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From the Publisher
Ancient Rome is the setting for the superb new novel from Robert
Harris, author of the number one bestsellers
Fatherland, Enigma and
Where else to enjoy the last days of summer than on the beautiful
Bay of Naples. All along the coast, the Roman Empire's richest
citizens are relaxing in their luxurious villas. The world's
largest navy lies peacefully at anchor in Misenum. The tourists are
spending their money in the seaside resorts of Baiae, Herculaneum
Only one man is worried. The engineer Marius Primus has just taken
charge of the Aqua Augusta, the enormous aqueduct that brings fresh
water to a quarter of a million people in nine towns around the
Bay. Springs are failing for the first time in generations. His
predecessor has disappeared. And now there is a crisis on the
Augusta's sixty-mile main line -- somewhere to the north of
Pompeii, on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. Marius -- decent,
practical, incorruptible -- promises Pliny, the famous scholar who
commands the navy, that he can repair the aqueduct before the
reservoir runs dry. But as he heads out towards Vesuvius he is
about to discover there are forces that even the world's only
superpower can't control.
Pompeii recreates in spellbinding detail one of
the most famous natural disasters of all time. And by focusing on
the characters of an engineer and a scientist, it offers an
entirely original perspective on the Roman world.
From the Hardcover edition.