Beer but no oysters… It’s holiday time for Falco and Helena – until a character he had disposed of reappears, dead, and causes a diplomatic incident. Naturally Julius Frontinus and Flavius Hilaris are thrilled that they have Falco on hand to sort it for them.
Although Londinium is at the end of the world, it’s attracting all kinds of entrepreneurs: the best kind, the worst kind, and lawyers. Most of the streets are not even paved, yet they are as mean as in any city where the bad guys think they own the place. Bad women lie in wait as well, and some of them already know where hard man Falco has his soft spots. With an angry wife, a moody sister, Maia’s increasingly dubious suiters, and a fractious Petronius, Falco has enough to contend with. Then he gets lumbered with an outraged king, a traumatised orphan, corruption, inefficiency, and British fast food outlets.
Plus Chloris. He knows Chloris. He knows her all too well.
Personal tragedy and political crises vie for the attention of both Falco and Petro, the one with a job he doesn’t want, the other with a task he can’t admit, and both dogged by faces from their past…
This is the one where travelling to do the research was particularly costly, time-consuming and exotic!
By Jupiter, fabulous cover art in tones of imperial reddish purple and golds highlights a strong story, a darker drama… The Poisoned Pen Booknews
As ever Lindsey Davis combines an engrossing plot with pithy dialogue and a comic (though not cartoonish) depiction of the past in all its gory splendour. This is historical noir lite, with a healthy disregard for pomposity. – The Guardian
Falco fans will not be disappointed… this novel manages to weave together history and a good old detective story – Hello
“You read my thoughts, Helena. Better face it. We think the same way; we’re a pair.”
“Oh, I know that!” she roared. “Marcus–try deciding what you want in life, so we can all get on with it.”
Chosen by readers, Rosina and George Harter