The Silver Pigs is the first book in the Falco series by Lindsey Davis.
It is 70 AD. Marcus Didius Falco is a private investigator in Rome. Vespasian has only been emperor a short while, and after the Year of the Four Emperors, the Empire has yet to settle down again.
Whilst in the forum, Falco comes across a young pretty woman on the run from a couple of thugs. Her name is Sosia Camillina. Being the gentleman that he is, Falco makes the quick decision to help Sosia.
And so, with this small act begins his involvement in a trade corruption scandal, one that has the highest of ambitions and stretches from the furthest reaches of the Empire to it’s very heart. Silver pigs from the mines in Britain – a place that Falco does not have fond memories of – have been going missing. Now they have turned up in Rome.
When someone close to Falco ends up murdered, he is willing to do anything, no matter the cost, to uncover the truth and bring a killer justice…even return to Britannia, where he served his not so glorious stint in the army. But what will he find when he gets there?
As I mentioned in this review I am currently returning to a few of my favourite book series. The Falco books by Lindsey Davis is one of them. I have absolutely loved each and every one of these books and they certainly get better and better with each re-read.
The Roman world the author describes is vivid and historically accurate. As we travel across the length and breadth of the Empire – from Rome to the far-flung province of Britannia, we are given an evocative glimpse into the Roman world as it is brought to life with ease and in such a way as to make it accessible to those unfamiliar with this period in history.
Each and every character in the story has depth, and their respective roles and and interactions move fluidly through the story. The book is peopled with realistic personalities; some you’ll like, some you won’t; some that will become firm favourites.
The Silver Pigs is a story that blends historical detail with tragedy, mystery and humour, weaving a novel that is hard to forget, and one that it’s hard not to get caught up in…a thoroughly mesmerising read…
I can’t recommend this book (or the series) highly enough, and I am looking forward to re-reading book 2, Shadows in Bronze.