So we have now reached August! This year is moving fast and I am really enjoying my reading, having finished around 65 books so far. This week I have completed two, in fact I finished the second one just a few minutes ago.
The first book of the week was Two Evils by P J Tracy, #06 in the Monkeewrench series. Here is the blurb:
A missing teenage girl lies dead in a parking lot. Two young immigrants are killed in their apartment. Three men are found dead in the street nearby.
As the police struggle to establish what’s happened, they realise that the deaths may not be as random as they first appear. As the killings continue, homicide detectives Magozzi and Rolseath turn to maverick computer analyst Grace McBride for help, drawing her into an investigation that will threaten her life.
And as the evidence mounts, it reveals terrifying intent. Ultimately, it forces the two detectives to make a dreadful choice: down which path does the lesser of two evils lie . . .
It is always a bit awkward when you dive into a series, rather than starting from the beginning, but I found this book enjoyable nonetheless and awarded it three stars on Goodreads. This is my review:
I enjoyed this book and read it quickly, but, judging by some of the other reviews on here, I need to read some of the earlier books in the series as they are better than this one. I liked the main characters and could see that there was a lot of backstory between them that it would be good to know. So, I may hunt out some of this series at my local library.
My second read was very different: Betrayal by Anthony Riches, #01 in his The Centurions series – see, I started at the beginning this time! The (very long) blurb follows:
Rome, AD 68. Nero has committed suicide. One hundred years of imperial rule by the descendants of Julius Caesar has ended, and chaos rules. His successor Galba dismisses the incorruptible Germans of the Imperial Bodyguard for the crime of loyalty to the dead emperor. Ordering them back to their homeland he releases a Batavi officer from a Roman prison to be their prefect. But Julius Civilis is not the loyal servant of empire that he seems.
Four centurions, two Batavi and two Roman, will be caught up in the intrigues and the battles that follow – as friends, as victims, as leaders and as enemies.
Hramn is First Spear of the Bodyguard. Fiercely proud of his men’s honour, and furious at their disgrace, he leads them back to the Batavi homeland to face an uncertain future.
Alcaeus is a centurion with the tribe’s cohorts serving Rome on the northern frontier – men whose fighting skills prove crucial as Roman vies with Roman for the throne. A wolf-priest of Hercules, he wields the authority of his god and his own fighting prowess.
Marius is a Roman, first spear of the Fifth Legion: a self-made man who hates politics, but cannot avoid them in a year of murderous intrigue.
Aquillius, former first spear of the Eighth Augustan, like Hramn, is in disgrace for refusing to dishonour his oath of loyalty.
But their paths will lead them to opposite sides of an unforgiving war. And Civilis, Kivilaz to his countrymen, heroic leader, Roman citizen and patriotic Batavi, will change both the course of the Empire’s destiny and that of the centurions.
I have just given the book three stars as I wrote this review:
This is such a masculine book! I suppose it is to be expected that, given the subject of war during the Roman Empire, there would be mainly male characters, but there are no women at all, apart from a few mentions of a priestess and various prostitutes!
Anyway, that aside, I did enjoy the book as I have a keen interest in Ancient History. The details of the complex movements of armies and the battle scenes were well done. The main characters and the dark humour also kept me reading. I did struggle, however, with all of the different locations, despite the maps, and all of the confusingly similar names. I think the book would benefit from a glossary of terms and also a list of characters, plus more information about the ranks in the Roman army.
I am not sure if I will read the subsequent books in the series, but I can recommend this to readers who are interested in the “art” of Roman warfare at the time.
Well, that’s all for this week. I still have five books in my library book pile, but haven’t decided which one I am going to pick up next. All will be revealed next week.
Happy Reading to you all!