- Audio Cassette
- Publisher: Blackstone Pub; Unabridged edition (April 1 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786111291
- ISBN-13: 978-0786111299
- Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3.2 x 25.4 cm
- Shipping Weight: 408 g
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
Arms of Nemesis Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Unabridged
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Gordianus the Finder, detective par excellence of the Roman world, narrates the story of his attempts to find the murderer of a Roman patrician, cousin to Marcus Crassus; find the two missing slaves accused of the patrician's murder; and avert the slaughter of the remaining 99 slaves in the household. Harrison differentiates among the characters by using slight changes in inflection and by reading the narrative in a loud, matter-of-fact tone, which reflects the caustic nature of Gordianus. Saylor's elaborate description of Roman villas and countryside illustrates the tale, while Gordianus's use of logic and deduction brings the mystery to its inevitable conclusion. M.B.K. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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Hard-boiled detective mysteries are pretty formulaic-Gordianus is soft-boiled Truth, justice and the Roman-way are more important to him then silver. This novel is Grisham-esque mixing murder, money, and corporate politics Roman style. Saylor continues to write well. His description of the Roman funeral rites, and the drugged Sybil were particularly good. His violence and action passages continue to be a bit weak. In addition, homosexual relations receive more development then straight sex in this story. I'm a little disappointed with the author's legerdemain to keep the murderer's identity secret until the end.
"Arms of Nemesis" is good. However, it is not as good as Saylor's first novel "Roman Blood". Historical murder mystery readers will enjoy it for its accuracy and detail.
Even though there are passages where you'll feel you are suffering yourself, you won't want to put it down. The backdrop of this particular story is the revolt of Spartacus, which makes the issue of slavery the central point of the book. Although it is not moralizing, there are passages in the book that will bring you, the reader, close to tears. Gordianus is summoned to investigate the brutal murder of one of Crassus's administrators at one of his many villas at the countryside. He is taken there by ship; and here is when one of the many gory descriptions of ancient slavery takes place: with the rowers at the bottom of the "Fury" - the actual name of an imposing ship.
Throughout the story Gordianus takes almost a frantic approach to save the lives of many slaves, although, being a roman citizen himself, he doesn't understand really why. The story is so trascendental, one can understand why Gordianus, in the next book, his own family established with Bethesda, decides to retire to the country. He could hardly imagine what Saylor had in store for him in future adventures!
More importantly, there is real suspense in this novel. Additionally, the detective finds the clues in a consistently realistic manner. No fakey revelations here.
This is important because this is the very first novel by Steven Saylor that I've found that lived up to the reputation that he has had as an excellent writer of historical mystery novels. The other novels by Saylor that I've read thus far have either been middling quality works such as Murder on the Appian Way or really dreadful expositions such as his most recent novel, The Judgment of Caesar.
Arms of Nemesis is an excellent historical, mystery and suspense novel. If you have a need for some good escape reading, this is a novel that you should seriously consider.
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