Nemesis : (Falco 20), Paperback

Nemesis : (Falco 20) Paperback

Part of the Falco series

5 out of 5 (1 rating)


In the high summer of AD 77, laid-back detective Marcus Didius Falco is called upon to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a middle-aged couple who supplied statues to Falco's father, Geminus.

The Claudii, nptorious freedmen who live rough in the pestilential Pontine Marshes, are the prime suspects. Falco, beset by personal problems, finds it a relief to consider someone else's misfortunes.

When a mutilated corpse turns up near Rome, Falco and his vigiles friend Petronius investigate, only for the Chief Spy, Anacrites, to snatch their case away from them just as they are making progress.As his rivalry with Falco escalates, it emerges that the violent Claudii have acquired corrupt protection at the highest level.

Making further enquiries after they have been warned off can only be dangerous - but will this stop Falco and Petronius?

Egged on by the slippery bureaucrats who hate Anacrites, the dogged friends dig deeper while a psychotic killer keeps taking more victims, and the shocking truth creeps closer and closer to home...




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All of the Falco books are at heart about family, his complex family, the Senatorial family that he married into and the families of those that he is constantly trying to help. Nemesis takes this looking at family to another level by bringing into play Anacrites, Falco's rival and colleague for Imperial jobs. The plot begins with two deaths in Falco's family and spins out into the Pontine swamps with the bodies of strangers and the complex web of what family duty truly means. This is one of my favorite Falco books as it has all of the elements that make the Falco novels not only great mystery reads but good historical novels; well drawn characters, a Rome that feels true and a plot that leaves you reading to the last page. As a Classicist myself, Davis impresses me with her gift for bringing both to the street level of Rome and into the palaces and showing the dance of hierarchy and money in play.

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