Determined to write a Police Procedural, our author belatedly discovered that the vigiles were the Fire Brigade. So this is a groundbreaking Fire Brigade Procedural: still scope to dwell on the squaddies in the station house complaining about the poor pay, the dangerous work, the abuse from the public, the disinterest of their superiors. Falco joins his best mate Petro in a desperate attempt to stop gangsters taking over Rome, forcing the intrepid pair into brothels and horrible eating houses, as they encounter waterside fleecers, Forum degenerates, bad men who want to cut out their innards and women who want worse things than that. Helena is pregnant and Falco finds a baby for her to practice on. He adopts a dog (well, Nux adopts him). His family is in trouble of various kinds, and even Lenia at the laundry has terrible plans which will end in a hot wedding; the sacrificial sheep won’t be the only one who gets barbecued …
This is the one with the one-word chapter.
Non-stop action, excitements and astonishments – a real cracker – The Good Book Guide
Falco remains as delightfully irreverent and insightful as ever; and Davis, as usual, brings the time to life while handling the eternals – worry, danger, love and in-laws – just as deftly – Publishers Weekly
‘Always the same shock: you come face to face with a murderous master criminal, and he looks like a ribbon-seller.’
Chosen by readers, Rosina and George Harter