The Iron Hand of Mars

Date finished: 7-17-08
Author: Lindsey Davis
Category: Historical fiction, mystery
Published: 1992
Pages: 305
Rating: 5/5

Basic Plot:
Despite his best efforts, Falco finds himself on a quest to Germany for the emperor Vespasian in search of a lost legate. Along the way, he discovers a second missing legate, uncovers corruption in a pottery contract and learns more than he ever wanted to about the wilds of free Germany.

My assessment:
Sigh. I had forgotten how much I loved Davis’ character Falco. It’s been ages since I joined him on an adventure around Rome. Although, we don’t spend much time in Rome in this one before he’s off tromping around Germany. Falco continues to impress as a generally stand up guy who knows how to handle himself on the street. The great joy in this episode was getting to meet Helena’s brother, whom I’m hoping makes more appearances later on in the series.

This is by no means an intellectual pursuit through the empire, but there is some great information about the period, particularly the ups and downs of the Roman army along the borders of the empire. The relationships and tensions along the border with free Germany play a key role in this story, so there are plenty of explanations as to how and why they came about. Generally just a great way to spend some time back in time.

Get The Iron Hand of Mars: A Marcus Didius Falco Mystery at

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