But Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger, highborn commander of the local vigiles, was determined to investigate. Despite official apathy, brazen bribes, and sinister threats, Decius uncovers a world of corruption at the highest levels of his government that threatens to destroy him and the government he serves.
©1990 John Maddox Roberts; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Having finished Ruth Downie's mystery series of books about a doctor in Roman Britian, I started the SPQR series in great anticipation. I was excited because Simon Vance was the narrator and he had also narrated Downie's books. I was looking for something with a bit more detail about Roman life and more setting details. I was disappointed. Not because this book didn't provide what I was looking for in terms of detail but because it provided so much detail and back story that there was little new story. At only 7 1/2 hours, way to much of the time was spent by the author on having to explain the intricacies of the government, military and judicial aspects of the Roman system. During the book, the protagonist interacts with or discusses every single prominent Roman of the day, often as a means of explaining a brief happening. The names and the politial allegiance began to run together, and by the end, I wasn't quite sure what was going on or why. Maybe if I had read the book so I could have flipped back and checked earlier narrative sections it would have been better. As it was, by the time the book ended, I really didn't care who did it. And I never connected with Metellus. If you are well versed in Roman history, this might be the book for you. If you are looking for a story that moves and entertains, go with Ruth Downie or Lindsey Davis.
If you, as I, sob while watching "I Claudius" or when reading the "Twelve Caesars" this could be an emotional experience for you. The "hero" is a republican in the old sense of the word. Despite the setbacks for the integrity of <ROME> the last chapter than makes up for a great deal.
I enjoy reading about ancient rome.
Liked all of it
I am planning to listen to the entire series
50 yr old medical professional, love historical fiction
It took me quite a while through this book to really like it, I'm not sure if it is the author's way of telling it as a memoir or the reader - whom I LOVE, but reading this as an old man when the story is of a young man just distracted me, but eventually I liked it, but not loved it. I felt the same way about the next book as well, but changing to John Lee as narrator for the third book really changed the feel and I am now madly working my way through the entire series and really love it - almost as much as my beloved Macro and Cato.
Any book I don't finish I give only one or two stars. This book suffered from one of the worst audiobook afflictions a listener can encounter: being boring. The plot plods along with characters we are told are really bad, but there's little beyond one or two encounters to shape them into more than that.
Its a standard who dunnit, although set in ancient Rome. I got about 4/5ths through it but once I stop caring about the characters there's no point in continuing. While narrator Simon Vance was able to provide enough to keep me going that far, at some point I have to care about..welll...something!
I also wasn't able to suspend my disbelief that a politician would be out in the streets trying to solve a crime. Doesn't he have people for that?
This is the kind of book where you can just relax and listen to you. It asks nothing from you but time well spent.
Though the reader represented the 'older' hero remembering a life...he lacked the strength of voice and residue of the sex appeal that he seems to have had when younger.
Though a very good reader...I was not convinced that the owner of the voice was capable of the courageous and dangerous acts he claimed to have survived.
I am already listening to SPQR II..so the complaints I make are minor.
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