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on 8 August 2014
I have read the first three Falco books in the series and thoroughly enjoyed them. This, the fourth, seems to me to be a miscalculation by the author, Lindsey Davis. It takes Falco far away from Rome and his natural haunts. However, with the change of scene - not a bad idea in itself - the novel seems to lose focus. For long periods it takes on the characteristics of a boy's own adventure story rather than the type of narrative we have come to expect. Falco and most of his companions face numerous difficulties and life-threatening situations but always manage to come out alive [just]. However, I missed the atmosphere of Rome, which Davis conjures up so well, and Falco seems to be a slightly different character from the one we have grown used to. The worst part of the experience, however, was the massive tranche of Roman History that went with the plot. It was as if the author wanted to impart her undoubtedly detailed knowledge of the period without considering the effect it would have on the plot line. Too many names of obscure people who have little or no impact on the story are included. It was the first Falco which I have struggled to finish, though I did just manage to persist until the end. So a muted welcome to Falco 4, but will it stop me from buying and reading the next book in the series? Absolutely not!
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on 12 January 2017
Terrific Falco story with extra interest of his quest across areas of Roman settled and unsettled Europe on his missions, military and otherwise. As kindle not so good for referring to maps, I googled Lindsey Davis' maps and printed my own map of Europe. I had great fun following his routes through places that are still there today - amazing! Will read again I am sure.
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on 18 October 2014
This is a wonderfully entertaining book - a really good read. Great characterisation, fast paced plot and plenty of humour. I think The Iron Hand of Mars is the strongest in the series so far not least because of the atmospheric descriptions of the German forests where so many Roman soldiers met their end. Falco is also totally believable as the Roman informer at the centre of the action. Can't wait to read the next one!
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on 13 April 2015
The fourth episode in the Falco series takes the hero a long way from his usual haunts in the back streets of Rome. Into the forests of Germany, in fact, chasing shadows! Although at times a little imagination-stretching, it is a great story, with twists and turns, and one or two great new characters.
One person found this helpful
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on 19 March 2013
Its a really good story I read it a while ago along with all the others in the series
I like the way that she lets you see what Falco is thinking
She has a great way of finding the funny as well as the serious side of the story
It isn't short of action and the conversations between the characters are brilliant.
I hope there will be more in the series I haven't as yet read the latest though I have
got it and I hope to put them all on my kindle so I will have them wherever I go.
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on 22 June 2013
One of Lindsey Davis' historical works featuring her world-weary 1st century gumshoe, M. Didius Falco. I digress, but has anyone written about a cheerful PI, excluding Dirk Gently? Ms Davis brings the Roman empire to life in a way that the classroom experience usually does not. That she knows her Romans is not in doubt but she also has the ability to create rounded, believable characters with lives to which we can relate. Helena Justina makes a commitment...
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on 22 June 2016
The 1st book was good . But with each 1 I read they get better and more interesting. The history of the Romans and those they conquered ( or didn't ) comes alive in the detail of everyday life. Intertwined with this is a bloody good plot. Xx
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on 23 May 2018
Great book enjoyed reading it (why do we have to write more than saying that we enjoyed reading it ?)
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on 10 September 2013
My favourite among the numerous Falco stories.They are always witty and have a kind of black humour but here there is also a streak of passion as the Romans are confronted with the independent Germans and their inspiration, the female seer.
Also Roman Gaul feels a less hackneyed area than, e g Roman Britain in the genre of crime in the classical world.
Davis at her best and most engaged.
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on 21 April 2018
Great book, excellent read
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