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It's Easter, 1872. Fires burn in St Petersburg, a prelude to the revolutionary turmoil that will shake Russia a generation later. As the springtime thaw begins, a body rises to the surface of the Winter Canal. Following an anymous tip-off, magistrate Porfiry Petrovich is drawn into an investigation of the radical intellectuals who seek to fan the flames of revolution. In the meantime, junior magistrate Pavel Pavlovich Virginsky plays a dangerous game of his own. Following a chance meeting with a man he suspects of being an arsonist, he volunteers to infiltrate a terrorist cell. But the young man's loyalties appear divided, his motives conflicted. Will he track down the killers, or to use his position as a magistrate to further a cause with which he sympathises? The issue comes to a head in a shocking and violent confrontation between two generations. The Cleansing Flames is the fourth book in R.N. Morris' acclaimed series featuring the investigator from Crime and Punishment .
Born in Manchester in 1960, R. N. Morris now lives in North London with his wife and two young children. The Cleansing Flames is the latest in a series of St Petersburg novels revolving around the character of Porfiry Petrovich. Previous books in the series are A Gentle Axe, A Vengeful Longing which was shortlisted for the 2008 CWA Duncan Lawrie Prize for best Crime Novel and highly commended in the CWA Ellis Peters Award for Best Historical Crime Novel 2008. the third book A Razor Wrapped in Silk was published in 2010. Taking Comfort was published by Macmillan under the name Roger Morris in 2006.
Shortlisted for CWA Ellis Peters Historical Award 2011.