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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Aurelia is the first entry in the Aurelia Mitela Roma Nova thriller series by Alison Morton - a compelling thriller with powerful underpinnings of espionage and a sophisticated and strong female protagonist. Set against a riveting political backdrop in the 1960s, the story follows Aurelia Mitela who was once a Praetorian Officer, now trained as an undercover agent. Entrusted with a new mission to investigate silver smuggling in Berlin, she finds herself in dire straits when her path crosses with her archenemy, Caius Tellus, who will stop at nothing to see her dead. Aurelia may be confident that she can outwit this enemy, but he is about to play an even more lethal blow, going for her most vulnerable part — her young daughter.
This is a wonderful opening for a series that will have readers spellbound, a narrative with an appeal for readers with different tastes, melding the fine craft of a spy thriller with the sophisticated characters in mystery, and the fascinating setting of a historical novel. Alison Morton has a great gift for character and it is exemplified in this novel, with characters like the mysterious smuggler, Miklós, having indispensable roles that help to flesh out the story. The story is told in a strong and powerful voice and in prose that is captivating. The story has strong plot elements and it takes readers to exciting places and dramatic encounters, with narrow escapes and breathtaking, emotionally charged moments. This is a novel with a strong appeal for fans of thrillers; balanced and deftly written.