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Published by Peter Tonkin, 7 Nov 2018. ISBN: 978-1-72928468-1
begins in September 43 BCE as Decimus Albinus rides his horse through the
inhospitable terrain of the Alps and contemplates his rapid change of fortune.Decimus, played a leading role in securing Caesar’s
overthrow and he recently achieved a momentous victory over Mark Antony outside
the walls of Mutina.The Governor of Cisalpine Gaul, however, is a strategist rather
than a military commander, and he now finds himself isolated and leading a demoralised
and defeated group of men.His situation
becomes immeasurably worse when he comes face to face with the novel’s
protagonist, familiar to readers of the first two instalments of the “Caesar’s
Spies” series, Artemidorus.
narrative then doubles back as Part I returns to a period three months earlier
to when Caesar’s loyal General Mark Antony, having been declared hostis - an enemy of Rome, has retreated
to a camp north of the Alps.Further
south, Cicero, the man who had him banished, is struggling to ensure the
survival of the Republic.Antony and his
followers have pledged to exact revenge on the twenty assassins who remain at
large following the bloody coup which took place just over a year before.Octavian, Caesar’s great nephew and adopted
son, is based in Bologna waiting to succeed his uncle, but Cicero still holds
sway in Rome’s Senate and the young heir must bide his time before he stakes
his claim for control.There is a
possibility that Octavian might join forces with Cicero, an idea that is
anathema to Antony, Enobarbus, Artemidorus and many others who believe that the
killing of Gaius Julius Caesar was an unlawful act of treachery.The leaders of the depleted yet determined
army still loyal to Caesar’s memory, decide that Artemidorus should attempt to broker
an alliance between Antony and Octavian – a risky business to say the least.Mark Anthony’s cavalry legate Gretorex, is
commissioned to lead a small group of trained warriors including Artemidorus
and his warrior-lover Puella, across the mountain range that lies between Mark
Antony’s camp and that of Octavian.They
must journey through the inhospitable terrain of the northern forests, and
contend with Gaulish robbers, whose ruthlessness has been fuelled by the brutal
treatment of the local population exacted by Decimus’ troops who lack
discipline as well as leadership.
Cicero Dies is the thrilling third
novel of Peter Tonkin’s series set within the chaos that continues to threaten
law and order in Rome and beyond well after Julius Caesar has been killed by
his enemies.The plot moves quickly and reflects
the lack of stability within the Roman Republic in which intrigue and savagery are
the order of the day.As the idealists and
opportunists who plotted Caesar’s downfall succumb to the lure of power and
wealth only Artemidorus and his undercover team remain steadfast in their
pursuit of justice for their dead leader and empathetic to the impact of the
civic upheavals on ordinary people who live under Roman rule.This is a breathless, brutal tale which
weaves together historical fact and creativity, it is informative, entertaining
and thoroughly enjoyable.
Reviewer: Dot Marshall-Gent
Tonkinwas born 1 January 1950 in
Ulster, son of an RAF officer. He spent much of his youth travelling the world
from one posting to another. He went to school at Portora Royal, Enniskillen
and Palmer's, Grays. He sang, acted, and published poetry, winning the Jan
Palac Memorial Prize in 1968. He studied English with Seamus Heaney at Queen's
Belfast. His first
novel, Killer, was published in 1978.
His work has included the acclaimed "Mariner" series that have been
critically compared with the best of Alistair
Bagley and Hammond
Innes. More recently he has been working on a series of detective
thrillers with an Elizabethan background.
worked in the emergency services for twenty years first as a police officer,
then as a paramedic and finally as a fire control officer before graduating
from King’s College, London as a teacher of English in her mid-forties.
She completed a M.A. in Special and Inclusive Education at the Institute
of Education, London and now teaches part-time and writes mainly about
educational issues. Dot sings jazz and country music and plays guitar,
banjo and piano as well as being addicted to reading mystery and crime fiction.