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Last Seen in Massilia (Gordianus the Finder Book 8)
 
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Last Seen in Massilia (Gordianus the Finder Book 8) [Kindle Edition]

Steven Saylor
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Amazon.co.uk Review

There are those who say that Steven Saylor's stunningly atmospheric novels featuring an ancient Roman sleuth are the last word in this particular genre. But there are also those who say that Lindsey Davis's Falco (in her own series of Roman mysteries) is every inch the equal of Saylor's Gordianus the Finder. Actually, it doesn't matter a damn who does this kind of thing best: both writers are such masters of their craft, that readers should be grateful two such adroit practitioners are working at the height of their powers. The latest in Saylor's Roma sub Rosa series, Last Seen in Massilia, is probably his most compelling yet, and his wry hero's first-person narration again pulls off the brilliant sleight-of-hand of transplanting a modern sensibility into a denizen of the ancient world, while always avoiding anachronism. As a guide through the bloody back alleys of Rome and the decadent splendours of its Senatorial palaces, Gordianus is non-pareil: the perfect cynical survivor.

The Roman world is torn apart by a civil war, and Caesar and Pompey struggle for ascendancy. But life goes on pretty much as normal for Gordianus, who receives an anonymous message telling him that his son is dead. Meto was playing the dangerous game of acting as a double agent for Caesar, and as Gordianus tries to find who is behind the murder, he finds himself in the blockaded seaport of Massilia, with famine and bloodshed an ever-present threat. And as he pursues what seems an impossible quest, Gordianus' only friend in the city has been chosen by the corrupt officials to die for the sins of a populace and stave off catastrophe. And then there is the young woman Gordianus has seen fall from the Sacrifice Rock outside the city.

Saylor's plotting remains as deliriously convoluted as ever, while his grasp of historical detail never falters. The reader, while transfixed by the narrative, is continually aware of the sights and smells of the eternal city when it was the centre of the civilised world. One reads each new Gordianus novel thinking, "Is this the one in which Saylor loses that golden touch?" But so far, it hasn't happened--the burnish the author gives his work still dazzles.

--Barry Forshaw

Amazon Review

There are those who say that Steven Saylor's stunningly atmospheric novels featuring an ancient Roman sleuth are the last word in this particular genre. But there are also those who say that Lindsey Davis's Falco (in her own series of Roman mysteries) is every inch the equal of Saylor's Gordianus the Finder. Actually, it doesn't matter a damn who does this kind of thing best: both writers are such masters of their craft, that readers should be grateful two such adroit practitioners are working at the height of their powers. The latest in Saylor's Roma sub Rosa series, Last Seen in Massilia, is probably his most compelling yet, and his wry hero's first-person narration again pulls off the brilliant sleight-of-hand of transplanting a modern sensibility into a denizen of the ancient world, while always avoiding anachronism. As a guide through the bloody back alleys of Rome and the decadent splendours of its Senatorial palaces, Gordianus is non-pareil: the perfect cynical survivor.

The Roman world is torn apart by a civil war, and Caesar and Pompey struggle for ascendancy. But life goes on pretty much as normal for Gordianus, who receives an anonymous message telling him that his son is dead. Meto was playing the dangerous game of acting as a double agent for Caesar, and as Gordianus tries to find who is behind the murder, he finds himself in the blockaded seaport of Massilia, with famine and bloodshed an ever-present threat. And as he pursues what seems an impossible quest, Gordianus' only friend in the city has been chosen by the corrupt officials to die for the sins of a populace and stave off catastrophe. And then there is the young woman Gordianus has seen fall from the Sacrifice Rock outside the city.

Saylor's plotting remains as deliriously convoluted as ever, while his grasp of historical detail never falters. The reader, while transfixed by the narrative, is continually aware of the sights and smells of the eternal city when it was the centre of the civilised world. One reads each new Gordianus novel thinking, "Is this the one in which Saylor loses that golden touch?" But so far, it hasn't happened--the burnish the author gives his work still dazzles.

--Barry Forshaw

Review

'As usual Saylor's plotting is deliciously convoluted, his historical detail impressive.' -- The Sunday Times, September 30th, 2001

Book Description

As civil war between Caesar and Pompey engulfs the Roman world, Gordianus the Finder receives an anonymous message informing him of the death of his son Meto who has been acting as a double agent for Caesar.

About the Author

Steven Saylor is the author of the Roma sub Rosa series set in ancient Rome and featuring Gordianus the Finder. His work has been widely praised for its remarkable accuracy and vivid historical detail as well as for its passion, mystery and intrigue. Steven lives in Berkeley, California. His latestmore contemporary crime novel set in turn-of-the-century Texas, Honour the Dead was published by Constable & Robinson this year.
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