Pandora's Boy by Lindsey Davis
|Pandora's Boy by Lindsey Davis|
|Category: Crime (Historical)|
|Reviewer: Linda Lawlor|
|Summary: A young girl's tragic death, troublesome families and the heavy hand of the brutal Emperor Domitian. Lindsey Davis shows her usual skill in portraying ancient Rome in all its sinister, grubby glory, all the while injecting warmth and even humour into a tale of murder, mayhem and lettuce.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 400||Date: April 2018|
|Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton|
|External links: Author's website|
Relax, die-hard fans of Falco and his spirited British daughter Albia. Rome continues to be as splendid and as sordid as it ever was, the crimes committed are as complex and intriguing, and our heroine just as determined and cynical, with that light dusting of humour which made tales of her father's exploits so engaging. Newcomers to the series need not fear, by the way: each book contains just enough background detail to make you feel immediately at home. This time, despite some serious misgivings, Albia is investigating the sudden death of a fifteen-year-old girl, described as bright, affectionate and popular. Was she poisoned by an illegal love-potion, or did she die of a broken heart?
Albia has her own troubles. Shortly before the events in this book, on the day of her wedding, her new husband Tiberius was struck by lightning, and although he survived he is no longer the confident and outgoing man he was. And now he has disappeared, possibly in a fugue state due to the injury to his brain, and Albia takes on this perplexing case to distract her mind from her worry and heartache.
This time the action is set on the other side of Rome. The Quirinal Hill is an area, it soon becomes obvious, which is home to some very unsavoury characters indeed, whose ruthless methods and sense of family honour will recall to readers' minds tales of the East End of London. There is a link between one of these criminals and the deceased, and Albia has to tread doubly carefully as one wrong move will draw down on her a retribution both swift and terminal. But fear not - Ms Davis' skill lies in balancing the dark and the decadent with the warmth and affection of friendship and family, plus a large dollop of humour, furnished here by a most, er, striking statue of an Egyptian god and his surprising connection to salad. The story moves along at a cracking pace as we meet high society women, beauticians, witches and vigiles. We visit elegant homes, temples and those handy street bars which offer free gossip with their flatbreads, we catch up with news of Falco, and we may even shed a tear at another death, one much closer to Albia's heart. This is definitely a book not to be missed.
Ms Davis generously gave us twenty books about the inimitable and well-loved Falco before moving on to his adopted daughter Albia, who takes on the family business with aplomb, courage and a humour as dry as Papa's. Bookbag especially loves The Graveyard of the Hesperides, The Third Nero and Master and God, but they're all great stories! Of course, the accuracy and vividness of Ms Davis' scene-setting may inspire you to delve deeper into this fascinating era, in which case you couldn't do better than get hold of a copy of SPQR A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard. It's full of information, as you would expect, about the power struggles of the great and not necessarily good, but also about the everyday folk who peopled the empire.
You can read more book reviews or buy Pandora's Boy by Lindsey Davis at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Pandora's Boy by Lindsey Davis at Amazon.com.
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