New year, new reads, new intention, a Silver Pigs review. I read way beyond my Goodreads Reading Challenge but didn’t get around to writing any book reviews. I thought how do I make it easier for me to write a review since I’m usually kaput when I finish a book? The 5-minute book review! I set a timer for 5 minutes. Whatever I manage to write in that time is my review. This is my first one.
by Lindsey Davis
I wanted a mystery set in a time so long ago, there’d be no connection to the current global shitshow. I also wanted humour to counter the conveyor belt of bad news and bad governance. The New York Library had a post on mysteries, and a few commenters recommended Lindsey Davis’s books for their wit. That hooked me.
Her protagonist Falco then hooked me in.
I like fiction where the author has done extensive research to bring the settings, culture, people, ambience — the time — to life. And Davis has obviously done that. Falco narrates the mystery, and we quickly see that he has a rather dry wit and is self-deprecating. We don’t have any idea what he looks like for quite awhile. A hair cut far along in the book tells us his hair texture but not hair colour, for example. But being Roman, we can assume black hair.
Davis pulls no punches. When a character has to go, they have to go. She wrote in her introduction that she wanted a PI who has a family, is human, and through the life and death of a character, she reveals Falco’s family, his surface attitude, and his true emotions towards them. And she reveals quite a bit of his intrinsic character. Right up until the end of the book.
Once the mystery is solved, the story wraps up quickly. But Davis keeps us glued as she reveals nuances of Falco and heightens the drama.
My main quibble is her use of Britishms. Perhaps they go with the location, but they strike a bit of a false note in a Roman tale.
A fun, engaging novel. Just what the doctor ordered. I’ll be reading more!