"..a good fast, amusing historical thriller."


Marcus Didius Falco, investigator of first-century Rome, has experienced a change of fortune on his return from Alexandria. On the down side he and Helena are grieving at the death of their new-born son, and although he has not been close to his father, Geminus, his death has also affected him. Falco finds himself head of the family with responsibilities to which he is unaccustomed. On the plus side, Falco has inherited his father's estate and has access to funds for the first time.

When he goes to visit his father's country estate and tries to straighten out some business affairs he is drawn into investigating the mysterious disappearance of a couple who had supplied statuary to Geminus. The mystery is rooted in the Pontine Marshes and has strong connections to a notorious family of freedmen - the Claudii. A body turns up in Rome and Falco and his friend Petronius are charged with investigating. More bodies turn up and all clues lead back to the Claudii and the Pontine marshes. Enter the old enemy, Anacrites, the Chief Spy. Whilst appearing to offer friendship, Anacrites is plotting against Falco and Petronius. There is some secret that he is hiding from Falco.

Danger haunts Falco and Petronius and their families. No-one will protect them. They are driven to take urgent and shocking action.

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It is always reassuring to see a new Lindsey Davis novel. You know that there will be an exciting story, placed in a well-researched setting with an update on a group of likeable characters who grow and develop in each novel. This latest book, Nemesis, is no exception to the rule. I particularly enjoyed the last book in the series set in Alexandria, but I found it comfortable to be back in Rome and in Falco's comfort zone, where he knows all the territory and the inhabitants. A new twist keeps the interest alive as his new found wealth gives us a different perspective. His love and respect for Helena only grows as they come to terms with the death of their young son. As always, Marcus Didius Falco is the fast talking master of the one liner and provides an amusing commentary on life and morals in first century Rome. An American private eye translated into Latin! Falco's amazing relations all add to the fun of the story and I would recommend this to all who enjoy a good fast, amusing historical thriller.

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