The Eyes Of Aurora
Albert A. Bell, Jr.
Perseverance: Sep 9 2014 $15.95
At the Centumviral Court, Gaius Pliny successfully prosecutes the case for his future mother-in-law Pompeia Celerina against rival defense Marcus Regulus who represented Quintus Vibius. Pliny’s martinet mother and Pompeia host a victory celebration that includes toasting the upcoming wedding between their children though Pliny loves his slave Aurora instead of his wealthy beautiful fiancée Livilla.
Aurora recently met impoverished Crispina and her ailing son. She persuades Pliny and his friend Tacitus to accompany her in order to help Crispina. When they arrive at Crispina’s home, they find neither her nor her son in residence; left behind is an enigmatic word square. The trio soon finds out that raging Regulus arrived before them and a further search of the grounds reveals a decapitated female body. Horrified by the gruesome sight of a headless corpse, Aurora and Pliny find comfort with each.
The fifth Notebooks of Pliny the Younger (see The Corpus Conundrum and Death in the Ashes) is a twisting complicated Ancient Rome revenge thriller with additional stunning spins in the protagonist’s personal relationships. Although the case turns overly byzantine, readers will relish traveling the Ostian Way; escorted by Pliny and Aurora.