Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-04-11

Enjoyable listen

This is one of the very good series of BBC produced dramatisations of Lindsey Davis novels. Murder, intrigue, mystery set in the Roman Empire of Vespasian. It features Marcus Didius Falco, private investigator, who is ‘persuaded’ to take on a dangerous, secret task for the Emperor. Really he is the put upon little man from the lower orders of Roman society, knocked about by more powerful forces, and although battered and bloodied, uses all his street wise savvy to come through against the odds - and gets the girl.

It has a nice balance between sinister with a bit of tongue in cheek. Quips and black humour throughout. But for all that the validity of plot, atmosphere and pace is well maintained.

The quality of presentation is very high – as you come to expect from BBC products. The lead roles, and especially Anton Lesser (who is one of my favourite voices) as Falco, were excellent. Some of the other parts were a little cardboard and the gay barber part was camp cliché.

All in all though, a very enjoyable listen. I would recommend anyone to this story and to others in the series.

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