Summary and book reviews of The Accusers by Lindsey Davis

The Accusers

A Marcus Didius Falco Mystery Novel

by Lindsey Davis

The Accusers by Lindsey Davis X
The Accusers by Lindsey Davis
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2004, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2004, 384 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Marcus Didius Falco ('Sam Spade in a ratty toga') should have smelled a rat when employed to investigate the death of a rich Roman senator.  Now Falco stands before judge and jury to argue the case but the wheels of justice grind exceedingly fine and the machinations of the powerful are dangerous.

"Sam Spade in a ratty toga," proclaims the Cleveland Plain Dealer of Roman sleuth Marcus Didius Falco, the hero of Lindsey Davis's bestselling series who has strode through the Eternal City like a colossus of a P.I. In this riveting new adventure, however, Falco may make a fatal misstep as he enters the halls of Roman law and finds that juris prudentia is anything but prudent. It's rife with risk and deadly betrayals...

THE ACCUSERS

Justice may be blind. Yet in the case of a rich Roman senator named Rubirius Metellus who was convicted of corruption and then committed suicide, Marcus Didius Falco should have smelled a rat…and looked the other way.

The affair begins when a famous prosecutor asks Falco to look into Metellus's death. Newly returned from far-flung Londinium, Falco needs the business and doesn't question why he's been given this case. Perhaps after his lengthy hiatus in the provinces, he's forgotten how to swim with the sharks...

In the predatory world of Roman law, accusers collect a fee from successful prosecutions. It is a cutthroat business. Sometimes innocent men are convicted and their wealth confiscated. But Falco believes citizen Metellus was truly guilty and should have paid up. Instead the culprit took poison-and relieved his surviving family of paying his debt.

Then as Falco starts to investigate, he begins to suspect that Metellus may have had some help with his last meal. And if he actually was murdered, Falco must find out cui bono? Who benefits? Now, in a courtroom drama filled with chilling surprises, Falco stands before judge and jury to argue the case. For while the wheels of justice grind exceedingly fine, the machinations of the powerful are dangerous. And Falco may have played right into their hands...

Chapter I

I HAD BEEN an informer for over a decade when I finally learned what the job entailed.

There were no surprises. I knew how society viewed us: low-born hangers-on, upstarts too impatient for honest careers, or corrupt nobles. The lowest grade was proudly occupied by me, Marcus Didius Falco, son of the utterly plebeian rogue Didius Favonius, heir to nothing and possessing only nobodies for ancestors. My most famous colleagues worked in the senate and were themselves senators. In popular thought we were all parasites, bent on destroying respectable men.

I knew how it worked at street level-a hotchpotch of petty investigative jobs, all ill-paid and despised, a career that was often dangerous too. I was about to see the glorious truth of informing senatorial-style. In the late summer of the year that I returned with my family from my British trip, I worked with Paccius Africanus and Silius Italicus, two famous informers at the top of their trade; some of you may have heard of them....

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

This is the 15th book in the Marcus Didius Falco series. The year is 75 A.D. and the place is Rome. Falco (described by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as Sam Spade in a ratty toga) is back from Britain (A Body in the Bathhouse; the Jupiter Myth) and, in an effort to resume his career as an informer, ends up playing advocate in a messy legal dispute. The fun thing about these books is that while they all feature the same key characters they are not formulaic. For example, The Accusers is probably best described as a courtroom thriller but other books in the series have been written in the style of police procedurals, classic whodunnits and thriller-style adventures. Also, Davis manages to stage her mysteries against an apparently accurate and detailed historical backdrop without overwhelming the reader with information  

Media Reviews

Denver Rock Mountain News
Lindsey Davis's excellent and funny series [is] a cross between I, Claudius and Mystery!.

Publishers Weekly
Wry, cynical and principled, Falco makes the perfect guide to Davis's vividly realized ancient Rome.

Booklist - David Pitt
Many historical series go flat once the milieu becomes familiar, but this one continues to mix its history and its mystery in a pleasing blend.

Kirkus Reviews
As usual, Davis's sprightly narrative focuses on customs, history, and details of the Metellus and Falco households and takes its time unraveling the mystery.

Library Journal
Marcus Didius Falco (The Jupiter Myth) is back, cheeky as ever, this time matching his wits against two sleek lawyers intimately involved with the evident suicide of a Roman senator accused of corruption. Did he or didn't he? Of course, Falco uncovers the truth, though just barely; the ending is a surprise and surprisingly affecting. Meanwhile, the brothers of Falco's beloved Helen continue learning how hard the life of an informer can be and grow up just a little. Topnotch work in a topnotch series.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Lindsey Davis

If you liked The Accusers, try these:

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Pianist from Syria
    The Pianist from Syria
    by Aeham Ahmad
    Aeham Ahmad became famous as the face of Syrian suffering when a photo of him playing piano in the ...
  • Book Jacket: The Smiling Man
    The Smiling Man
    by Joseph Knox
    Joseph Knox's latest turns on a simple premise: an unidentified and unidentifiable murdered man is ...
  • Book Jacket: The Heavens
    The Heavens
    by Sandra Newman
    I've been a big fan of Sandra Newman's writing ever since reading her 2014 novel The Country of Ice ...
  • Book Jacket: Sugar Run
    Sugar Run
    by Mesha Maren
    Mesha Maren's debut novel is a plunge into the depths of the dark Southern gothic with pulsing and ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Last Year of the War
    by Susan Meissner

    A little-known story of WWII with great resonance for our times.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    American Princess
    by Stephanie Marie Thornton

    Rated 4.9 stars by BookBrowse members - one of the highest scores of all time!
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Girls Burn Brighter
by Shobha Rao

An extraordinary and heart-rending tale of two girls with all the odds against them.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win The Summer Country

Win up to 12 copies to share with friends or your book club!

A sweeping epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D T T! Full S A!

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.