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When Germanic troops in the service of the Empire begin to rebel, and a Roman general disappears, Emperor Vespasian turns to the one man he can trust: Marcus Didius Falco, a private informer whose rates are low enough that even the stingy Vespasian is willing to pay them.
To Falco, an undercover tour of Germania is an assignment from Hades. On a journey that only a stoic could survive, Falco meets with disarray, torture, and murder. His one hope: in the northern forest lives a powerful Druid priestess who perhaps can be persuaded to cease her anti-Rome activities and work for peace. Which Falco is eagerly hoping for as, back in Rome, the Titus Caesar is busy trying to make time with Helena Justina, a senator's daughter and Falco's girlfriend.
Lindsey Davis' historical mystery Iron Hand of Mars is a "Seamless blending of humor, history and adventure" (Publishers Weekly).
In A.D. 71, the Emperor Vespasian sends his reluctant agent Marcus Didius Falco to Germany to bring a rebel chieftain into line and to find a missing legate whose battle-worn legion had surrendered him to a druidic sorceress. In his fourth appearance, after Venus in Copper , the worldly-wise, ever - entertaining Falco journeys up the river Rhenus, encountering hardships and danger, including murder, and resolving puzzles of politics and commerce. In Roman Germany, Falco's military experience in Gaul and his knowledge of historic Gallic battles will help him deal with fort intrigues and the mysterious ways of the forest tribes. His travails in Upper Germany are as much physical as cerebral; indeed, he saves his company from a wild aurochs in a last-ditch leap that recalls ancient Greek bull-dancing practices. Accompanied in part by his lover, the high-born Helena Justina (who has caught the eye of Vespasian's son Titus), and aided by her brother Camillus Justinus, an untried but courageous young officer, Falco stays alive, accomplishes the Emperor's mission and holds on to his girl--feats as accomplished as Davis's seamless blending of humor, history and adventure.