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A darker Falco,
This review is from: Nemesis: (Falco 20) (Paperback)
"Nemesis" opens with Marcus Didius Falco facing both family tragedy and a major change in his life. It proceeds through the hunt for a gang of sadistic serial killers, dangerous politics, further family and emotional bruises, and a climate of fear and suspicion, to an outcome from the younger Falco would have shrunk. In the course of this we see Marcus has not only matured as a man, father, and operative, but has hardened in a way we may not entirely approve of. This is understandable, perhaps even desirable: he is older, he has growing responsibilities, his career has developed, and it would be unconvincing and probably tedious were he to remain the talented but rather immature and sometimes obtuse character of his younger days. It was a brutal age and Rome was not a nice place. And it lends a certain frisson to our anticipation of what may happen in future novels.
The title is appropriate and sinister in what it promises. Of late people have tended to use the word "nemesis" as if it means "enemy" or even just "opponent", thus robbing it of its real threat. In classical times nemesis was the agent (whether as a person or something intangible) of a person's destruction. It was sent by the gods, but the victim brought it on himself through arrogance or other sins. It was unpleasant and terminal.
In this book we see, ultimately, who is the object of nemesis and who act as her agents. But we are not dealing with simple tale of goodies and baddies, and one suspects that what happens will have implications for the future.