Calvus has received another great review, this time from Jill Smith, writing for Book Coasters.
The cover of this book is dark and foreboding; however, I was delighted to find myself immersed in the mystery of the police investigation of a crucified body in modern day St Albans, England in Verulamium Park. This was the historical site of such punishments in ancient Roman times. Was there a band of Roman enthusiasts going about in costume with full regalia who carried out this horrific act? Would DI Chris O'Rourke find out who the victim was and bring the culprits to justice? How does this case relate back to ancient Romans living in the sodden, cool English climate 2000 years earlier?
This is a fascinating story of Julianus Tadius Calvus, his journey around the world serving the Roman Empire, first as a legionary, then after his marriage to his beloved Vipsania, rising through the ranks to centurion, his peace keeping duties in the Roman outpost suiting his nature. His adoring children Zeno and Fannia, his true love Vipsania and their devoted slave Helena lived comfortably, not expecting trouble from any others than the locals he went out on patrol to subdue. Little did he realise that imbibing with a fellow centurion, a slip of the tongue without his wits could lead to devastating consequences for himself and his family.
The investigation in the modern day is frustratingly impossible to solve. DI O'Rourke is confronted by a crowd of religious zealots over-running the crime scene at Verulamium Park and while the police set up a vigil to watch on a rough group of Roman fanatics who dress up in Roman costumes to indulge in orgies, they don't seem capable of such a heinous crime.
I loved the way the way the families in past history and the modern world were portrayed. Darryl has provided a page turning and engrossing tale.