AD 71. Germania Libera: dark dripping forests, inhabited by bloodthirsty barbarians and legendary wild beasts, a furious prophetess who terrorises Rome, and the ghostly spirits of slaughtered Roman legionaries.
Enter Marcus Didius Falco, an Imperial agent on a special mission: to find the absconding commander of a legion whose loyalty is suspect. Easier said than done, thinks Marcus, as he makes his uneasy way down the Rhenus, trying to forget that back in sunny Rome his girlfriend Helena Justina is being hotly pursued by Titus Caesar. His mood is not improved when he discovers his only allies are a woefully inadequate bunch of recruits, their embittered centurion, a rogue dog, and its innocent young master; just the right kind of support for an agent unwillingly trying to tame the Celtic hordes.
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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 Arrow, 1992. paperback / softback. Book Condition: new. 1993 Arrow edition paperback new condition. In stock shipped from our UK warehouse. Bookseller Inventory # 67115