This is the second in the “Falco” series.
Following the revelation of the silver pigs, Falco is once again roped into working for Emperor Vespasian to dispose of the body of a man who was quietly executed on imperial orders. Following this, Falco is sent to investigate a fire at a nearby temple. There he discovers that a man en route to meet the Emperor has been killed in the fire. Meanwhile, his friend Anacrites reports that he has been unable to locate Barnabas, a mysterious man who has apparently been asking around about Falco.
This is longer than the first novel and unfortunately the weaker of the two. At times it seems over-written and I occasionally felt my interest start to wane. There is also a lot of development of Falco and Helena Justina as characters as well as their relationship. I understand why Davis felt it was necessary, but this background story bogs down what is already a slow-moving plot. I do feel that such development may have benefited from being later in the series when they were well-established.
This is shaping up to be an interesting series already though.