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Davis, Lindsey - The Silver Pigs (Unabridged Audiobook) read by Christian Rodska
Audio Cassette (2005) Publisher: BBC Audiobooks ISBN: 1405600616

THE SILVER PIGS introduces Marcus Didius Falco, private informer, star of the series which will be eighteen books long, by March 2007.

Rome, AD 70, the year following the 'Year of the Four Emperors', Vespasian is in charge with his sons Titus and Domititian close at hand.

Trouble finds Falco in the shape of sixteen-year-old Sosia Camillina when she runs straight into him as she flees from two would be kidnappers. Falco keeps Sosia safe and returns her to her family. However Sosia doesn't keep away and Falco becomes involved in an investigation as to who is smuggling in big slabs of lead (the titular, silver pigs) and who is trying to buy off the Senate and depose Vespasian.

His involvement with Sosia takes him to the dreaded Britannia colony where he meets Sosia's cousin, Helena Justina who makes his life hell by suggesting he work in the mines to discover how the silver pigs are being smuggled out. Falco barely survives and his reward is to accompany Helena home to Rome. An uneasy truce forms between them and as in the best hate-hate relationships this develops into something more.

THE SILVER PIGS is a very enjoyable listen, one that is enhanced by being able to learn about Roman times. It's quite amazing how little things have changed in 2000 years. Falco has a modern vocabulary but I have no doubt that the history aspects are as accurate as can be. The mystery is strong and the narrative laced with humour, Falco is very much the wise cracking PI and is given an 'EastEnders' type accent by Christian Rodska. The tale is being told by Falco from some years in the future, so the more mature voice of the narrator isn't at odds with Falco's age of thirty in the story. Christian Rodska gives an exemplary performance and I loved his Falco, Helena and the Olivier sounding Titus Caesar.

Karen Meek, England
October 2006

Karen blogs at
Euro Crime.

last updated 23/03/2008 21:03