The cover is in line with the rest of the books in the series. I haven't changed my opinion on the cover, I still dislike it. But this time I looked up what Perfiditas means: faithlessness and treachery. Oooh, piqued my interest instantly!
The blurb gives a little from the previous book, which acts as a nice reminder for those who have read it. Perfiditas begins seven years after the first, and Carina has got it together with love interest, Conrad, and is now a mother of two. I'm disappointed that I wasn't privy to their 'coming together'. In book one, they'd split up and I'd have loved to have seen them make up. But that's a romance reader talking. I have to remind myself that this is a thriller.
The look inside was all taken up with the same intro that had appeared in the first book, which I thought unnecessary, but these books could possibly be read as stand-alone reads (not something I'd recommend because there is a LOT going on with characters carrying on their role from the previous instalment), so the author probably thought it was needed for that reason.
Perfiditas opened with Carina discovering the 'entrapment' of Aidan, seemingly, he had disappeared after dipping his hand into the cash drawer at work. It seemed trivial, and Carina was ready to dismiss it as such, but a hunch made her pursue it. Aidan was under surveillance from several minders: at home and work.
The build to his 'kidnap' was a brilliant hook and held my attention as Carina took charge, taking on many disguises to discover what was going on, so I was disappointed when I was just told that he had been liberated.
That wasn't the end though, Carina needed to find out why he'd been held and why she, are all those held dear to her, were being slandered. The plot thickens... but like the first book Morton tends to have her characters plan and discuss the tactics to be used instead of having actions. It is a little disappointing (for me), but it's the author style, and in no way 'wrong'.
I'd have liked Conrad to be her sidekick, instead of being pushed to one side. Other men are listed as 'dangerous' and 'exciting' instead, and I feel this should have been Conrad's role. Anyway, Carina finds herself in the middle of a plot to overthrow the government (her family) and kidnap her children and herself (to possibly kill them) so no female heirs can carry the 'throne'.
She goes on the run, seeking out her old villainous friends, whom we become acquainted with again, it was good to meet them, but Carina's children, and the rest of her family, seemed like mere observers in her exciting life.
I could understand that she wanted to separate her dangerous working life from that of her family but maybe, slowing down, and allowing the reader into this calmer life would turn this into an amazing thriller. As it stands, it felt like something was missing--a spark--emotion--can't quite put my finger on it.
I just wish they'd been more of this: Normally, I relished the buzz of going undercover on an operation. But no adrenaline raced through my body now. I had no doubt I'd been on the brink of being arrested as a conspirator; I'd been trapped into deserting my post so would be pursued; I was cut off from my family, my children and my love. A cold wave washed through me. Deep down, I had never felt so alone.
And less emotionless planning to bring down her enemies or sudden 'Oh, I have children/a husband' mentions. Because of this I couldn't feel much empathy for Captain Carina Mitela.
Also, the revelation that Renschman had died was placed into the story so matter-of-factly I almost missed it. I know I described him as a pantomime villain in the first book, but felt his character was a waste to just kill him off in a sentence.
Over all, this story focuses on a treason plot on her family (the government), and the fallout of Carina’s attempt to put things right. I was disappointed with Conrad for not understanding her reasons for getting things done quickly (illegally) but the sexual tension between Carina and Apollodorus was so strong I knew why.
And Alison Morton can do emotional; the ending actually made me go awwww. So I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series: Successio.
Captain Carina Mitela of the Praetorian Guard Special Forces is in trouble – one colleague has tried to kill her and another has set a trap to incriminate her in a conspiracy to topple the government of Roma Nova. Founded sixteen hundred years ago by Roman dissidents and ruled by women, Roma Nova barely survived a devastating coup d’état thirty years ago. Carina swears to prevent a repeat and not merely for love of country.
Seeking help from a not quite legal old friend could wreck her marriage to the enigmatic Conrad. Once proscribed and operating illegally, she risks being terminated by both security services and conspirators. As she struggles to overcome the desperate odds and save her beloved Roma Nova and her own life, she faces the ultimate betrayal…