Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Review: The Bull Slayer by Bruce Macbain

Mysterious Reviews: Reviews of New Mysteries, Novels of Suspense, and Thrillers

A Mysterious Review of …

The Bull Slayer by Bruce Macbain. A Plinius Secundus Mystery.

Review summary: This is an oddly mismatched combination of a murder mystery and a melodramatic family saga. The former develops as a well-constructed, historically rich tale of embezzlement, money laundering, secret initiations, and, of course, murder. The latter is better suited as a subplot for a modern daytime soap opera. (Click here for text of full review.)

Our rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Bull Slayer Bruce Macbain

The Bull Slayer
Bruce Macbain
A Plinius Secundus Mystery
Poisoned Pen Press (March 2013)

Publisher synopsis: A turbulent frontier province, rotten with corruption and seething with hatred of Rome — a barbarian god whose devotees may include a murderer — a clever and unscrupulous faith healer who knows everyone’s secrets — a boy who struggles toward manhood though stricken with the Sacred Disease: these are the elements in a mystery that Pliny, newly appointed governor of Bithynia, confronts when a high Roman official is found murdered on a desolate hillside, miles from the capital. But as Pliny pursues one baffling lead after another, he is being betrayed where he least expects it: his beautiful wife, neglected and lonely in an alien city, falls desperately in love with a handsome young provincial — an affair which threatens to bring not only pain but ruin to Pliny’s career. All these threads come together in a surprising and tragic finale.

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