Thursday, May 04, 2006

A Roman Ransom - Review

A couple of days ago I finished A Roman Ransom by Rosemary Rowe. It is the 8th book in the Libertus series, set in 2nd Century Britain under Roman occupation. Libertus is the freedman of the senior magistrate in the province and works as a mosaic maker. He continually seems to get mixed up in murder mysteries that he has to solve for his patron.

In this installment Libertus is suffering from a serious illness. Unfortunately his patron's wife Julia and young son Marcellinus have been kidnapped and his patron is anxious for him to help search for them. When a ransom demand to release a prisoner in exchange for Julia and Marcellinus arrives, Marcus finds himself in a difficult position. Does he release the prisoner to save his family at the risk of his career or does he sacrifice his family? Will Libertus be able to help from his sick bed?

It's not Rowe's best work. Some of the themes in this book have occurred before (although in a slightly different format). Part of the problem is that a kidnapping theme can often be frustrating because of the waiting, the lack of action between ransom notes etc and Libertus' illness confining him to bed most of the time. It's not a dreadful book though. Like all good mystery stories the actual mystery is quite simple and to be honest I didn't have it all figured out by the time the answers were revealed. Yet there just felt like there was something lacking.

3 stars


Sacred Suzie said...

I love this idea for a blog! I'm always reading books too and have thought of having my own book blog. Way to go! I can't wait to hear more about what you're reading.

Fancy Laces said...

I love reading too!!!

Congratulations for the new blog!

Self Confessed Walkover said...

Glad you both like reading! I was brought up with books so could not escape a love of them! I'm hoping to finish my current book in the next few days, it's a bit hard going though! Not an easy read.