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Last Act in Palmyra (Falco 06) Paperback – 7 Aug 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (7 Aug. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099515121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099515128
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A wonderful series of detective novels" (The Good Book Guide)

"Several cheers for Lindsey Davis... Great fun" (The Times)

"Splendid . . . mystery, pace and wit"

Book Description

One of the Roman novels from the bestselling historical fiction Falco series

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This entry in Lindsey Davis' Falco series sees the main protagonist once again far from Rome in the borders of the empire and beyond. Sent by his old sparring partner Anacrites to do a bit of spying on the Nabataeans (at least, that is what he is told) he also picks up a side case to search for a missing water organist by another old acquaintance. He is joined on the journey by Helena, and together they come across a murder or two, a travelling theatre company, a reticent priest, and a snake (or two).
Falco's personality is now well established, and Helena has become more rounded as well. Their relationship is an interesting part of this tale, as here they are 'alone together' (so to speak) and reliant on one another in a way they would not be in Rome. This story seemed a bit weak to begin with, but it builds slowly, and becomes quite gripping. The self-contained group in which the couple find themselves for most of the book allow the author to play with the dynamics of such a company, allowing the loves, lies, stories and petty jealousies to slowly appear. This is all written really well, with a pace and style that are perfect for me. I'm looking forward to reading the next volume.
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Format: Paperback
I find it difficult to understand why other reviewers were disappointed by this book. To my mind, it is one of Lindsey's best (and yes, I have read them all). Apart from anything else, it has the most memorable plot - one of comparatively few genuine whodunnits in the Falco series - and the locations are spot on. Visit places like Petra and Palmyra today, and you can just picture Falco going about his investigation. Difficult to fault!
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Another beautifully written story in the life of the Roman detective Marcus Didius Falco. He is on an assignment to find a missing organist (!) in Syria, on the eastern edge of the empire, accompanied by the resourceful Helena Justina. In Petra of Nabatea, they stumble on a murder, and he is expelled from the country, when he meets up with a travelling theatre company. They play in the towns of the Decapolis, then into Syria for the final performance, which is quite something.

In the course of the narrative, it turns out that Falco has quite a literary/dramatic talent, and in fact wrote a first version of what later became Hamlet! The only problem was that he thought it a comedy, so perhaps that's why it had only one performance, but what a performance indeed!

I recommend this book for its descriptions of Roman life, and subtle humour, and not least the enduring love between the two leading characters.
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Lovely to read the development of the relationship between Marcus Didius and Helena - and more enjoyable to read this set outside Rome in Petra, etc. than the earlier one set in Germany(?). I'd got a little tired of this couple's warring and bickering but this was kept to the minimum in this story.
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Another five star for sheer readability.
I loved the travel hints. See Petra and die, etc. As a theatre lover I enjoyed all the theatrical jokes and the conformation that actors have been hams since way back when. Also that comics are quite often the most sinister characters. Falcon as always is a girl's dream man and his Helena a man's dream girl. I was thrilled and exhausted by the end of their journey. Can't wait to read the next one.
I recommend this book to anyone who loves detective stories laced with travel and terrible jokes. You will not be disappointed.
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Descriptive and evocative of conditions in the outer reaches of the Roman Empire in the first century AD. Marcus Didius Falco is an engaging narrator and Helena Justina is a more than able counterpart and complement to the storylines.
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These books just get better and better. I read the first two and got completely hooked. I think its the humour that makes them so readable and believable. This one starts slowly and then builds to a great denouement. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
The Falco series are characterised by smooth plotting, finely drawn characters and genuine wit. This particular novel is probably the weakest of the series. The murderer's motive is weak, the detection process laboured and the denouement contrived. The book is saved by the characters of Falco and Helena and Falco's pungent wit which somehow avoids anachronisms which one finds in similar attempts at 'historic' humour. I particularly enjoyed the encounter with the christians. Well worth a read but not one of her best.
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