Dead Man's Blues

4.14 based on 132 ratings & 35 reviews on Goodreads.com
Pan

Publication date: 04.05.2017
ISBN: 9781447258933
Number of pages: 496

Synopsis

Dead Man's Blues is the gripping historical crime novel from Ray Celestin, the author of The Axeman's Jazz, winner of the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger for Best First Novel 2014.

Chicago, 1928. In the stifling summer heat three investigations begin . . .

Pinkerton detectives Michael Talbot and Ida Davis are hired to locate a missing heiress. But it proves harder than expected to find a woman known across the city.

After being called to a gruesome murder in Chicago’s violent Black Belt, crime-scene photographer Jacob Russo can’t get the dead man’s image out of his head, and decides to track down the culprit himself.

And with a group of city leaders poisoned at the Ritz, Dante Sanfelippo – rum-runner and fixer – is called in by Al Capone to discover whether someone is trying to bring down his empire.

As the three parties edge closer to the truth, their paths will cross and their lives will be threatened. But will any of them find the answers they need in the city of blues, booze and brutality?

In the media

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
The 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