Ayo Onatade is an avid reader of crime and mystery fiction. She has been writing reviews, interviews and articles on the subject for the last 12 years; with an eclectic taste from historical to hardboiled, short stories and noir films
Lindsey Davis presents readers with an Ancient Rome full of humour, conspiracy, and action and in Enemies at Home (the second book in the Flavia Albia series) we find Flavia involved in bloody treachery, domestic double-dealing as she tries to unravel the murder of wealthy newlyweds.
Flavia Albia is hired by aedile Tiberius Faustus to investigate the mysterious murders of Valerius Aviola and Mucia Lucilia. To top it all the main suspects are their slaves who have claimed sanctuary in the Temple of Ceres. Unless Flavia can find the real killers and it is not clear cut that they are in fact innocent they will find themselves not only tortured but also thrown to the lions in the arena. Compounding all this, Flavia has her own slave problems. As she investigates the murders secrets are revealed and witnesses appear to suffer from selective hearing on the night in question.
Enemies at Home is a wonderfully written novel. Lindsey Davis certainly knows how to tell a story and in Flavia we have a really good heroine. She is strong–willed, independent and good at her job as an investigator. I mean how could she not be with Marcus Didius Falco as her father. The cameo appearances of her other relatives also make us realise how important they are to the series without taking away from what is in essence Flavia’s world. Her relationships also make for interesting reading and in this case mainly her relationship with Faustus. Do they, don’t they have a romantic relationship? It is hard to tell but interesting to watch the dynamics between the two of them. Everyday details are scattered throughout and Lindsey Davis’s sense of place and characterisation is what empowers her already fabulous storytelling skills.
When it comes down to it, Enemies at Home is a skilfully written murder mystery that will keep you turning the pages right until the end. With Lindsey Davis, Ancient Rome has one of the best chronicles of life, murder, and intrigue. Magis obsecro.