There’s a new detective in the agora
443 BC, and, after decades of war with Persia, peace has finally come to Athens. The city is being rebuilt, and commerce and culture are flourishing.
Aspiring playwright Philocles has come home to find a man with his throat cut slumped against his front gate. Is it just a robbery gone wrong? But, if so, why didn't the thieves take the dead man's valuables? With the play that could make his name just days away, he must find out who this man is, why he has been murdered - and why the corpse was left in his doorway.
But Philocles soon realises he has been caught up in something far bigger, and there are those who don't want him looking any further . . .
Praise for Shadows of Athens
"I loved it; great sense of place, terrific characters and a cracking plot" Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat
"As vivid and lively as a Greek wedding - but with rather more blood!" Val McDermid, author of the Kate Brannigan Mysteries
"It's about time someone did for ancient Athens what Lindsey Davis' Falco novels do for Ancient Rome. Alvey sets the scene perfectly, with easy brushstrokes and lightly worn learning. In Philocles we have an aspiring playwright, man of the people and reluctant detective. I look forward to his next case..." Jack Grimwood, author of Moskva
"There is a new star in the classical firmament. Philocles is engaging, inspiring and feels absolutely real. This is historical writing at its best and crime writing worthy of prizes. Riveting" Manda Scott, author of the Boudica series
"Superb... A fabulous read" Irish Times
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In rich and glorious detail, JM Alvey recreates ancient Athens for an excellent debut. In 443 BC, aspiring playwright Philocles arrives home to find a man murdered at his front gate. The mystery then intensifies as there appears to be no sign of a robbery taking place. Facing a race to uncover the crime—on the eve of a signature play to his name—Philocles must now assume the position of reluctant detective. Alvey conjures charm and custom in cavernous temples and ornate theatres for a vivid, immersive view of 5th Century Greece. Looking for a new obsession? Then try this intelligent crime fiction armed with all the wonder and intrigue of the ancient world.
A really great read
A properly good read to get your teeth into, and a murder mystery that doesn’t rely on the usual tired formula.
The story gives a great feel for time and place, with characters detailed enough you’ll want to spend more time with them.
It could really use a pronunciation guide at the beginning, and it took me a while to adjust to the pace, but neither got in the way too much.
I’m off the get the rest of the series.
Did not like it
After finishing chapter 5, I was stilt trying to get my head to where the story was heading.
Decided to stop reading and move on to another book.
A brilliant read on every level
First and foremost this is an entertaining read - I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next - but that’s not all by a long way. The characters are likeable (the ones you’re supposed to like anyway) and real and the way the author introduces us to ancient Athens is subtle yet deep. The style is unlike any other and makes it easy to read yet full of historic detail - not something many authors achieve. I can’t wait to read the next one!