A Roman Ransom
Glevum (modern day Gloucester) in Roman Britain, 188 AD. Libertus, the pavement maker, is sick. However, his patron, Marcus Septimus, has a pressing concern. Marcus’s wife and young son have been kidnapped, and Libertus is the only one who can help them. But when Libertus is implicated in the crime, the situation threatens to have dire implications for the pavement maker. The mysterious Philades, a Greek physician, adds to the aggravation. And then Gwellia, Libertus’s wife, also goes missing.
For much of the book, the ailing Libertus is confined to bed, which means the author has to work hard to keep the narrative flowing. Once again, the more unsavoury aspects of Roman life are not spared, which lends an authentic feel. There are a few niggles, such as a couple of typos. But there are plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader amused. Overall, it’s a story well grounded in the Roman era.