The fourth instalment of the popular Marcus Didius Falco
dramatised private-eye mysteries set in first century Rome.
With Titus Caesar in pursuit of Marcus Didius Falco's patrician
girlfriend, Helena, the sleuth Falco is dispatched by Vespasian
on an undercover mission to Roman Gaul, where there has been
trouble with the natives. He must exercise his diplomatic
skills on the very uncivil Civilis...
Iron Hand of Mars follows on from BBC Radio 4's dramatisations
of Lindsey Davis's previous novels The Silver Pigs,
Shadows in Bronze and Venus in Copper. Anna
Madeley returns as Helena Justina, along with Ben Crowe as
Falcos best friend Petronius, Jonathan Keeble as Titus Caesar
and Michael Tudor Barnes as Vespasian.
sees Falco being dispatched to one of the most hostile parts
of the Empire to deliver a new standard - an iron hand - to
one of the legions. Germania is cold, wet, dismal and full
of dark forests inhabited by bloodthirsty barbarians, but
Falco has an even bigger problem to worry about: he has forgotten
Helena Justina's birthday, and she is being pursued by the
Emperor's son Titus Caesar.
As Falco makes his way through dangerous territory, he encounters
the aftermath of a grisly crime, investigates the case of
a missing legate, gets into trouble with a centurion and has
a fateful encounter with a Celtic priestess and a giant bull.
With the help of his travelling companions Helena's tribune
brother Justinus, redundant barber Xanthus and Helveticus
Falco must try to complete his most deadly mission yet.
this production captures the spirit of Davis's original tale,
and builds well on the three previous plays, I couldn't help
thinking that it may be a little too dry for some listeners.