Published by Top Hat Books on October 26, 2018
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?
So today I am really lucky to finish the tour and to have a Guest Post from the author. Before we read this why don’t we have a quick look at what some of the bloggers have said on the tour!
Cheryl M&M’s Book Blog says “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.”
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
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.’
Goodreads reviewer says “A thoroughly enjoyable historical thriller, well-written with a good selection of characters. Certainly kept my interest throughout.”
Preaching a Social Gospel
In Joan E Histon’s debut novel, ‘The Senator’s Assignment’ this historical thriller paints a vivid picture of the tensions in the Rome and Jerusalem of the day. It is the story of Senator Vivius Marcianus who is sent by the Emperor Tiberius to investigate the corrupt practices of Pontius Pilate, Governor of Judea. But Vivius finds his assignment obstructed by Jewish Zealots. Then there is the woman he leaves behind who is thrust into the political intrigues of a Rome dominated by men.
I wanted to know more as I wrote. A novel? Yes! But I wanted a clearer image of the political atmosphere and the tension between Roman and Jew to view with more colour and understanding what was taking place –in the context of then and now and how the it was represented in the Bible. What happened to Pontius Pilate after the crucifixion? What was going on behind the scenes? What was occurring in the wider political world? As I researched this subject for my book I began to get a wider picture.
The bible gives an account of what was taking place in Jerusalem through records kept by the disciples, but the people that wrote it were Jews under Roman occupation and their letters, stories and writings are centred around the Christian message. Their main objective was to point to Jesus; to invite, challenge, rebuke, encourage and comfort. The Romans and political pressure play a relatively small part as far as scripture is concerned.
When Jesus arrived on the scene, Rome was the most powerful state in the world. Great generals like Julius Caesar, the 1st Emperor of Rome, followed by the Emperor Augustus and then Tiberius had swept across what we now know as Europe, North Africa, south to Palestine and north to Britain. Rome ruled with an iron fist and with cruelty. On the
practical side they built roads, introduced technology, and brought a more “civilised” way of living to all the lands they conquered – as long as the sovereignty of Rome and the divinity of their emperors was acknowledged. A bitter pill for those that Rome conquered, especially for the Jews.
As I began to get the overall picture of the political scene, what fascinated me was the relative freedom to travel of the middle and upper classes – no borders, no passports. It struck me forcibly how everything was set in place for Christianity to spread like a wild-fire when Jewish and Roman authorities rejected the Christian message. This is clearly demonstrated in the Bible when an unattractive but intelligent character by the name of Paul plunged into the very heart of Rome itself. Not only did cruelty, deceit and evil spread from the heart of a country where the intrigues of the Senate and the cruelty of the Caesars ruled, but so did the message of God as the prisoner Paul wrote his letters.
It occurred to me as I wrote my book that we should, perhaps, take a long look at the cultural and political atmosphere that held Jerusalem in its grip and the issues that corrupted Rome in the context of what often appears to be our own chaotic mess. Can we learn and find encouragement from what history tells us?