After some harrowing and dangerous assignments, Cassius Corbulo is looking forward to a seemingly less life threatening job that will utilize his growing investigative skills. So, along with his imposing bodyguard Indavara and his Christian slave Simo, Corbulo heads to the town of Berytus to uncover a counterfeiting ring. Seemingly is the operative word in the opening sentence as the situation in this small peaceful town is hardly that. Civil unrest, dangerous counterfeiters and a mysterious group of perceived assassins who have followed our trio make for some exciting action while Corbulo meets dead end after dead end looking for the counterfeiting gang.
The most intriguing aspects of this the 5th volume in the Agent of Rome series is the continual growth of the the three main characters, especially of Simo and Indavara. Simo’s ever growing faith puts him at loggerheads with Corbulo on numerous occasions. Indavara gets more interesting with every book and I was hooked on him with his arena scenes early on. Going from a context void of a past, he has come a long way and is a more complex individual than just a skilled killer.
The author knows this time and place well as his descriptions flow out of his research and gives the reader a sense of being in the dusty streets or dingy taverns. I wait with great anticipation for the next episode. 5 stars
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