The opening bow of Marcus Didus Falco is like a Chandlerest noir novel, with first person point of view, big corrupt city and this disenchanted, cynical PI who's at the wrong place at the right time.Davis succeeds in creating a believable Rome set in Vespasian's time (70 AD) with it's corrupt politicians, corrupt army, corrupt police and public administration and makes it connect with our modern life. That's a tour de force. Of course like any good noir novel, there is a damsel in distress that meets an horrible fate, there's the traitor, the amazing leading lady and all the fauna you are used to. Davis introduces two strong characters Falco and Helena Justina who's relationship molds and drives the series. You start reading the series because the plot and the set up is interesting and well done but you keep going back because of Falco's and Helena's love for each other, their family and friends.