Blackmailed into spying for Lysander, head of the hated Secret Police, High Priestess Iliona discovers that the threat to her country doesn’t come from their archenemy, Athens. It comes from deep within Sparta itself.
But as she investigates, the same thread keeps turning up. Of a one-eyed giant who lives in the hills. The legendary Cyclops. So who is this man who inspires such fear? A freak? A fraud? A felon? And what does his arrival have to do with the disappearance of several young women?
Taking a break from her Roman historical mystery series (Scorpion Rising, etc.), British author Todd shifts to Sparta in 466 B.C. for this undistinguished whodunit. Lysander, commander of the Spartan secret police known as Krypteia, has coerced Iliona, high priestess of the river deity Eurotas, into gathering intelligence for him. Soon several disappearances, coupled with vague eyewitness reports, awaken fears that the legendary one-eyed giant Cyclops has returned to the area to prey on its inhabitants. The bodies pile up as Iliona searches for the culprit and develops an ambiguous relationship with Lysander. Todd's prose and dialogue are practiced and smooth, but she overuses the gimmick of ending many chapters with a brief passage from the gloating killer's perspective. Modern slang ( Monsters are always so gross ) makes the suspension of disbelief a challenge for all but Todd's most die-hard fans.