Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Lindsey Davis: Saturnalia

A new (for me) Falco novel! Splendid. Like I've said before somewhere, I get quite annoyed with Davis' style of writing, but I keep coming back because I *heart* the characters. In this one it is the holiday of Saturnalia, and the Germanic tribe leader and priestess Veleda has been secretely taken to Rome for execution. When she escapes, and a man in the house she stayed at is found decapitated, Falco is called in to find her discreetly. Adding to the need for discretion is the fact that his (married) brother-in-law Justinus has Veleda as his first love, and now disappears. Into the mélange is also thrown a load of murdered vagrants, which leads Falco to discuss serial killers. I was rather miffed at this 20th century word being used in a novel set in ancient Rome. Amusingly Davis has a little afterword to excuse and defend and tip us a wink about her many neologisms, which I for a moment there thought would mean her use of modern language like that, but it meant her self-coined expressions and how they make the translators of her books tear their hair out.

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