Sunday, April 19, 2015

P is for Poseidon's Gold by Lindsey Davis

Another sneak entry into the A to Z Challenge, Poseidon's Gold is a novel I've been reading since I finished Lindsey's previous volume. Unfortunately the back pain and the pain killers have made reading a bit more difficult than I'm used to. Having a hard time focusing on the material in front of me which winds up with me fifteen-twenty pages later wondering exactly what I've read.

Despite that obstacle though, I have finished Poseidon's Gold! The short review? Reading one of the book's in the Falco series of Ancient Rome is like visiting an old friend. You are anxious to hear all about the happenings and going ons and see how everyone in the neighborhood is doing. If you've enjoyed the previous books, you will no doubt enjoy Poseidon's Gold.

The longer review?

Interesting. If I had finished this book earlier, I might have put it down as F is for Family.  This book focuses on several different relations of Falco and does so in a way that brings his own love, Helena, closer to the fold.

Falco's older brother, Festus, was a soldier who had a habit of falling in with not only the wrong crowd, but with every crowd. Wherever he went, there were fans and friends aplenty. But everything didn't always work out his way. Especially when there were those plots that failed to come to fruition and well, with Festus dead some odd five years at this point, for others to come calling on those old debts? Why, it's enough to have Falco's own mother hire him to clear the family name!

Such things are not easy though. For one of those who had been looking for Festus, a fellow soldier, turns up dead only hours after having last been seen in the company of Falco. So not only must Falco clear his brother's name, he must clear his own.

Which leads to the long hated Father, Geminum, also known as Favonius, a man who left Falco's mother many years ago. A man who Falco had never forgiven.

The trials and tributions put the duo through the ringer and they both come out with a greater understanding of the other. Add in Helena whose inquisitive nature and refusal to be a wallflower and you've got a trio of characters put into situations that a senator's daughter might not normally ever be a party to.

The book also introduces some new characters whose activities are as corrupt as they come and who have their own hold over Falco and his father thanks to Festus. These two would almost be a worthy match for the Kingpin of Marvel Comics Fame in that they're not going to go to the police to report their missing funds, but rather, will get those funds one way or another. These individuals do not suffer the full and righteous justice that Falco would prefer, and I'm sure with her skilled pen, Lindsey Davis will bring them back for another go around in a future volume.

Family, even dead family members, can bring out the best and the worst in the remaining family. Did one parent favor one of the children over the other? Is there any animosity between siblings? Do cousins have secrets that only one child knows?

Families can be much more than fodder for the sorrow pile and Lindsey's talented hand ensures that even when all members of the family aren't getting along, like all good families, when outsiders come calling, they pull together and work hard to clear that family name.