Blog Tour/Book Review: The Senator’s Assignment by Joan E. Histon

Senator's Assignment BT Poster

I’m delighted to be hosting today’s stop on the blog tour for The Senator’s Asssignment, the debut novel by Joan E. Histon.  My thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the tour.  If you missed yesterday’s stop on the tour, you can catch up with the review of The Senator’s Asssignment by Cheryl at Cheryl M-M’s Book Blog here.


The Senator's AssignmentAbout 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?

Format: Paperback, ebook (272 pp.)    Publisher: Top Hat Books
Published: 26th October 2018        Genre: Historical Fiction

Pre-order/Purchase Links*
Amazon.co.uk  ǀ  Amazon.com  ǀ Hive.co.uk (supporting UK bookshops)
*links provided for convenience, not as part of any affiliate programme

Find The Senator’s Assignment on Goodreads


My Review

If you know anything about this turbulent period of Roman history then the names Pontius Pilate, Sejanus and Emperor Tiberius will give you a clue that anyone getting involved with them is probably entering dangerous waters (and I don’t mean the ones across to the Isle of Capri).  So it turns out for Senator Vivius Marcianus – and those close to him – when he’s tasked with an assignment notable for the vagueness of its instructions and the fact it will take him to a hotbed of civil and political unrest – Roman occupied Jerusalem.

The author does a great job of conjuring up the sights, sounds and smells of Jerusalem’s teeming streets and market places.  Our hero, Vivius, is plunged into a world awash with personal and political rivalries, intrigue, corruption, the casual use of violence and cruel punishments.  Furthermore, the sectarian infighting is not confined to the upper reaches of the Roman Empire but is evident in Jerusalem as well with religious sects such as the Zealots and the Nazarenes pursuing competing strategies.  (Those familiar with the film ‘The Life of Brian’ may find their thoughts straying to the scenes featuring the People’s Front of Judea and the Judean People’s Front.)

Meanwhile back in Rome, Vivius’s bride-to-be, Aurelia, finds herself drawn into similarly dangerous political intrigues and shows herself to be a suitably courageous and intrepid partner.

As Vivius attempts to carry out his assignment, he encounters threats, stonewalling and distraction techniques of a more subtle nature designed to undermine his investigation.  However, on the principle that ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’, Vivius finds unlikely allies as he seeks to reveal the truth and bring the guilty parties to justice.   I was definitely rooting for him and his companions by this point.  What Vivius uncovers will have repercussions at the highest level of the Roman Empire.

The Senator’s Assignment is a really enjoyable historical mystery set in a period of Roman history rife with political intrigue that makes the perfect backdrop for its clever, well-constructed plot.

I received an advance review copy courtesy of publishers, Top Hat Books, and Random Things Tours.

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In three words: Suspenseful, entertaining, mystery

Try something similar…Caligula by Simon Turney (read my review here)


Joan E Histon Author PicAbout the Author

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.

Connect with Joan

Website  ǀ  Goodreads

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3 thoughts on “Blog Tour/Book Review: The Senator’s Assignment by Joan E. Histon

  1. […] What Cathy Read Next says “The author does a great job of conjuring up the sights, sounds and smells of Jerusalem’s teeming streets and market places…..The Senator’s Assignment is a really enjoyable historical mystery set in a period of Roman history rife with political intrigue that makes the perfect backdrop for its clever, well-constructed plot.’ […]

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