Read Nemesis by Lindsey Davis Online


In the high summer of 77AD, Roman informer Marcus Didius Falco is beset by personal problems. Newly bereaved and facing unexpected upheavals in his life, it is a relief for him to consider someone else's misfortunes. A middle-aged couple who supplied statues to his father, Geminus, have disappeared in mysterious circumstances. They had an old feud with a bunch of notoriousIn the high summer of 77AD, Roman informer Marcus Didius Falco is beset by personal problems. Newly bereaved and facing unexpected upheavals in his life, it is a relief for him to consider someone else's misfortunes. A middle-aged couple who supplied statues to his father, Geminus, have disappeared in mysterious circumstances. They had an old feud with a bunch of notorious freedmen, the Claudii, who live rough in the pestilential Pontine Marshes, terrorising the neighbourhood.When a mutilated corpse turns up near Rome, Falco and his vigiles friend Petronius investigate, even though it means travelling in the dread marshes. But just as they are making progress, the Chief Spy, Anacrites, snatches their case away from them. As his rivalry with Falco escalates, he makes false overtures of friendship, but fails to cover up the fact that the violent Claudii have acquired corrupt protection at the highest level. Making further enquiries after they have been warned off can only be dangerous - but when did that stop Falco and Petronius?Egged on by the slippery bureaucrats who hate Anacrites, the dogged friends dig deeper while a psychotic killer keeps taking more victims, and the shocking truth creeps closer and closer to home......

Title : Nemesis
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781846056123
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 286 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Nemesis Reviews

  • Julie Johnson
    2019-04-27 14:58

    You know a book is good when it finishes and you wish it wasn't done. When you feel sad that is over. When you need time when it done and can't read a new book right away because you are still too emotionally attached to it.I've read the Falco series since the beginning, so I've been with these characters through many, many books. I love how she develops both great mystery plots and great character plots. To see where the characters have come until now...there's a deep connection. I found this book very poignant that way, to see the turn some of the characters have taken. I got quite emotionally involved and didn't want it to end.Also, it is just so enjoyable. Falco's perspective on Roman life is witty and lively and it all is vivid, funny, sad--and also so close to home, in that it may be Ancient Rome, but, really, they are very much like us. I always love the connections she makes between 'then and now'. The characters are fantastic! Very real people. The mysteries are also excellent...clever, engaging. Brilliant!This is one of the best historical, comedic mystery series EVER. A pure pleasure and I highly recommend any Lindsey Davis book. 5 stars each, the lot of them.

  • Dee
    2019-04-30 16:47

    I like the Falco books. I like his anti-noir and his realistic grit. I like the pithy style and the sense of humour. I like Helena, and all the ways in which Marcus is extremely human. I like the darkness that comes along with the seedy underside and being this close to it. In all of this I am well-served once again by this book, the twentieth (and last?) in the series.I have a problem, though, and that's that I have never quite bought into Anacrites as the villain of the piece. I don't like it as a narrative choice (too easy when Marcus could have had to just plain be wrong about disliking him) and I don't like it given that he is a servant of the Emperor (which Marcus dislikes) and a freedman (which Marcus has attitude about) and thus he is delivered as constantly slightly off, when Marcus has been displayed as a slanted and occasionally unreliable narrator. I resisted believing it was true (that Anacrites was off) for all those reasons for a very long time, and for longer still because it just became habit. So I was never going to be satisfied with the way things end up in this book.Further adventures about Albia would be awesome, though. It would be awesome to get a different viewpoint - a woman's, and a foreigner's - on Rome.

  • Anne
    2019-05-05 10:47

    One of the better installments of the Falco series, to my mind (and they're all good.) I found the portrayals of Falco's and Helena's grief over their baby's loss resonant and true. I'm not surprised that this was written while the author was grieving, but I'm amazed how much of that particular to losing a CHILD was so masterfully portrayed by someone who hasn't done it. The plot was one of the darker ones she's written, and brought out a side of Falco and Petro that we don't see as much of in the later books (though it's hinted darkly at more in the earlier books, and to some extent while Petro was off self-destructing after his mob-moll affair.) Overall, a fitting addition to the series and another demonstration of Davis' mastery of writing human characters as well as good mystery plots.

  • Assaph Mehr
    2019-05-11 14:33

    The grand finale to the series, tying up loose endsExpect a darker than usual Falco novel, as he deals with ancient Rome's version of rednecks and his constant arch-nemesis. This is the last Falco mystery, and Davis was aiming to bring a closure to the series. While most things have been dealt with in a way that can bring satisfaction to the reader, the ending can be a tad frustrating.Be aware that while it's not necessary to read the books in order, it certainly helps; Falco's family life has evolved throughout the series, and play a big part in describing daily lives and plot points.--Assaph Mehr, author of [[ASIN:B015TXPPG6 Murder In Absentia: Togas, Daggers, and Magic]] - for lovers of Ancient Rome, Murder Mysteries, and Urban Fantasy.

  • Alison
    2019-05-08 11:42

    This is one of Davis' darkest books, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The strong investment Davis convinces us to place in her characters - in particular the marriage of Helena Justina and Falco - comes in part because they don't have fantasy or fairytale lives. The tragedies that mix in with their triumphs are part of the reason we root for them, and makes their attempts to build a loving, ethical family core more valuable. The ethics as well as the love at that core are sorely tested in this book, and Davis avoids giving her protagonists easy 21st Century morals as a way to resolve it.There is a lot of Anacrites in this book, that unusual thing of a character Davis never made work properly. She almost succeeds here - turning the characters inconsistent to silly behaviour into a plot point - but still falls down on making him come to life. The gravitas of the rest, however, makes this less irritating than in other books.

  • George
    2019-05-17 09:51

    A Marcus Didius Falco historical mystery novel set in first century AD Rome. It opens in AD 77 Rome with Falco dealing with he and his wife Helena dealing with the deaths of their new born son and Falco's father. He has to deal with both while assuming control of his father's business and various homes, etc. which significantly increases his financial status. As an informer, Roman private investigator, he becomes involved in a series of deaths seemingly connected to a family known for violence living in the marsh area south of Rome. The family has a high up Roman protector. As usual, Falco has difficulties with the emperor's chief spy who doesn't like him. As usual for this series, the story moves along on several levels all working together to produce a good story and a good mystery with humor.

  • Stan Morris
    2019-05-20 12:43

    This is one of the better books in this series. Marcus Didius Falco is an informer (detective) in Rome of 77AD. These Lindsey Davis books are meticulously researched and her tone is so readable that it is dangerous to pick one up late at night if you need to get up early the next day. I would not say that it is easy to begin this series in the middle. I would recommend reading "Silver Pigs" first, and there are many others before this book. The series begins in 69AD just after Vespasian has become Emperor after the year of the four emperors (Vespasian is the fourth). Marcus Didius Falco's social status is very low on the totem pole, but that is about to change.Here is her website; site is rather slow due to the Java.

  • Rachel
    2019-05-14 16:36

    Well this was it - the last book in the Falco series. A series that I read and loved, not so much for the mysteries, but for the characters, I'm going to miss Falco, Helena and their family and friends. Yes, I know I could read the Flavia Albia books but it's just not the same.

  • Barb in Maryland
    2019-05-17 10:54

    Oh wow and how! Davis really packs it into this book. The teaser blurbs make the book seem more depressing that it really is. Not quite a spoiler--but for those who were worried, as I was--Helena is okay. Nope-Davis does not kill off Helena. But several other people bite the dust during this one and that doesn't include the numerous crime victims.This book actually reads like the end of the series. A goodly number of long-running story arcs are wrapped up. If it all ends with this one, I will be satisfied.On the other hand--with the boards cleared, Davis is free to send Falco and Co off on other adventures. She has another couple of historical years to play with. (When Vespasian's second son, Domitian, becomes Emperor in 81 AD, he decides to wipe out the informers-fatally!in the arena! Not the fate we want for Falco!!) Anyway you look at it, this is one of the stronger entries in this long-running series. And the ending is a real corker!

  • Kasia James
    2019-05-19 09:36

    This is the twentieth novel of this series, and somehow Lindsey Davis manages to keep producing engrossing books! The Roman world is brought to life so vibrantly, and yet with a light hand, so the reader doesn't feel like they are being lectured. The plot is complex, and the characters,as ever, are eminently beleivable.There are some quite dark part of this book, which gives a new slant on the lead character, Falco. My only real criticism is that the death of his son, which starts off the story, is not really discussed, nor its effect on Helena, his wife, other than to say she was a it low. Perhaps this is how things were in a highly patriarchal society with a high infant mortaility rate, but found the description in one of the earlier books, of the effects of a miscarriage, much more beleivable. Maybe Marcus Didius Falco is just getting harder in his middle years...

  • Dorothy
    2019-05-07 13:33

    I love fiction set in ancient Rome and when it is a mystery, my favorite genre, so much the better. The Marcus Didius Falco series by Lindsey Davis is one of my favorites of the type. I've read them all and now I've read this latest one.I have to say it was not my favorite of the lot, but it was very good, very entertaining and kept me guessing, although I did have a glimmer of the solution about two-thirds of the way through.The book starts with a double tragedy. Falco loses two family members in one day and the losses change his life forever. While he is working through his bereavement, he is presented with the mystery of the disappearance of a couple who had been supplying his antique dealer and auctioneer father with statuary. A shipment was delivered but when payment was attempted the suppliers could not be found. Soon Falco is on the trail of the disappeared pair and that leads him into confrontation with a notorious and violent family. A family which may very well be involved in mass murder.Falco's vigiles friend, Petronius, becomes involved when a murdered and desecrated body is found. The body turns out to be the man who was supplying the statuary, but as Petronius and Falco investigate this turn of events, the case is abruptly stolen from their juridiction by their old nemesis Anacrites. Of course, when did that ever stop this doughty and stubborn pair?The case gets curiouser and curiouser and Falco's extended family becomes involved in its pursuit. But the faithful Lindsey Davis reader can be assured that all will come right for our heroes in the end.Davis really has the knack of putting her readers right in the middle of ancient Rome. One can almost smell the streets as one strolls through one of her stories. I like the historical detail and the way that she has of showing that the ancient Romans were really no different from us. Some have complained that she sometimes puts modern terms in the mouths of her characters (e.g., "Have they lawyered up?") but that doesn't bother me. I just assume that this is a modern translation of Falco's memoirs.

  • Monica
    2019-05-01 15:51

    Although I'm generally restricted to audiobooks and readalouds for Dad these days because of my commitment to Kirkus, I managed to get a whole month ahead on my Kirkus books, so I carved out some time to read one of my books. It has been more than a year and a half since my last foray into ancient Rome with Marcus Didius Falco, so naturally, this was the first on my list.This is certainly the darkest Falco book since Two for the Lions, in fact, the darkest in the series. It begins with a double tragedy for the Falco family, then the pursuit of a serial killer and renewed danger from the slimy, jealous, smart and dangerous Imperial Chief Spy, Anacrites. Falco and Petro do some seriously dirty deeds as the book progresses, far beyond their usual rough, tough game.Yes, there's still the wisecracking cynicism that we all know and love from Falco, but it doesn't gloss over the dark dealings in this book. This series normally is a good balance between comedy, history and detective mystery, but this time it's far more drama than anything else. Charts new territory for Falco. I have to say that because of the different balance in the book I didn't enjoy this one as much because it's so much less lighthearted than the usual Falco read, but it was just as unputdownable.One wonders where Davis is heading.

  • Emmanuel Gustin
    2019-05-17 16:33

    In recent years it felt as if this entertaining series of historical detectives was tapering off slowly, as Falco's travels to various historical spots in the Empire were insufficient compensation for plot patterns that became a bit stale. Happily, Nemesis breaks that trend. Again set in Rome, this regains the gripping quality of earlier works. It is also one of the darkest books in the series, as Davis engages Falco in activities that might cost him the sympathy and understanding of the reader, as well as his wife.

  • Prima Seadiva
    2019-05-12 16:01

    I have read two other of this series quite some time ago. They were okay enough to make me try this. I listened to it as an audiobook. It was still so directionless and boring by midway that I gave it up. Listening before bed, sometimes you do have to say "where did I fall asleep?" and pick up from there. This was so dull I could never remember at what point I fell into the arms of Morpheus which is perhaps better than Nemesis anyway.

  • Carey Combe
    2019-04-21 12:40

    Would have been a two as I reckon she is running out of decent story lines, but they are such fun books with well-loved characters who I have got to know so well and the writing isn't bad I moved it up. But I wish she would stop saying things along the lines of " if we had known what we were getting into ...." all the time to try and build suspense, lazy and formulaic.

  • Laura Spira
    2019-04-26 10:55

    The final Falco! His adventures have been my comfort reading on my Kindle when I wake in the night and I shall miss him very much. I'm now starting the Flavia Alba series, I hope she lives up to her adopted father...

  • Melissa
    2019-05-01 16:48

    The anachronisms bothered me- like saying that the insects carried diseases. They didn't know that in Roman times. Made me wonder what else is historically inaccurate. Otherwise good book.

  • Sally
    2019-05-22 08:54

    wtf was that ending

  • Elizabeth
    2019-04-24 16:52

    I listened to this book on CD. I enjoy learning more about ancient Rome, and the Falco novels are a good way to do this. I enjoy Falco's humor. This novel was carefully plotted and left me guessing until the very end.

  • Michael Heath-Caldwell
    2019-05-03 12:51

    Entertaining book looking at old Roman times through the eyes of a person fortunate enough to be wealthy enough to make the best of it.

  • David
    2019-05-19 08:37

    One of the best and apparently the last of the series.

  • Sherelyn Ernst
    2019-05-18 14:33

    Lindsey Davis never disappoints.

  • Sara
    2019-05-09 11:41

    I enjoy the Falco books and this was very readable.

  • Simon Mcleish
    2019-05-17 13:39

    Originally published on my blog here in July 2010.After the (to me) unreadable Rebels and Traitors, Davis returns to the Roman crime series which made her name, with the nineteenth Falco novel, Nemesis. But this addition to the series is much darker than most of them: this is not quite the wise-cracking Falco of old.The darkness starts right at the beginning of the novel, which opens with the deaths of Falco's infant son and his father. The death of new born children has been a part of life throughout history. Take for example Queen Anne, who had the benefit of better medicine and all the care a British Queen could command at the turn of the eighteenth century, but none of whose fifteen children survived to adulthood. And the death of children plays an important part in novels by writers such as Charles Dickens. Yet it is something which is generally skipped over in modern historical fiction. With larger families and more infant mortality, death was a part of life in a way which, at least in the Western world, it is not today. That of course does not mean that parents then did not mourn the death of their children as much as parents today do.So Nemesis is really about Falco's mourning for both his son and his father, even if in the latter case he doesn't want to show that he is strongly affected. The plot of the story concerns an investigation begun by Falco when he is looking into an unfinished business transaction of his father's. This spirals into a hunt for a family of serial killers, who seem to be protected by someone highly placed in the Roman government, and it becomes a case which pushes Falco onto a morally darker path than he has yet travelled - presumably because of the effects of his bereavement on his emotional state. He becomes a much more ambiguous hero than usual in this series; no matter how bad his life became (the episode in which he went undercover as a slave in a mine is a prime example), he always previously seemed to be a basically good person. In hard boiled detective terms, the Falco of Nemesis is more Dashiell Hammett's tainted Continental Op than a wisecracking Philip Marlowe.Pushing a character to do nasty things because of his own emotional pain is all very well, but after eighteen more or less humorous novels in a series it comes as something of a shock to readers. More points for literary quality, then, but fewer for enjoyment of the story. Angst is not why I read Falco novels.

  • Marfita
    2019-05-07 08:48

    I have fallen behind on my Falco. This may be the end of his series and I will have to move on to Albia.Somewhere out in the wilds of Latium a clan of former slaves of the Emperor (some Emperor, any Emperor) is waylaying, robbing, and murdering travelers. Well, that's to be expected. You stray from Rome and you expect lawlessness. Or at least more lawlessness than inside the city. But then a ritually murdered body is found closer to home, its hands cut off and eviscerated. Petro and Falco begin an investigation, only to have it snatched from them by their old chum, Anacrites. Falco's home life is in turmoil. Helena Justina's newborn child did not survive and when Falco goes to his father's house with the bundle he finds his incorrigible progenitor dead as well. To his surprise he stands to inherit the whole estate, once he has finished as executor. Then a new wrinkle pops up in the shape of the snake-dancing Thalia, who had a fling with Geminus before he died and is now pregnant. A codicil to the will acknowledges the child as another son (causing Falco to have to split the estate with him) or daughter (pah - they just get a pittance). Young Albia's hopes for a relationship with Helena's brother Aulus are dashed when he returns from his law studies with his wine-guzzling law tutor ... married to his tutor's supercilious daughter. Being a teen, this makes Albia an even greater pain in the backside.The mystery involves much to-ing and fro-ing in Latium, getting nowhere. The freedmen/highwaymen seem to be under some spectacular protection from someone higher up, aside from being so infamous among their neighbors that no one dare snitch on them. Continuing to try to solve the mystery would bring the Praetorian Guard down on their necks, so of course Petro and Falco continue, but more carefully.Thalia comes bursting in again at the end with more demands, and that seemed a bit clumsy, but all in all it was satisfying. And Falco solves a long-standing problem the easy way. Still, it looks like Falco is set to retire, now that there is a fortune at his fingertips. And Albia will continue as freelance informer to get over her disappointment in love. I've already started on one of her books.Other than writing a good mystery, Davis excels in providing historical detail making the whole process of reading this brain candy seem edifying. Her dots of humor (note to scribe - heh!) have a deft touch. Falco's side-of-the-mouth, wry commentary keeps the narrative from going too noir on the reader. Falco is more shirred than hard-boiled, which is much to my taste.

  • sabisteb
    2019-05-18 15:48

    Marcus Didius Falco und Helena sind zurück aus Alexandria. Ihr drittes Kind, ein Sohn, wird geboren und stirbt noch am gleichen Tag, genau wie Marcus Vater Geminus. Enkel und Großvater werden gemeinsam eingeäschert. Marcus ist plötzlich und unerwartet der pater familias und reich, vorausgesetzt Thalias ungeborenes Kind, Marcus neuestes Halbgeschwister wird ein Mädchen, sonst muss er die Hälfte seines neuen Vermögens mit seinem Halbbruder teilen.Dies alles ist Marcus jedoch vorerst egal, gebeugt von Trauer um seinen verstorbenen Sohn muss er sich dem Liebeskummer seiner Adoptivtochter Albia stellen, denn Aelianus, Helenas jüngerer Bruder, hat sich in Athen vermählt und da wäre auch noch die chaotische Buchhaltung von Marcus verstorbenem Vater Geminus. 110 Statuen für das Flavische Theater sind noch nicht bezahlt und der Verkäufer Modestus und seine Frau sind verschollen. Allgemein wird vermutet, dass die Claudii, die im Sumpfgebiet leben, mit deren Verschwinden zu tun haben und dass es nicht die ersten Vermissten sind, sondern dass ein oder mehrere Massen- oder Ritualmörder ihr Unwesen treiben.War der Vorgängerband Alexandria unterhaltsam, lustig und sorglos so ist Nemesis, wie der Titel bereits andeutet (Nemesis ist die Rachegöttin) deutlich düsterer. Falco ist nun 36, er ist pater familias, verliert Vater und Sohn, trauert und muss Dinge tun, die Helena dazu bewegen vorerst einmal auszuziehen, weil sie ihn nicht wiedererkennt und nicht weiß, ob er noch der Mann ist, den sie kannte und liebt. Marcus wurde vom gutaussehenden, sorglosen Schuft zum respektierten Mitglied der Gesellschaft, mit vielen Sklaven, mehreren Villen, einem Auktionshaus, einer Familie und vielen Pflichten. Die Situation mit Anacrites, dem Chefspion, spitzt sich drastisch zu. Nachdem er bereits Marcus Schwester Maia, die nun mit Petronius zusammenlebt bedrohte, nimmt er sich nun Falcos Familie vor. Falco muss eine Entscheidung treffen wie er seine Familie schützen will ohne dabei bei der kaiserlichen Familie Aufsehen zu erregenEin vielschichtiger, verschachtelter Krimi aus dem alten Rom, der sehr viele Bezüge zu vorhergehenden Bänden hat. Zwar ist der Fall an sich in sich abgeschlossen und die Bezüge auf ältere Bände werden erklärt, man verpasst jedoch vieles, wenn man hier einen Querseinstieg in die Serie macht.Falco at his best!

  • Andy
    2019-05-20 12:37

    I was introduced to the Marcus Didius Falco series by my great-uncle who praised it like the second coming, and after reading "Nemesis" I have to agree: It is set in ancient Rome, but it isn't a history lesson; there are references to the buildings we know nowadays as ruins (e.g. Falco's father is mentioned as having sold hundreds of statues to the builders of the Colosseum) and to the social circumstances, so really start to feel at home in this old times. Especially with regard to the descriptions of society and the social order, the book was really well written: Slavery and the lack of law and order as we know it today is referred to by-the-by without making a history lesson out of it and without making the main characters appear as social reformers; they are just part of the system and part ancient Rome as they know it, sometimes appalling treatment of slaves and freedmen included. Again, "Nemesis" isn't a history lesson and I haven't checked if all the facts are correct, but this isn't what the book is about. It's really a crime novel in an extraordinary setting that the reader gets to know through the behavior and experiences of the characters.The plot was well thought through with all the different plot lines slowly leading up to the ending. Sometimes the jumping from one track to another seemed a little sudden to me, but everything turned out to be connected in some way. The characters are well developed; although there are references to their histories that were presumably part of the other books of the series, I was able to follow the plot without difficulties. I loved Falco's sarcastic way of thinking about the policemen of the time, but also about the politicians which was really entertaining; I laughed out loud a couple of times. He is thereby represented in a realistic way, a man of his time, wanting to keep his family safe; he's definitely not presented as a hero, but as a man concerned with making things 'right', especially with regard to his family and friends. The way his family, especially his wife, is presented, I'll absolutely want to find out more about their courtship and their history together, including Falco's rough life when he was younger.Overall, "Nemesis" was the first book I read of the Falco series, but it will certainly not be my last. Highly recommended!

  • Roger
    2019-05-03 13:53

    There are about 20 books in this series now and they are all good. This is just the latest. Marcus Didius Falco is an 'informer' living in ancient Rome. That pretty much means he's a detective, but sometimes it means he gets to work for the Emperor (Vespasian) and then he's something more like a secret agent. Most of the time he is trying to solve a murder or two, or more, which is the case in this book.In the early books Falco is pretty low life, struggling to make ends meet. But by the time this book begins he's managed to raise himself up a class. He's comfortable, which moves the stories out of the 'struggling detective' genre into the 'cosy detective' genre. But he struggles with family issues such as the romantic misunderstanding between his brother in law and his teenage adopted daughter. He has a lot of sisters who he claims are married to wastrels or (worse) bores, but he's not quite reliable there I think. It is subtle but the brothers-in-law seem to be somewhat more helpful than Falco tells us.The characters are well drawn and we see everything through Falco's point of view because it is told in the first person.Roman politics is always on the periphery. Falco knows important people, although he is not important himself. The books feel well researched and it seems like I'm learning a lot about daily life in ancient Rome without it ever being heavy handed (actually it was just a little in the previous book to this one).This book is about people disappearing in the marshes south of Rome, except that they aren't just getting lost there, someone is murdering them. Just as Falco is starting to figure out what is happening the case is passed to someone else and he is told to leave it alone. Someone is protecting the murderer, and Falco ignores orders and continues to investigate.

  • Pauline Montagna
    2019-04-27 10:59

    The historical mystery has become a very popular sub-genre over the last few years, and no one does it better than Lindsey Davis with her Falco series. But as the title implies, this may very well be Falco's last case. Only half domesticated by his beloved patrician wife Helena, Falco inherits a fortune and all the responsibilities that go with it when his father dies. But he is resistant to settling down and takes on a new case when he cannot find a couple to whom his father owed money. Apparently they disappeared after an altercation with a local violent and unruly family of freedmen, the Claudii. While it's obvious the Claudii are the culprits, it seems they have a protector in the imperial palace itself. Just as Falco and his friend Petronius are getting their teeth into the case, Falco’s arch rival, the chief Imperial spy Anacrites, comes home from a trip abroad and takes over the case.Who are the Claudii? Who’s protecting them? And why is Anacrites so determined to wrest the case out of Falco’s hands? I love Davis’ Falco series. I love the way she uses modern English to depict Rome as a living city, as lively and relevant as London or New York. I love how she integrates her research into the story, entertaining us while teaching us something new about Imperial Roman society. However, I’ve felt that she might have been struggling with the last few books, stretching her research as far as it could go with longueurs and padding. I note that her next book is set in the English civil war. Perhaps after twenty odd books Falco is finally going into a well-earned retirement. However, this may not be the last we see of Rome’s underbelly, as Davis has cleverly left an opening for a new series.

  • Loralee
    2019-04-30 10:41

    I've loved these books for a long time, and have often forgiven the lack of a cohesive plot. But it really bothered me in this book. Why are all these Romans so all-fired-up to pin a set of murders on a certain family who doesn't live in Rome? Why do the main characters associate with Anacrites, who in various books has been a cruel boss, a conspiring opponent, a work associate, a travel companion, a patient to be nursed back to health, a stalker, and now a wanna-be-friend? Luckily for the characters, most of their moves end up pointing them in the right direction, but why'd they do it in the first place? I do like the way Davis writes about Rome and her Roman detective. His relationship with his wife Helena is well-rendered, and I enjoy reading about it. In fact, I thought the very best part of the book was in the first chapter, in which they lose their new-born son, and then Marco's father, in one cruel blow. I hoped to see more of how this tragedy would affect them and their marriage, but it got pushed to the background.I wouldn't bother with this book. I really liked the first ones, especially the big dinner in book 3 when they have to cook an imperially awarded fish on a soldier's shield because nobody has a big enough pan, and I liked the book with the missing child. Her later books have disappointed me, I'm not sure if I'll try any more.