Acts of the Assassins - Richard Beard

After Blood of a Stone, this was my second Jesus-related book I incidentally read during the Easter weekend. Although I really hadn't guessed it from the blurb. I mean, would you?


Gallio does counter-insurgency. But the theft of a body he's supposed to be guarding ruins his career. Bizarre rumours of the walking dead are swirling, there is panic in the air, and it’s his job to straighten out the conspiracy. He blows the case.

Years later, the file is reopened when a second body appears. Gallio is called back by headquarters and ordered to track down everyone involved the first time round. The only problem is they keep dying, in ever more grotesque and violent ways. How can Gallio stay ahead of the game when the game keeps changing?

Acts of the Assassins is about one man’s struggle to confront forces beyond his understanding. And about how lonely a turbulent world can be.

I won't explain too much about it, because it is so weird I think you should find out most of it by yourself. But, being set in some kind of mash-up between the Roman Empire and modern times. Imagine gladiators, centurions and also mobile phones and aeroplanes. This book really deserves a place between the weirdest books (of at least 2015; possibly of all time) and I've been reading some weird book lately.


However, I did really enjoy it. It read very fast and was a decent detective story and besides I also thought it was quite funny from time to time. The terrible arrangement made by his organization forces to Gallio to always fly with a stop in Schiphol (the Netherlands; possibly made a deal with a Dutch airline) made me smile. Schadenfreude of course, especially since most flights are between places in the Middle East, but I thought it was a nice twist.


If you're ready to set everything you know about Roman times aside and would like to read about it as if it were modern times (It does take some imagination, especially in the beginning), then I think this is a very good book for you. It's definitely something completely different from what I (and I think most people) usually read.


Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!