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The Last Hour

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For readers of Bernard Cornwell, Ben Kane, Simon Scarrow and Conn Iggulden, this is a thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat

About the Author

Harry Sidebottom was brought up in racing stables in Newmarket where his father was a trainer. He took his Doctorate in Ancient History at Oxford and has taught at various universities including Oxford, where he lectures in Ancient History. His first book Ancient Warfare: A Very Short Introduction was published in 2004 to critical acclaim and he has published numerous chapters in books, and articles and reviews in scholarly journals. His foray into fiction began with Fire in the East, the first of his six-novel 'Warrior of Rome' series, which has sold over half a million copies worldwide. His next series, Throne of the Caesars, was equally acclaimed. The Last Hour, his tenth novel, introduces us once again to Marcus Clodius Ballista, hero of the 'Warrior of Rome' books.


Relentless, brutal, brilliant, this is Jack Reacher in ancient Rome * Ben Kane *
A cracking tale. More twists and turns than the Tiber itself * Rory Clements *
Cracking, page-turning stuff * James Swallow *
Makes you feel as though you are there. -- Bettany Hughes * The Times *
Grabbed me from the start. I loved it * Donna Leon *
Harry Sidebottom's epic tale starts with a chilling assassination and goes on, and up, from there. -- Mary Beard
An amazing story of bloodlust, ruthless ambition and revenge. -- Kate Saunders * The Times *
An extraordinarily vivid take on the ancient world. Think of The Killing crossed with Andy McNab crossed with Mary Beard, and you're there. -- David Sexton * Evening Standard *
Ancient Rome has long been a favourite -destination for writers of historical military -fiction. Much the best of them is Harry -Sidebottom. * Sunday Times *
Swashbuckling as well as bloody, yet curiously plausible ... a real gift for summoning up a sense of place. * Times Literary Supplement *
The best sort of red-blooded historical fiction - solidly based on a profound understanding of what it meant to be alive in a particular time and place. -- Andrew Taylor
Absorbing, rich in detail and brilliant. * The Times *
An exceptionally gifted story-teller drawing on prodigious learning. -- Tim Severin
This is a thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat * Netgalley *
24 Jack Bauer style...the time brought to glorious life by Harry's blisteringly fast paced writing...Harry Sidebottom manages to keep you the reader perched on the very edge of the page throughout the book, with regular chapter ending cliffhangers that make a book that you cannot put down and will lose sleep over...I very highly recommend this book, hands down the best in the series so far * Parmenion Books *
Sidebottom expertly creates a fantastic sense of place, rich in authentic detail. Once the final quarter of the book is reached, however, the chase is really on, and the author piles on an adrenalin rush of 24 hours in Rome until the satisfyingly dramatic conclusion at the Coliseum * Historical Novels Review *
The Best New Mystery and Thrillers * Netgallery *
Sidebottom has a profound knowledge of the topography and people of ancient Rome. In Ballista's race through its murky streets, he meets prostitutes and watermen, messianic Christians and priapic beggars. It is this rich detail which makes The Last Hour an engaging read. * The Times *
if you want to be entertained as well as reliably informed, enjoy all-action thrillers, fancy a fascinating whistle-stop tour of the ancient City of Rome, and revel in witnessing a bygone world brought to vivid, visceral life, then The Last Hour should tick every box * Lancashire Evening Post *
A taut historical thriller which plunges you bloodily into the time and place * Weekend Sport *
A ripping story...this transplanting of 24 to Ancient Rome is a great success * The Telegraph *
Sidebottom is on cracking form in this sensational, race-against-time adventure. In trademark style, Sidebottom also gives us an intriguing insight into the Roman way of life...if you want to be entertained as well as reliably informed, enjoy all-action thrillers, fancy a fascinating whistle-stop tour of the ancient City of Rome, and revel in witnessing a bygone world brought to vivid, visceral life, then The Last Hour should tick every box * Lancashire Evening Post *
Harry Sidebottom is an excellent writer - I greatly enjoyed his writing style and tone of voice. Along with being descriptive (but not overly so, thank goodness), Sidebottom does an excellent job of pacing. The whole story starts out with an action scene full of danger, immediately griping the reader, and it continues to wax and wane and overall keep the pace steady * Quirky Cat *
It's extremely fast-paced, like online gaming, with a new peril confronting our hero Ballista literally every corner he turns. Sidebottom's novels are well-written, with an outstanding sense of location and geography, excellent characterization, and psychologically interesting plots. They are always well researched, as we might expect from an Oxford academic who lectures in Roman history...the details of each episode, and some ingenious plot points, offer astonishing insights into the Rome of the 3rd century of the Christian Era. I look forward to leisurely banter, some reflection time, some ominous pacing and unexpected "Gotcha's!" when next we meet Ballista. * Elly MacDonald Writer *
This book is what I believe is known as a page-turner, the sort which is hard to put down because the story grips you and drags you along...Harry's scholarship is much in evidence...a great read * Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy Magazine *
If Marcus Clodius Ballista has a time-traveling doppelganger, it's Jack Bauer. This was my first adventure with Ballista. I understand that there are some older voyages and battles that I can still enjoy with him. The Last Hour still works well on its own. Ballista was a strong, captivating character. His charisma immediately pulled me to his side. The Last Hour is a fun, fast-paced book. It was an excellent introduction to the writing of Harry Sidebottom * 2 Book Lovers Review *
One of the masters of historical fiction * PaperPlus NZ *
This tale of bloodlust, ruthless ambition and revenge offers an extraordinarily vivid take on the ancient world. While it swashes its bloody buckle to the full it is somehow curiously plausible and the author's gift for summoning up a sense of place and the life of the Empire at street level with its multitude of religions, factions, slaves, criminals, bars, baths and brothels actually makes you feel as though you are there * Crime Review *

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