The Devil’s Treasure
Published by Endeavour Press, August 2017
Ravenna 619 AD
At fifteen, Rodi is the youngest agent in the Byzantine Empire’s Intelligence Bureau. Fraud, forger, blackmailer, snoop, hypocrite, thief – none of it loses him a moment’s sleep.
It’s the murder that’s his problem.
It shouldn’t be like this. His plan seemed as neat and elegant as anything the Bureau ever arranged. Find a child-murderer, cannibal and all-round beast, and lean on him to do the business – then have an alibi elsewhere in Ravenna while it was done.
Only, everything has gone tits-up, and Rodi is chased through early mediaeval Italy by the directors of an illegal and obscene cult.
What do these people want of Rodi? What is Prince Aripert’s latest money-making scam? What is Simeon the Jew’s actual involvement in this? Will old Synesius ever climb from his excrement bath? Can Rodi stay alive in the snake-pit of Lombard court politics? Is there a message in the nightly riot of his dreams?
In this fourth instalment of his “Rodi Series,” Richard Blake paints his usual canvas of a world pushed along who-knows-where on its vast and sordid under-belly – a delight for those who know his work, and an introduction for those who know him not.