Please take a moment to review Hachette Book Group's updated Privacy Policy: read the updated policy here.

Shadows of Athens

Shadows of Athens

The Persian War is over and an unaccustomed decade of peace has come to ancient Athens. Philocles, an aspiring comic playwright, is making his living as a writer for hire; but this year is the highlight of his career – he has a play in the drama competition at the prestigious Dionysia Festival. The last thing he wants to find on his doorstep the day before is a body with its throat cut.

Just who is this dead man? Is it just a robbery gone wrong? With the play that could make his name on the horizon, Philocles must find out who this man is, why he has been murdered – and why the corpse was in his doorway. He soon realises that he has been caught up in something far bigger than he could have imagined, and there are players in this game who don’t want him looking any further…

(p) Orion Publishing Group Ltd 2019
Read More

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Crime & Mystery / Historical Mysteries

On Sale: 7th March 2019

Price: £19.99

ISBN-13: 9781409180760


Alvey has combined the best features of a crime novel and a work of historical fiction. The result is a pacy, exciting and intelligent story set in a rich world overlooked by most modern novelists. The plot is clever and solidly rooted in history, the characters vivid, sympathetic and lifelike and the world of Athens is gloriously recreated. Best of all, for me, while Shadows of Athens is taut and historically detailed, it also displays a quirky sense of humour - [I] loved it
Simon Turney, author of CALIGULA
As vivid and lively as a Greek wedding - but with rather more blood!
Val McDermid, author of the Kate Brannigan Mysteries
Historical crime writing that virtually reinvents the genre. Ancient Athens is recreated with a masterly touch, while the beleaguered Philocles is the perfect protagonist to lead us through this vividly evoked menacing world
Barry Forshaw, Financial Times crime critic
Fresh ... An enjoyable debut with a strong historical setting
Antonia Senior, The Times
There is a new star in the classical firmament. Philocles is engaging, inspiring and feels absolutely real. This is historical writing at its best and crime writing worthy of prizes. Riveting
Manda Scott, author of the Boudica series
The historical detail is excellent, and the story and characters expertly spun out - a very entertaining and satisfying read
Glyn Iliffe, author of The Adventures of Odysseus series
It's about time someone did for ancient Athens what Lindsey Davis' Falco novels do for Ancient Rome. Alvey sets the scene perfectly, with easy brushstrokes and lightly worn learning. In Philocles we have an aspiring playwright, man of the people and reluctant detective. I look forward to his next case...
Jack Grimwood, author of MOSKVA
Intriguing . . . an excellent combination of history within a mystery that have been intertwined to form an incredibly well-written narrative. Alvey not only portrays Athens in all its daily feverish light but also provides a pacey story full of humour, quirky detail, and all within an excellent plot that will keep you riveted to your chair . . . A wonderful addition to the historical crime genre. Philocles joins the ranks of somewhat reluctant sleuths we want to see on our bookshelves. Highly recommended
Ayo Onatade, Shots mag
If you like C J Sansom's Tudor sleuth Matthew Shardlake, you'll love this - a gripping murder mystery set in a fantastically fully-realised ancient Athens, which will keep you guessing to the very end
James Wilde, author of HEREWARD and PENDRAGON
Intriguing . . . a refreshingly different setting portrayed with a convincing air of authenticity. I hope it's the first of many
Andrew Taylor, author of ASHES OF LONDON
I loved it; great sense of place, terrific characters and a cracking plot
Joanne Harris, author of CHOCOLAT
Historical sleuthing finally gets its grown-up trousers. The book's got wit and knowledge and the winning knack of immersing the reader in ancient Greece and the whole theatrical scene there. It shows a thorough understanding of time and place, and has a dark heart of thuggery and murder. Finally, someone has taken on Saylor and Davis and brought us out of Rome at last!
Robert Low, author of the Oathsworn series