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
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!
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
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
I loved it; great sense of place, terrific characters and a cracking plot
As vivid and lively as a Greek wedding - but with rather more blood!
Intriguing . . . a refreshingly different setting portrayed with a convincing air of authenticity. I hope it's the first of many
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...
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
The historical detail is excellent, and the story and characters expertly spun out - a very entertaining and satisfying read
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
Fresh ... An enjoyable debut with a strong historical setting
Superb . . . A fabulous read