The historical crime genre is somewhat overcrowded these days, and a writer needs to come up with something special to make a mark in this thronging area. With Carver’s Quest, that is precisely what Nick Rennison has done, and the book bristles with an energy and inventiveness that positively leap off the page. But Rennison (a specialist in historical fiction, who reviews for the Sunday Times) is well aware that many a period-set novel has fallen at the hurdles because of its faltering evocation of past times, and is careful never to make a misstep. This first outing in a series for resourceful amateur archaeologist Adam Carver and his bloody-minded retainer Quint has the ill-matched duo enmeshed in a mystery involving fabled ancient Greek texts that may point to the treasure chest of Philip II of Macedonia. With a dizzying panoply of incident, Rennison keeps his kinetic narrative on the move, and well before the end of the novel, readers may well be looking to spend more time in the company of Carver and Quint.

Carver’s Quest by Nick Rennison is published by Corvus

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