nicholas. Varying political ideas and social conditions are explored as the detectives try to solve the poisoning of a woman and her handicapped son. Interesting also in the descriptions of the smells and filth of the rivers laden with sewage and the risks of cholera, which I recently read about in The Ghost Map (about John Snow's meticulous proof that contaminated water caused cholera deaths in London). A couple scenes were more ...more
Oct 03, 2008 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a historical crime novel to be savored slowly. I enjoyed the lush descriptions, the leisurely character development, and the strong sense of both place and time throughout the book.

It was also fascinating to watch the "magistrate" (detective, in our time) work with the primitive investigative tools of the time. No special effects-laden, CSI-take-off here; just good hard police work and a great deal of reason, logic, and observation.
Simon_Cleveland_Ph.D. Simon_Cleveland_Ph.D.
Morris' representation of Russian 19th century character is engaging. Good focus on the rising independent thinking among the youth, the growing desire for rebellion, the idea that crime nests within the society and how this train of thought would become the root of communism. However, the mystery unravels slowly and seems predictable.
For a great 19th century murder, thriller, mystery, try Caleb Carr's The Alienist.
Mar 15, 2010 Carol rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Mystery set in mid-19th century St Petersburg. Atmospheric, good twisty plot, interesting characters. Author is very knowledgeable about tsarist Russia, but I would have appreciated a brief glossary of Russian language words in the back as they were sprinkled throughout. Lead investigator is Porfiry Petrovich, a character lifted from Crime and Punishment.
David Bisset
Jun 10, 2016 David Bisset rated it really liked it
One can literally breath the air of nineteenth century St Petersburg. The plot is complex and the characterizations are skilfully depicted. This is a historical novel with its focus on the dark side of the beautiful city. Porfry comes from Crime and Punishment; the style of writing evokes the master himself!
Jul 03, 2009 Meghan rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed the investigator in this 19th century murder mystery set in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was one of those extra clever detectives who reads people and cases always successfully. But, I thought the book missed its mark a bit. It seemed like it was aiming to do something with the cholera epidemics, but ended up being just a simple mystery about a wronged man.
Helen Azar
Dec 20, 2010 Helen Azar rated it really liked it
Not the first of the detective series, but my first introduction to it. The protagonist was originally created by Dostoyevsky, and Morris expands on him in this series. A pretty good mystery taking place during the second half of the 19th century in St Petersburg, Russia. At one point I thought I was able to predict the ending, but turned out to be wrong, which makes this the plot unpredictable!
Oct 12, 2009 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a Russian novel set in the Summer of 1868. I don't know how it got to my house. But it was there so it had to be listened to. It was kinda good if only I could have remembered the names. The story was interesting and I had to listen to the end just to see "who done it!" It was quite yucky because this was still the time of raw sewage in open ditches causing disease!!
Mar 28, 2009 Diane rated it really liked it
This mystery novel feature the police detective from "Crime and Punishment" trying to solve a series of murdes in 1860s Saint Petersburg. He has a young man with radical beliefs as his assistant. The author does a good job of producing dialogue between the two that is reminiscent of "Crime and Punishment."
Aug 26, 2009 Marta rated it liked it
Read it just before traveling to St Petersburg, Russia, which is the setting for this book. Okay as far as mysteries go, but not especially informative for someone traveling in present-day Russia since it is set in the 19th century.
Martha Johnson
Mar 06, 2013 Martha Johnson rated it really liked it
It is quite a feat to put a mystery into a historical context and have it work. I read these things because I love costume dramas and this has the best of them -- and then has a plot as well that isn't just about romance, for heaven's sake.
Jul 15, 2009 Gina rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
A murder mystery of increasing complexity that is awesome in the setup but suffers from the same problem I've found with other Russian-set mysteries: The magistrate thinks up the solution, then it's just there -- readers don't get to share in the imagining of it.
Nov 21, 2008 Jessica rated it liked it
This author is a master of suspense!! I love the way he sums everything up at the end...puts the pieces together.
The only negative are the character names! they are so similar to one another and hard to pronounce
Ann Tonks
One felt slightly off balance given references to a previous book in the series, but that aside, the writer paints a great picture of a dank and dirty urban world as well as well as fascinating portraits of a range of St Petersburg characters. Overall, an absorbing mystery.
Bryan Allison
Aug 05, 2009 Bryan Allison rated it liked it
A good mystery, but somewhat overwritten. Still, Morris does an outstanding job setting the mood of life in 1800s St. Petersburg.
Dawn Davies
Oct 05, 2011 Dawn Davies rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did not get on with this book, it was very long winded and slow moving, i did not relate to the characters, in the end i felt it was not improving and gave up on it.
Aug 05, 2010 Eleni rated it liked it
makes me wish I had already read Crime and Punishment as this seems to be a spin off..... interesting story set in Russia in the 19th century when detective methods were emerging....
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Roger N Morris (born 1960 in Manchester) is an English writer and advertising copywriter. His short fiction has been published in a number of mainstream, genre, and literary publications. One of his short stories, "The Devil's Drum", appeared in the horror anthology Darkne
More about R.N. Morris...

Other Books in the Series

Porfiry Petrovich (4 books)
  • The Gentle Axe (Porfiry Petrovich, #1)
  • A Razor Wrapped in Silk (Porfiry Petrovich , #3)
  • The Cleansing Flames (Porfiry Petrovich, #4)

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