The King’s Gambit — Review in Verse

The King's GambitThis the first in the SPQR

Series of detective books,

Set in a Republic at war

And full of villains and spooks.

While Crassus and Pompey

Reign over the nation,

The street gangs have their day

Preying on the population.

Yet when slaves and freedmen alike

Are found in the Subura, dead,

The authorities seem reluctant to strike,

Except for our hero, the head

Of the vigiles (or watchmen),

Who seems determined to find

The what, why and when,

With his keen investigative mind.

The pace is pleasingly swift

And the dialog fairly crackles,

As plot lines turn and shift

And our hero blocks and tackles.

But the characters are flat

And have little originality,

Almost Egyptian, in that

They lack three-dimensionality.

So if Dan Brown’s more your style

Then give this book a read,

But if you prefer Le Carre’s guile

Then there’s really no need.

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