- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Zaffre (8 Mar. 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1785764217
- ISBN-13: 978-1785764219
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.2 x 24 cm
- Average Customer Review: 117 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Last Hour: '24' set in Ancient Rome Hardcover – 8 Mar 2018
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Relentless, brutal, brilliant, this is Jack Reacher in ancient Rome * Ben Kane * A cracking tale. More twists and turns than the Tiber itself * Rory Clements * Cracking, page-turning stuff * James Swallow * Makes you feel as though you are there. -- Bettany Hughes * The Times * Grabbed me from the start. I loved it * Donna Leon * Harry Sidebottom's epic tale starts with a chilling assassination and goes on, and up, from there. -- Mary Beard An amazing story of bloodlust, ruthless ambition and revenge. -- Kate Saunders * The Times * An extraordinarily vivid take on the ancient world. Think of The Killing crossed with Andy McNab crossed with Mary Beard, and you're there. -- David Sexton * Evening Standard * Ancient Rome has long been a favourite -destination for writers of historical military -fiction. Much the best of them is Harry -Sidebottom. * Sunday Times * Swashbuckling as well as bloody, yet curiously plausible ... a real gift for summoning up a sense of place. * Times Literary Supplement * The best sort of red-blooded historical fiction - solidly based on a profound understanding of what it meant to be alive in a particular time and place. -- Andrew Taylor Absorbing, rich in detail and brilliant. * The Times * An exceptionally gifted story-teller drawing on prodigious learning. -- Tim Severin This is a thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat * Netgalley * 24 Jack Bauer style...the time brought to glorious life by Harry's blisteringly fast paced writing...Harry Sidebottom manages to keep you the reader perched on the very edge of the page throughout the book, with regular chapter ending cliffhangers that make a book that you cannot put down and will lose sleep over...I very highly recommend this book, hands down the best in the series so far * Parmenion Books * Sidebottom expertly creates a fantastic sense of place, rich in authentic detail. Once the final quarter of the book is reached, however, the chase is really on, and the author piles on an adrenalin rush of 24 hours in Rome until the satisfyingly dramatic conclusion at the Coliseum * Historical Novels Review * The Best New Mystery and Thrillers * Netgallery * Sidebottom has a profound knowledge of the topography and people of ancient Rome. In Ballista's race through its murky streets, he meets prostitutes and watermen, messianic Christians and priapic beggars. It is this rich detail which makes The Last Hour an engaging read. * The Times * if you want to be entertained as well as reliably informed, enjoy all-action thrillers, fancy a fascinating whistle-stop tour of the ancient City of Rome, and revel in witnessing a bygone world brought to vivid, visceral life, then The Last Hour should tick every box * Lancashire Evening Post * A taut historical thriller which plunges you bloodily into the time and place * Weekend Sport * A ripping story...this transplanting of 24 to Ancient Rome is a great success * The Telegraph * Sidebottom is on cracking form in this sensational, race-against-time adventure. In trademark style, Sidebottom also gives us an intriguing insight into the Roman way of life...if you want to be entertained as well as reliably informed, enjoy all-action thrillers, fancy a fascinating whistle-stop tour of the ancient City of Rome, and revel in witnessing a bygone world brought to vivid, visceral life, then The Last Hour should tick every box * Lancashire Evening Post * Harry Sidebottom is an excellent writer - I greatly enjoyed his writing style and tone of voice. Along with being descriptive (but not overly so, thank goodness), Sidebottom does an excellent job of pacing. The whole story starts out with an action scene full of danger, immediately griping the reader, and it continues to wax and wane and overall keep the pace steady * Quirky Cat * It's extremely fast-paced, like online gaming, with a new peril confronting our hero Ballista literally every corner he turns. Sidebottom's novels are well-written, with an outstanding sense of location and geography, excellent characterization, and psychologically interesting plots. They are always well researched, as we might expect from an Oxford academic who lectures in Roman history...the details of each episode, and some ingenious plot points, offer astonishing insights into the Rome of the 3rd century of the Christian Era. I look forward to leisurely banter, some reflection time, some ominous pacing and unexpected "Gotcha's!" when next we meet Ballista. * Elly MacDonald Writer * This book is what I believe is known as a page-turner, the sort which is hard to put down because the story grips you and drags you along...Harry's scholarship is much in evidence...a great read * Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy Magazine * If Marcus Clodius Ballista has a time-traveling doppelganger, it's Jack Bauer. This was my first adventure with Ballista. I understand that there are some older voyages and battles that I can still enjoy with him. The Last Hour still works well on its own. Ballista was a strong, captivating character. His charisma immediately pulled me to his side. The Last Hour is a fun, fast-paced book. It was an excellent introduction to the writing of Harry Sidebottom * 2 Book Lovers Review * One of the masters of historical fiction * PaperPlus NZ *
Relentless, brutal, brilliant, this is Jack Reacher in ancient Rome (Ben Kane)
A cracking tale. More twists and turns than the Tiber itself (Rory Clements)
Cracking, page-turning stuff (James Swallow)
Makes you feel as though you are there. (Bettany Hughes The Times)
Grabbed me from the start. I loved it (Donna Leon)
Harry Sidebottom's epic tale starts with a chilling assassination and goes on, and up, from there. (Mary Beard)
An amazing story of bloodlust, ruthless ambition and revenge. (Kate Saunders The Times)
An extraordinarily vivid take on the ancient world. Think of The Killing crossed with Andy McNab crossed with Mary Beard, and you're there. (David Sexton Evening Standard)
Ancient Rome has long been a favourite destination for writers of historical military -fiction. Much the best of them is Harry Sidebottom. (Sunday Times)
Swashbuckling as well as bloody, yet curiously plausible ... a real gift for summoning up a sense of place. (Times Literary Supplement)
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As I mentioned before, the execution of the approach/strategy was up to his usual mastery. However, as for me and my expectations, I prefer his other work to this. It must be said, however, that I was not a fan of "24" or of any "reality" shows, etc., so inasmuch as some of these modern "styles/genres" influenced or inspired Sidebottom, the odds were against me really liking it.
I cannot stress enough that this is a personal preference, and not an indictment of the work itself. Sidebottom is a master, and his work is exceptional. I would recommend any and all his work to anyone... but I might caveat to anyone either familiar with his other work, or not a fan of "24" style entertainments. Otherwise it is the usual enjoyment of plot, high pace, intrigue, depth, bursts of violence, all set against a wonderful (and accurate) backdrop. So get comfortable, have a dictionary handy, plan to spend some time dedicated to this thing (you won't want to put it down), and enjoy.
Secondly the obstacles which Ballista overcomes include, base jumping, tombstoning, caving, arson and hand to hand combat against impossible odds.
Thirdly it's highly believable something like Indiana Jones meets The Secret Service(wonderful spoof, spy/thriller recent film) an incredible superhero in a wonderful tale. More please!
I'm glad to say he handles it effortlessly, slipping a tourists guide into his descriptions of the streets that Ballista is pursued through, for Ballista is a wanted man. He has information that threatens an assassination plot and can trust nobody as he attempts to get to the palace. The book is a departure for Sidebottom in other ways too - usually his books are slow burners set over a few weeks or months - this novel spans one day and everything happens at a breakneck rush. I've seen it compared to '24' but it is much better than that - there are no absurd co-incidences, no daughter get kidnapped along the way, everything is believable.
I read it over the course of a couple of sittings and it went way too fast - I'm already looking forward to the next novel. If Ancient Rome isn't your thing but you enjoy fast paced adventure thrillers then this could be a great place to dive into the murky depths of Ancient Rome. Highly recommended.
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Great read Harry Sidebottom can't wait to read another.