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.
Too tell the truth I got this book because I'm a big Lindsey Davis fan (the Falco Mystery Series), and felt I needed a "Roman" fix!
I really didn't know what to expect, just hope it was good. And, it was! The author John Maddox did his homework and this book is full of the flavor, smells, life, corruption, etc., that was Rome. So if you want a quick read (listen) of a well crafted detective story then get this book. I'm looking forward to other books in this series.
Ok these aren't highbrow literature or anything but the story and the history are highly enjoyable. It's a great slice of Rome at the beginning of it's most famous historical events. Great road trip listening and about a pg13 rating (no excessive bad language or graphic rape scenes, etc.). I tend to mention this because after listening to pillars of the earth I learned how much more noticeable this stuff is in audio format (my BF kept walking in at highly graphic points which was highly embarrassing as well) The history in this is much better than many series that take place in ancient rome, without sounding in any way educational. It likely is educational but you dont notice. Simon Vance is one of my favorite narrators and I think just perfect for this book. I love him as the main character. I'm mostly through the 2nd book now and crave more!
Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
Captivating... Mesmerizing... The performance is perfect. It's a history romp... NO! It's a murder mystery. NO! It's a police procedural. Well it's all of those things and it's also whimsical, insightful, even a dose of political theory. Buy it... Listen... Luvvit! I'm off to find the next in this ancient Roman series.
I've read all of Lindsey Davis' books (Marcus Didius Falco) and followed every one of Gordianus the Finder's investigations (Steven Saylor) so I'm no slouch when it comes to great, authentic, ancient Rome detective novels. Mr. Roberts develops the characters in a way that gives them depth and individual voices. I found that I really cared about what happened to them. He paints a wonderful picture of the expanse of Rome but also the danger and political doings that was ancient Rome. I must say that Simon Vance was superb as the narrator. He read naturally and imparted emotion to the characters and helped add to the events and story line.
Not Robert Graves, how ever I did enjoy the mystery and the the time line of the story was well studied by the author. (If anyone saw the "Spartacus" series on "Stars" the brutality and total disregard for humanity by those in power) "Ultimate power corrupts ultimately." readers should be prepared for some intense sexuality, brutality, and total disregard for life. However our hero, is a strong personality and tries to over come much of what his station demands of him, and what the higher up in Roman power structure demand. He is a man of conscious, which is very rare in this time. I enjoyed this book enough to get SPQR II.
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
history fan, curious to a fault
A tale of intrigue and conspiracy set during the fall of the roman republic. Great characters and historical figures. You are able to keep up with the various titles and hierarchies our lead comes into contact with while gaining an insight into the roman world at the time. Very well narrated and enjoyable overall.
I listened to this over two days.
No, not to that extent, but it was interesting. The pace was slow, but not boring.
I listened to the book around a holiday in Rome, and I enjoyed combining pleasure with some education, since the author seemed to have done a good amount of research on the period, and he peppered the story with explanations and historical colour, without weighing down the narrative unpleasantly.
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.
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