Ancient Rome’s organized crime syndicates have never been more dangerous or more cunning than in this latest adventure featuring first-century sleuth Marcus Didius Falco.
In the Italian town of Ostia outside Rome, Falco appears to be enjoying a relaxing holiday. But when Helena arrives carrying a batch of past issues of the Daily Gazette with the intention of catching up on the latest scandal, Falco is forced to admit his real reason for being there. “Infamia,” the pen name of the gossip columnist for the Daily Gazette, has gone missing, and his fellow scribes have employed Falco to bring him back from his drunken truancy.
Before long, Falco’s inquiries lead him into the world of piracy and the discovery of criminal traditions long believed dead. Is this the path toward finding Infamia? Why would pirates have kidnapped him? And if they have, will he be found alive?
“This is the sixteenth Falco novel, and they have built up a large following. It is not hard to see why. They are amiable and unpretentious…The research that has gone into them allows the externals of Roman life to be presented in an evocative way. Yet the interior life of the characters remains reassuringly modern…Philip Marlowe in a toga.”
Times Literary Supplement (London)
“Breezy…funny…The Rome of Davis’ imagination is licentious and entertaining in this light, bright series.”
San Jose Mercury News
“The Rome of Vespasian and Titus comes to life in Davis’ entertaining sixteenth entry in her popular ancient historical series…While her deliberately modern colloquialisms (‘Go with the flow, man,’ Falco is told) take a little getting use to, they help maintain the light, arch tone.”
“First-person narration, sardonic humor, and lively characters add to this historical mystery with a contemporary feel.”
Simon Prebble, a British-born performer, is a stage and television actor and veteran narrator of some three hundred audiobooks. As one of AudioFile’s Golden Voices, he has received over twenty Earphones Awards and won the prestigious Audie in 2010. He lives in New York.