NemesisBook - 2010
Nemesis is the twentieth book in Lindsey Davis' bestselling Falco series.
In the high summer of 77AD, Roman informer Marcus Didius Falco is beset by personal problems. Newly bereaved and facing unexpected upheavals in his life, it is a relief for him to consider someone else's misfortunes. A middle-aged couple who supplied statues to his father, Geminus, have disappeared in mysterious circumstances. They had an old feud with a bunch of notorious freedmen, the Claudii, who live rough in the pestilential Pontine Marshes, terrorising the neighbourhood.
When a mutilated corpse turns up near Rome, Falco and his vigiles friend Petronius investigate, even though it means travelling in the dread marshes. But just as they are making progress, the Chief Spy, Anacrites, snatches their case away from them. As his rivalry with Falco escalates, he makes false overtures of friendship, but fails to cover up the fact 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 when did that 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.
In the high summer of 77 AD, Roman informer Marcus Didius Falco is beset by personal problems. Newly bereaved and facing unexpected upheavals in his life, it is a relief for him to consider someone else's misfortunes. A middle-aged couple who supplied statues to his father, Geminus, have disappeared in mysterious circumstances.
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We lingered over a fine meal, eaten out of doors with grand sea views from the lofty precipice where Antium stood. This was always an hour when we liked to come together, to relax, review the day and reassert our partnership. With just the two of us tonight, it was like old times - that elusive condition married people should seek more often.
The butcher in Lanuvium was typical. He was built like an unhealthy boxer, with a cleaver through his belt. A row of meat joints hung along the front of his shop, just where his horrible nitty head would bang into them all day. He had blood on his tunic. It looked and smelt as if it was weeks old so if you ate his meat you would keel over. But if we all avoided the produce of off-putting butchers, we would be stuck with a diet of lettuce leaves and the Empire would be overrun by beefy barbarians.
I find it surprising more people are not killed over dinner at home. In my work we reckon that murder is most likely to happen among close acquaintances. Someone will finally snap after years of being wound up to blind rage by the very folk who best know how to drive them to distraction.
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