No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Monday, June 06, 2016

2016/33: Enemies at Home -- Lindsey Davis

We sent Polycarpus in a haze of myrrh to whatever gods he had honoured. He may have had none at all, but everyone has gods imposed on them at their funeral. This is the divinities' revenge for lack of belief.[loc. 3080]

This was a good read but I find I don't have much to say about it. Setting: Imperial Rome, under the Emperor Domitian. Flavia Albia investigates the murder of a wealthy couple: their slaves, liable to be blamed, have sought sanctuary at the Temple of Ceres. But is the murderer one (or more) of the slaves? Why don't their accounts match up? Would the philosopher among them have murdered his mistress simply because he loathed her lapdog?

Meanwhile, Albia and Faustus are circling one another. Albia is attracted to Faustus, but can't tell whether Faustus (out of her league socially) is attracted to her.

Plenty of observations about slavery in Roman society; interesting frisson between Albia and Faustus; usual red herrings, sordid goings-on amongst the aristocracy, and quaint local customs. A page-turner, but it hasn't stuck.

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