Murder’s Immortal Mask
Rome, 314 AD. Constantine is now the emperor, having defeated Maxentius at the battle of Milvian Bridge in the year 312 and brought to an end the persecution of the Christians. But Rome is no peaceful city. Two years earlier a spate of vicious serial killings of prostitutes in the Caelian Quarter had taken place and the killer had never been caught. Now, suddenly they began again. Attius Enobarbus, a veteran and centurion of the Imperial army and appointed by Maxentius to search the city for Christian shrines and relics, and in particular the tomb of Peter the Galilean, had been suspected of being the killer, the Nefandus. However, he is found dead, stabbed in the back in his own room with the door locked on the inside, the only key still in the lock and a particular casket missing. Then his concubine, Drusilla, is murdered. Helena, Constantine’s mother, calls in Claudia, one of her most trusted Agentges in rebus who with her unpretentious appearance had proved herself to be a perfect secret agent, and charges her to discover who killed Enobarbus and the whereabouts of the casket thought to contain the location of the burial place of St. Peter. Then there is Valentinian, leader of the Christian community on the Vatican hill, who disappeared without trace when the community was wiped out.
The story twists and turns, weaving its way through events with a dexterity that one has come to expect from Paul Doherty. History told as it was, but wrapped up in a rattling good tale. A real page turner.