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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars53
3.2 out of 5 stars
Format: Kindle Edition|Change
Price:£1.14
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on 24 November 2013
I am a big fan of Historical Murder and Detective Mysteries and have read a lot of the "Falco" novels over the years so broached this new author with a bit of trepidation.

I have to say that I really liked the way this novel was written and it did keep me guessing until the end. The only criticism I would have is the slightly over done references to roman toilets and bodily functions. Admittedly they did fit into the story line, but at one point my mind wandered into thinking about how the Romans in Britain coped with constipation rather the main plot of who was carrying out the murders!!

I would still recommend reading this book but please be prepared for some pretty "base" language and storyline.
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on 14 January 2014
Mr Drummond clearly knows his history, has done loads of research, come up with an OK plot and a fairly interesting main character but, sadly, he can't write for toffee. Far too much direct explanation of what some of the Roman terms mean (including from one character to another who'd clearly already know!) instead of letting it just come out through the story. Some actual malapropisms through trying to be too clever. The characterisation, which generally isn't too bad, occasionally goes very shaky just to lazily move the plot along. And, although I get why some scenes were set in the communal toilets I could have done without quite so much dwelling on the squeezing out of recalcitrant turds. I like a poo joke as much as the next person, but only if they're funny!

I'm wondering if this was self-published. It certainly didn't feel like a professional editor had been anywhere near it, but at least it only cost me 98p.
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on 5 January 2014
This seems to have been written by someone knowledgeable about the period, but dry historical facts inserted in the story slowed it up and made for a pedestrian read. Some of the facts were quite interesting and might have benefited the book by being added as footnotes which you could either read or not.

I would have also appreciated some consistency in his descriptions of characters. The legate was sometimes called the the general which to my poor brain was confusing. As was the constant referral to the soldiers as "legionnaires" this brought up images of Beau Geste in my mind, I have always thought Roman soldiers are called legionaries.

There were also far too many typos. so overall "could do better".
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VINE VOICEon 4 January 2014
I spent the first third or so of the book hoping that there was a well thought out plot hiding behind the appalling prose, clunky dialogue and pages of often inaccurate historical exposition. Having read it all I can confirm that there isn't.
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on 5 May 2014
As a lover of history, I enjoyed the historical detail and warmed to the character of Versillius, the centurion. The partnership between Versillius and Marcus works well and they make an interesting team as they investigate the murders on Hadrian's Wall. I think a strong point in this novel is the sense of Rome's gradual weakening grip on Britain, depicted by such things as the decrease in luxury goods from the continent, political uncertainty and the soldiers at the fort not being paid by Rome. This all adds to the sense of danger.
But it wasn't just the history and murder investigations that held my interest. There's also the relationship between Versillius and the brothel keeper, Flavala, that provides a vivid contrast to the otherwise male dominated world of the centurion.
I'm interested in reading more novels by Andrew Drummond.
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on 30 July 2013
I really liked this novel. I found it witty and well put together and it kept me guessing right to the end. Like the first reviewer, I loved the historical detail and would definitely read another book by this writer.
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on 14 January 2014
I read this novel in one sitting, so it's fair to say I considered it a real page turner. Characterisation was excellent - I cared about what happened to the characters and the relationship between the main protagonists was amusing, intriguing and ultimately, in some cases, quite moving. The historical detail is fascinating without taking over, immersing the reader in a rich Roman community with lots of observations that pull you into that other world by Hadrian's Wall. Last, but most importantly, as a story of murder, intrigue and detection, it delivered in that the plot keeps you guessing right to the end. I will be buying this author's second Amazon publication - Murder In The Age Of Gold.
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on 20 July 2014
A reasonable story which moved along nicely. Bought for kindle and there were many mistakes of extra words in the sentences. However, presuming that was caused by digitalisation, the poor grammar was not! A simple example being 'stood' instead of 'standing, and 'sat' instead of 'sitting', which marred an otherwise enjoyable story. Come on Mr Drummond, think back to your school days and get the grammar correct!!
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on 30 August 2013
This kept me guessing to the end well written and the period detail was good not too over the top as some can be. Really enjoyed it and would like more by this author
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on 24 December 2013
I suppose the answer that there is potentially more income to be made from a novel. I didn't manage to finish this for all the reasons already referred to by various other reviewers. Like another reader I found the preface really excited my interest. But after that I found the prose odd and leaden (especially the dialogue); also error prone. Characterisation was absent. The author clearly knows a lot about the period (well perhaps not about tomatoes...) but has basically used the book as a vehicle to pass this on. To my mind an example of why vanity publishing is only rarely a good thing. Maybe stick to non-fiction Mr Drummond?
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