With Titus Caesar in pursuit of Falco's patrician girlfriend, Falco is dispatched by Vespasian on an undercover mission to Roman Gaul, where there has been trouble with the natives. He must exercise his diplomatic skills on the uncivil Civilis. He must also persuade a mysterious prophetess.
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This, the fourth of Davis's thrillers about Falco, a private enquiry agent and informer in the Rome of Vespasian, takes him off to the wilds of Germany. Though most of the Falco books play with, and translate into Roman terms, the stock material of the hard-boiled crime novel--police corruption, serial killers, financial scams and women adventuresses no better than they should be--this one, like the first, The Silver Pigs, stretches the formula in a different direction; much of the time here, in true John Buchan fashion, Falco is running and hiding in hostile landscapes rather than down mean streets. It is only a few decades since the Romans had the worst of defeats in the Teutoburger forest, and barbarians on the border are keen to repeat the lesson. And in a tower on a river bend, there lives the most hostile of all Germans, the prophetess known as Velada, and Justinus, brother of Falco's upper-class lover Helena, has fallen in love with her. Packed with desperate adventures and comic incidents, this is not one of the most tightly plotted of Davis's books, but it is in many other respects one of the most enjoyable.-- Roz KaveneyReview:
"Her most ambitious to date... Davis has found a winning formula. The tempo is presto, the language pert" ( Daily Telegraph)
"Lindsey Davis doesn't merely make history come alive - she turns it into spanking entertainment, and wraps it around an intriguing mystery. She is incapable of writing a dull sentence" ( Peter Lovesey)
"Surely the best historical detective in the business" ( Daily Telegraph)
"Her most ambitious to date . Davis has found a winning formula. The tempo is presto, the language pert" ( Daily Telegraph)
"Davis doesn't merely make history come alive - she turns it into spanking entertainment, and wraps it around an intriguing mystery." (Peter Lovesey)
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Book Description Hutchinson, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110091753333