The Library Lady's Reviews > Master and God

Master and God by Lindsey Davis
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Aug 18, 12

bookshelves: historical_fiction, adult-mysteries
Recommended for: People who've never read her Falco books--but should read those instead!.

Know that I love Lindsey Davis's Marcus Didius Falco books so much that I special order them from Amazon's UK store in order to get them before they come out in the States. And I read them all annually.

Yet I've only read her Course of Honour once--and she considers it her greatest work. I couldn't get through the book she did a few years ago set in Cromwell's England. And I read this one once and will not be in a hurry to read it again.

But reading this book was useful because I've realized the reason that her non-Falco books don't work well for me--and I'd guess these books don't work for a lot of her other Falco fans for the same reason.

Falco's books, told in the first person, bring you a character who is fully realized. His voice is totally believable.

When I read a Falco book, ancient Rome comes alive for me. I can smell the sewers, the perfumes, the herbs growing on his balcony. I can feel the steam rising from Lenia's laundry. I can almost taste what is cooking for dinner.I can see the faces of Falco, and Helena and their family and friends.

This doesn't happen here. I find myself longing for Falco's wry comments and wondering where he is and what he and his family are up to.

Falco fans, including me, apparently will find that out next spring, when Davis starts a new series of novels featuring Falco's adopted daughter Albia.

I know from reading her wonderful website for years that Lindsey Davis has reasons for wanting to do something other than Falco and I hope that in spinning off Albia into her own books she will have fun with her writing. But I also sincerely hope that she will give Albia her own distinctive voice.If she does, they will be terrific books for those of us who have been her readers for the past two decades.

But this book, sadly, is not terrific. And it's not a substitute for a new Falco book.
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