Monday, 8 June 2015

HISTORICAL CRIME REVIEW: Flavia Alba 3: Deadly Election - Lindsey Davis

Release Date: 09/04/15
Publisher:  Hodder


In the blazing July heat of imperial Rome, Flavia Albia inspects a decomposing corpse. It has been discovered in lots to be auctioned by her family business, so she's determined to identify the dead man and learn how he met his gruesome end.

The investigation will give her a chance to work with the magistrate, Manlius Faustus, the friend she sadly knows to be the last chaste man in Rome. But he's got other concerns than her anonymous corpse. It's election time and with democracy for sale at Domitian's court, tension has come to a head. Faustus is acting as an agent for a 'good husband and father', whose traditional family values are being called into question. Even more disreputable are his rivals, whom Faustus wants Albia to discredit.

As Albia's and Faustus' professional and personal partnership deepens they have to accept that, for others, obsession can turn sour, and become a deadly strain that leads, tragically, to murder.


Ah a book that might feel like a timely read for those of us in the UK although to be honest whilst I do enjoy reading the Alba titles, I did feel that this one felt a little flat and sadly suffered from a few problems. Firstly, that there were way too many people with the same name so that you had problems telling which one was who.

Secondly I found quite a few errors within the text and as such left me wondering what had happened to the editing time that books normally go through and perhaps more importantly I was left feeling that I had no real stake in the title as there would be no consequences for the principle character so that he had no real point in exercising his remarkable abilities in such a stifling summer.

All, whilst it was a solid enough read, against a lot of Lindsey’s other work this is perhaps one of the weaker titles and whilst against a great many others it still stands heads above their writing, to find so many problems with one text may well have readers asking why so many errors got through which in turn, can ruin their own enjoyment.

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