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Показать все книги автора/авторов: Davis Lindsey
 

«Nemesis», Lindsey Davis

NEMESIS

 

Lindsey Davis

 

 

 

PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS

 

Marcus Didius Falco a man of mixed fortunes and seeker after truth

Helena Justina his true love, sought and won

Falco’s family low grade, but not as bad as they seem:

Junilla Tacita formidable wife to the deplorable Geminus

Maia Favonia Falco’s sister, the best of the bunch

Flavia Albia heart-broken and ready to break heads

Katutis Falco’s secretary, a disappointed man

Helena’s family high class, but not as good as they look:

Aulus Camillus Aelianus keeping a low profile

Quintus Camillus Justinus keeping his career on target, thanks to:

Claudia Rufma his wife and financial backer

Lentullus an accident waiting to happen

 

Falco’s associates in Rome

Lucius Petronius Longus an upright vigiles enquirer (low pay)

Lucius Petronius Rectus his brother, feeling off colour

Nero their ox, another one gone missing

Tiberius Fusculus Petro’s second in command

Sergius their whip man (always encouraging)

Clusius a devious rival auctioneer (low motives)

Gaius a dubious apprentice (high hopes)

Gornia a tight-lipped porter (no comment)

Septimus Parvo a family lawyer (absolutely no comment)

Thalia a contortionist with a problem to wriggle out of

Philadelphion and Davos her lovers, keeping well off the scene

Minas of Karystos a lawyer, on the up

Hosidia Meline a bride (on the make?)

 

Also in Rome

Tiberius Claudius Laeta a smooth bureaucrat with high aspirations

Momus a rough-edged auditor with low habits

Tiberius Claudius Anacrites the Chief Spy, a high-flyer of low worth

The Melitans his agents (dodgy connections)

Perella an assassin who wants a new job (her boss’s)

Heracleides party-planner to the stars

Nymphidias his thieving chef

Scorpus a singer, spying on spies (an idiot)

Alis a fortune-teller who blames Mum (a wise woman)

Arrius Persicus a philanderer, oversexed and over-budget

A courier newly wed and newly dead

Volusius Mum’s boy, a numerate victim

 

In Latium

Januaria a waitress at Satricum, an all-rounder

Livia Primilla & Julius Modestus complainants in high dudgeon

Sextus Silanus their nephew in Lanuvium, in low spirits

Macer their loyal overseer, gone missing

Syrus their runaway slave, fatally roughed up

A butcher in Lanuvium a very careless creditor

The horrible Claudii neighbours from Hades:

Aristocles and Casta cold-natured, hot-tempered parents (deceased)

Claudius Nobilis so notorious, he has �gone to see his granny’

Pius and Virtus the twins, �working away from home’

Probus �upholding the family name’

Felix �lost’

Plotia and Byrta downtrodden wives

Demetria runaway wife of Claudius Nobilis (low esteem)

Costus her new boyfriend (asking for trouble)

Vexus her father (anticipating the worst)

Thamyris employer of Nobilis and Costus (over-confident)

Silvius an officer of the Urban Cohorts, undercover

 

Plus full supporting cast:

Jason the python, dogs, missing persons, slaves (non-persons), personal

beauticians, impersonal magistrates

 

And featuring:

The Praetorian Guards bastards!

 

ROME AND LATIUM: SUMMER, AD 77

I

 

I find it surprising more people are not killed over dinner at home. In my work we reckon that murder is most likely to happen among close acquaintances. Someone will finally snap after years of being wound up to blind rage by the very folk who best know how to drive them to distraction. For once it will be just too much to watch someone else eating the last sesame pancake — which, of course, was snatched with a triumphant laugh that was intended to rankle. So a victim expires with honey still dribbling down their chin — though it happens less often than you might expect.

Why are more kitchen cleavers not sunk between the fat shoulders of appalling uncles who get the slaves pregnant? Or that sneaky sister who shamelessly grabs the most desirable bedroom, with its glimpse of a corner of the Temple of Divine Claudius and almost no cracks in the walls? Or the crude son who farts uncontrollably, however many times he is told. .

Even if people do not stab or strangle their own, you would expect more to rush out into the streets and vent their frustration upon the first person they meet. Perhaps they do. Perhaps even the random killing of strangers, which the vigiles call �a motiveless crime’, sometimes has an understandable domestic cause.

It could so easily have happened to us.

 

I grew up in a large family, crammed into a couple of small, sour rooms. All around our apartment were other teeming groups, too noisy, too obstreperous and all packed together far too close. Perhaps the thing that saved us from tragedy was that my father left home — his only escape from a situation he had come to find hideous, and an event which at least saved us from the burden of more children. Later my brother took himself off to the army; eventually I saw the sense of it and did the same. My sisters moved out to harass the feckless men they bullied into marriage. My mother, having brought up seven, was left alone but continued to have a strong influence on all of us. Even my father, once he returned to Rome, viewed Ma with wary respect.


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