Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Senator’s Assignment by Joan E. Histon. It’s an intriguing combination of historical fiction with an element of mystery and crime.
Joan Histon has a background as a professional counsellor. She began her writing career as a ghost writer when two clients expressed an interest in telling their own dramatic stories.
After the publication of Thy Will be Done… Eventually! and Tears in the Dark, she was commissioned to write the true story of ‘The Shop on Pilgrim Street’. Having also published short stories in several national magazines, The Senator’s Assignment is Joan’s debut novel.
As well as writing, Joan is a Methodist local preacher, a gifted story-teller, spiritual director, mother and a reluctant gardener. She lives in Hexham, Northumberland with her husband, Colin.
About the book
Being trusted by a Caesar makes him an enemy of the Roman who crucified Jesus Christ, and puts him under threat from Rome itself Rome 30 AD. A Senator is plunged into the dark heart of the Roman Empire, sent to investigate the corrupt practices of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem by Caesar Tiberius. In this tense historical thriller can Senator Vivius Marcianus outmanoeuvre charges of treason, devastating secrets resurfaced from his own troubled past, and the political snake pit of Rome to save himself and the woman he loves?
Senator Vivius Marcianus is a man who believes in the omnipotent power of the Caesares. He believes in the Roman Republic and patrician regime of the Senate, and yet he sometimes doubts one man should hold all the power – a conflict which drives his decisions and political support.
Tiberius trusts him implicitly, which is how Vivius ends up pretending to be a Senator interested in the market potential of olives, whilst secretly investigating the fraudulent and violent actions of his fellow Romans. At the same time he is trying to keep his loved ones safe, as he plays a dangerous game of political chess.
Histon comes at the period of the beginning of the sect of the Nazarenes, the death of their charismatic leader Jesus and the years following his alleged rising from the dead, in a more factual and suitably historical fashion. A more realistic version of events, despite it being a mixture of fact and fiction.
A story relayed over many centuries via hearsay and written accounts is told from a new perspective, one more in keeping with the time and the political and historical era. Vivius is asked to look into some concerns regarding the actions of Pontius Pilate, the fifth prefect of the Roman province of Judaea, serving under Emperor Tiberius. Pilate is known as the person ultimately responsible for the death of Jesus of Nazareth.
Pilate’s strings are being pulled by someone close to Tiberius, a person with plenty of power and an ulterior motive. Both of them are willing to threaten and kill to keep their secrets, which means Vivius and his friends have to watch their backs.
I hope this is just the beginning of intrigue, betrayal and politics with Senator Vivius Marcianus. It’s not like the Roman Empire doesn’t offer up plenty of room for future plots. Hopefully Histon will give readers further opportunities to engage with Vivius. It’s an interesting combination of historical fiction with elements of politics, mystery and crime.
Publisher: Top Hat Books, Pub. date 26 Oct. 2018