The first in a loosely planned trilogy in which Falco succumbs to pressure and tries to find a partner to work with: here, his best friend Petronius Longus. Petro’s life is in every kind of crisis, so perhaps the last thing he needs is to join Falco in a search for the serial killer who has been dumping dismembered bodies in the aqueducts. Lacking forensic tools, hampered by administrative indifference, and dogged by the tiresome Anacrites – now championed by Falco’s Ma, who thinks he’s wonderful – the new partners discover unexpected tensions that may destroy their relationship; that’s assuming Petro’s dangerous girlfriend gangster’s daughter Milvia doesn’t do for him first. Or her terrible mother. As the author faces up to the task of handling a gruesome story in a sensitive manner, convention decrees that the killer is bound to attack someone we know – but who?…
This is the one where Falco buys the site of Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli and says nobody with taste and money would live there.
Research Note: Thanks once again to Will Bowden, the author descended into the Cloaca Maxima (see photo in photo album), which is still used as a storm drain. This has now been declared too dangerous and is forbidden by the authorities. Eek!
One of the best of the current writers in this field – Sunday Times
As always Davis wears her research lightly, bringing Ancient Rome to life in a series of delicious vignettes – Val McDermid
Filled with scintillating suspense, laugh-out-loud humor, devilishly clever plotting, and a cast of wonderfully eccentric characters, no 10 is among the best.- Booklist (U.S.) [but, says Ginny, this is #9 of Falco!]
Filled with scintillating suspense, laugh-out-loud humor, devilishly clever plotting and a cast of wonderfully eccentric characters, number 10 is among the best – Mystery Showcase
‘Outside the nearby gate of the Circus a young girl was standing all by herself. She was dressed in white, with a glint of gold embroidery on the hem of her stole. Her skin was delicate, her hair neatly dressed. Jewelry that only an heiress could afford was innocently on display. She was gazing around as if she was part of an untouchable procession of Vestals in broad daylight. She had been brought up to believe she would always be treated with respect–yet some idiot had dumped her here.’
Chosen by readers, Rosina and George Harter