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Saturnalia: (Falco 18) Paperback – 7 Feb 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (7 Feb. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099493837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099493839
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 262,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Like visiting old friends in a familiar and endearing, if sometimes bizarre, environment. Jokes and skulduggery crowd the pages" (Guardian)

"Every book in this series is a delight... fans will snap it up. Highly recommended" (Library Journal)

"Falco wisecracks his way through the empire's sleazy underside...Davis' crimes are wickedly convoluted - real fun" (Time Magazine)

"One of the best in this series, a nice mix of wit and wisecracks" (Literary Review)

"Rome is vividly brought to life - alien yet curiously familiar. And the story gallops along at a tremendous pace with humour and suspense dispensed in equal measure. Saturnalia is another rollicking good yarn" (Daily Express)

Book Description

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

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the eighteenth in a series of excellent detective stories set in Vespasian's Roman Empire and featuring the informer Marcus Didius Falco. Informers in ancient Rome were something between a private detective and a government spy.

It is AD76, at the start of the Roman holiday of Saturnalia. Falco finds out that a figure from his past - and more particularly, his brother-in-law's past - has been brought to Rome to play the supporting role in a Roman Triumph followed by the starring role in an execution ...

In the fourth book in the series, "The Iron Hand of Mars" set five years before, Marcus Didius Falco had been sent on an undercover mission to the wilds of Germany, an area which the Roman Empire had definately not managed to pacify. The mission led Falco, with his then girlfriend Helena Justina (now his wife), and her brother Camillus, to the beautiful but sinister tribal prophetess Veleda. Camillus promptly fell in love with her.

Back in 71AD, Falco had brokered a deal with Veleda: she would stop inciting the German tribes to attack the Roman Empire, the Empire would leave her alone. Five years on, Veleda appears to have largely kept her side of the bargain, though accounts differ. However, an ambitious and incompetent governor decides to boost his prestige by tricking Veleda into coming to Rome as a hostage, with the intention of presenting her capture as a great victory and then having her executed. The governor arrives in Rome with his hostage, and then goes off on holiday without making adequate arrangements for Veleda's security, and - surprise surprise - on hearing what is actually planned for her, she escapes.
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This novel focuses the holiday period...Saturnalia... a king for the day..and lord of misrule...the murder being solved is to prove the innocence or otherwise of a character we came across in an earlier book. It is a lovely book. There is an amazing amount of background to the various medical professions practiced and the various deities of healing. Well crafted.
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By Wendy Jones TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
This the 18th Falco Novel by Lindsay Davis is as good as, if not better, than all the others. Davis writing continues to enthral and entertain, and Falco's antics have you wondering one minute and laughing out loud the next. The storyline revolves around one missing German woman and one brother/brother-in-law who has been kidnapped. It is the Saturnalia holiday and the whole of Rome has gone mad. getting up to antics that would get them arrested any other time of the year. This leads to a very entertaining story, and I would recommend anyone to read it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lindsey Davis brings the Roman world to life with her Falco series. This is a very well researched and well written book. The Falco series is very addictive and, at times, difficult to put down. This instalment is no different to the rest. My advice is BUY IT and READ IT as you will not regret it.
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As usual, a rollicking good read from Lindsey Davies. I love the humour in her Falco books as well the the fantastic historical portraits she weaves into the story. A great one to save for Christmas (or Yuletide).
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Format: Kindle Edition
Returning to Falco after a break of a couple of years I decided to pick up the saga with Saturnalia. A good choice. Here was Falco once again juggling family life and work but with the added hindrance of seasonal jollifications.....enough to stress any peace loving bloke! The story has many strands, and Lindsey Davis wove in a lot of information about medical practices and Saturnalia. Have things changed much over the millennia? Has man changed much? Not a lot I think.This is what makes this story particularly amusing and entertaining. The reader identifies with the age old dilemmas.......how do we keep everyone happy...or at least from each others throats....whilst still trying to earn a crust of bread without appearing to be a party pooper? Poor old Falco everyone seems to be out to make his life as complicated as possible. Needless to say Helena is there to bail him out when a mere man can proceed no further. An enjoyable read.
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Format: Paperback
Millions of readers will need no introduction to Marcus Didius Falco, streetwise but upwardly-mobile "private informer" in Rome during the time of the Flavian dynasty of emperors. Lindsay Davis's sleuth has starred in an extensive series of novels that have seen his personal, professional, and social development and introduced us to his culture and to an increasing range of friends, contacts, and enemies. The books are entertaining well-crafted stories that let the reader get to know the characters while learning something of the culture they live in, some aspects of it so like our own, some shockingly different.
This story is set during Saturnalia, the Roman winter festival, a time of parties, gift-giving, family dinners, family quarrels, general tumult and a growing wish for it all to be over. Falco has a potentially lucrative commission from the palace, to recapture an escaped state prisoner. The situation is complicated by the fact that the prisoner is a German priestess who has "a past" with both Falco and his brother-in-law/assistant who has also mysteriously disappeared...
Added to the mix are a death for which priestess may have been responsible, a clutch of mutually-antagonistic doctors, the usual palace politicos and unhelpful functionaries, a serial killer apparently targeting homeless people, family worries, and the traditional hassles of the "season of misrule", making a rich complex tale. It is by turns witty and entertaining and surprisingly dark, but it's always engrossing. Definitely one of the better Falcos.
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