Alaric I was a Visigoth king, who lived in a period several hundred years after the beginning of the Christian era, had sacked and looted Rome. He is reputed to have denuded the city of as much of its private and public treasures as his army could carry. He died during his campaigns in the Italian peninsula and is thought to be buried in Italy.
The story told was that in order to hide Alaric’s grave, a river was diverted from its course, the grave dug with the king and a great deal of treasure buried there. The river was then returned to its path and all of the slaves digging the grave killed in order to preserve the secret.
Will Adams has written a fascinating novel utilizing the seeking of Alaric’s grave, a hunt for the fabled Menorah looted from the destruction of the first temple and made from gold, and a family of the Italian Mafia. Carmen Nero is a student of ancient history currently working on her Ph.D. who is called upon by a friend of hers to come to Italy bringing an instrument. We learn what the instrument is and what it does in due course. She will be treated to being a part of the possible discovery of a historical site of tremendous significance.
Zara Gold is an Israeli professor that has been introduced to the possibility that the sacred Menorah is buried in the tomb of King Alaric. There is a third party in the mix: Cesco Rossi a young conman who is introduced as he is fleeing a group of neo-Nazis from whom he has conned money for showing where Alaric’s tomb is. He obviously doesn’t of course but is important to the story.
The author has indicated that this is book one of a future series featuring both Carmen Nero and Cesco Rossi The current work fleshes them out as well as placing them in the midst of a dangerous situation. The use of historical context and the search for Alaric’s tomb is a well researched and organized novel that certainly does its job in enticing the reader to seek out and read future books about Nero and Rossi.
11/19 Paul Lane
THE SACRED SPOILS by Will Adams. Canelo Action (November 25, 2019). ASIN: B07X2W8YL5. 389p.