Nox Dormienda is the award-winning debut novel of critically-acclaimed author Kelli Stanley (City of Dragons), and the first of a series in a new genre: Roman Noir. Featuring Arcturus, a hardboiled protagonist in the best Philip Marlowe tradition, Nox is a different kind of historical mystery, a suspense thriller that combines a classic noir style with the rich texture of the ancient past.
©2011 Kelli Stanley (P)2014 Audible Inc.
This book is exactly as advertised (for once). Nox Dormienda is in same line as other ancient mystery series but with a unique noir format. The world building, plot and characters were all excellent and it was evident that the author was thorough in his research. The only drawback was the romance which would even make a soap opera fan cringe but mercifully only occupied a small portion of the story. Definitely worth a credit and as soon as the next in the series is available on audible (The Curse-Maker) I'm buying.
He could have equated the seriousness of the plot (Emperor Domitian scheming to bring about the downfall of Governor Agricola in Britannia) with a more adult and crafty main character.
Although there is rich description of ancient Londinium and an interesting political background to plot, the character himself is rather sophomoric and not very believable. Character development is very unsubtle: the female character very suddenly falls in love with the main character (after slapping him in the face).
Ray Porter could have refrained from sounding like a 21st century teenager.
I'm afraid I won't download any more of Stanley's books.
1. The story is good, with nods to the classic noir characters.2. It is very well written, the characters and scenes are vivid, style is unadorned, enough to describe but never belabored.3. The narrator complements the hard-bitten detective style perfectly.I've listened to a number of entertaining detective stories set in ancient times, but this one is a head above the rest.
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