She’s hunting arms smugglers. But who is hunting her?
One dead body, two badly injured operatives and five crates of hijacked rifles.
In Rome, former French special forces intelligence analyst Mélisende des Pittones is frustrated by obnoxious local cops and ruthless thugs. Despite the backing of the powerful European Investigation and Regulation Service, her case is going nowhere. Then an unknown woman tries to blow her head off.
As Mel and fellow investigator Jeff McCracken attempt to get a grip on the criminal network as well as on their own unpredictable relationship, all roads point to the place she dreads – the arid and remote African Sahel – where she was once betrayed and nearly died. Can Mel conquer her fear as she races to smash the network and save her colleague’s life?
Alison Morton writes award-winning thrillers featuring tough but compassionate heroines. Her nine-book Roma Nova series is set in an imaginary European country where a remnant of the ancient Roman Empire has survived into the 21st century and is ruled by women who face conspiracy, revolution and heartache but with a sharp line in dialogue.
She blends her deep love of France with six years’ military service and a life of reading crime, historical and thriller fiction. On the way, she collected a BA in modern languages and an MA in history.
Alison now lives in Poitou in France, the home of Mélisende, the heroine of her latest two contemporary thrillers, Double Identity and Double Pursuit. Oh, and she’s writing the next Roma Nova story.
The Carina strand
INCEPTIO where New Yorker Karen Brown is thrown into a new life in mysterious Roma Nova and fights to stay alive with a killer hunting her
CARINA, a novella, Carina’s first mission abroad. What could go wrong?
PERFIDITAS, six years on, where betrayal and rebellion are in the air, threatening to topple Roma Nova and ruin Carina’s life.
SUCCESSIO, where a mistake from the past threatens to destroy the next generation.
The Aurelia strand
AURELIA, in late 1960s Roma Nova, Aurelia Mitela battles her life-long nemesis, silver smuggling and is forced to choose between her love, her child and her country
NEXUS Mid 1970s, London, where a simple favour for a friend becomes a chilling pursuit across Europe
INSURRECTIO, where Aurelia Mitela struggles against a manipulative tyrant grabbing power. But it may already be too late to save Roma Nova…
RETALIO, a classic tale of resistance and retribution – the endgame between Aurelia and Caius
ROMA NOVA EXTRA, a collection of short stories from AD 370 to the present
‘A Roman Intervenes‘ in 1066 Turned Upside Down
How Galla Mitela, Roma Novan imperial councillor, attempts to stop the Norman invasion of England. One of a series of possible alternative outcomes of 1066.
‘The Mystery of Victory’ in Rubicon (HWA/Sharpe Books)
What did happen to the Altar of Victory in the dusk of the Roman Empire?
‘The Idealist’ in Betrayal (Historical Fictioneers, 2020)
Military or civilians? The curious anomaly of the German Women’s Auxiliary Services during the Second World War.
The 500 Word Writing Buddy: 35 Inner Secrets for the New Writer
My thoughts: having read the first Melisende book, I was pleased to get an early look at the sequel, and enjoyed it a lot. I like Mel, I like her no compromise, take no prisoners attitude and how she combines her military training with intelligence and teamwork to solve the case. I also like her colleagues, especially Joanna and Andreas. Even her boss, Stevenson, with all his secrets, is interesting.
In this adventure, Mel and Jeff are on the trail of missing weapons, ones meant for the French military but somehow in the hands of terrorists. Mel has some suspicions around her ex-fiance’s overly meddlesome sister, especially when she catches someone following them.
This case will take her out of Europe and into Africa, but not before she goes to Rome, the UK and all over France and Belgium. They put in a lot of travel time tracking leads and interviewing suspects, with the sometimes begrudging help of local law enforcement.
Mel’s feelings for Jeff complicate things after he’s injured and puts himself in danger – his hard headedness is no match for serious concussion. But Mel always gets her man – even if it is someone from her past.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.