Wednesday, 5 April 2017

HISTORICAL CRIME THRILLER: Flavia Alba 5: The Third Nero - Lindsey Davis

Release Date: 05/04/17
Publisher:  Hodder


Flavia Albia's day-old marriage is in trouble - her new husband may be permanently disabled and they have no funds. So when Palace officials ask her to help expose a plotter in their midst she is obliged to accept their commission.

The plot could not be bigger. Ever since he died in AD 68, apparently by his own hand, Rome has been haunted by reports that the Emperor Nero is in fact very much alive and about to return to claim his throne.

Two Nero pretenders have emerged in the East and met grisly fates. But now, as the Emperor Domitian, whose tyrannical, paranoid reign grows ever more unpopular, fights a war in faraway Dacia, there emerges a far more sinister contender. What's more the rumour is that this false Nero is already in Rome. Plunged into the conspiracy, Flavia must infiltrate the house of the Parthians who have smuggled in this new impostor, negotiate with spies, dodge the assassins sent by the Palace traitor, and somehow cope with her stricken husband.

Can she succeed before the impostor is revealed? Or will Rome once more be plunged into civil war?


In Historical Crime Fiction one author that always gives me a cracking tale is Lindsey and I'm pleased to say that she hasn't let me down again as Flavia works her analytical mind to help those in power solve a problem whose answer has eluded them.

As usual the pace it solid, our protagonist a forward thinker alongside a delight to spend time with and a continual joy as she grows into her forced role as things look bleak for her family. Its a pure delight to spend time with and when you throw in a good few twists, some cracking red herrings and a heroine you can't wait to spend time with all round makes it a tale that you'll return to during subsquent rereads to spot clues you may have missed once you know the answer.

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