In a cave in the hills, seven candles burned, and tonight, when the moon was at its full, it would be time to light another. Oh, the Blood Moon was so aptly named…
Three ritual killings on the same night can’t be coincidence. More an attempt to sabotage the peace between Sparta and her new allies from across the Black Sea.
High Priestess Iliona has no wish to become embroiled in politics. Especially now. The son she gave up at birth has discovered her identity, and emotions she’d worked so hard to lock away have surfaced, raw and painful. But Lysander, commander of Sparta’s hated Secret Police, gives her no choice. And because she hopes that uncovering conspiracy, murder, kidnapping and adultery will help dull her pain, she fails to notice a killer on the loose with a pathological hatred of women.
Who’s picked Iliona as his next victim.
Todd s second mystery set in ancient Greece (after 2007 s Blind Eye) offers an ingenious premise but only routine prose and characterization. At a time of great political peril, a delegation of Scythians arrives in Sparta to negotiate a trade agreement that would bolster the city-state s economy. Meanwhile, tensions between citizens and helots (slaves pressed into hard labor or the army) as well as the hovering threat of the Krypteia (the secret police) make daily life difficult. When three people fall victim to an unknown killer, the Krypteia commander recruits Iliona, recently appointed the high priestess of the Temple of Eurotas, to solve the murders, which the rulers of Sparta have concluded are the work of an Athenian agent bent on destabilizing the regime. Readers emotionally invested in the first book in the series will likely find the big reveal at the end shocking, but the motivation for the slaughter may strike others as weak.