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The Last Hour

Narrated by: Dugald Bruce Lockhart
Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Summary

A lone figure stands silhouetted atop the Mausoleum of Hadrian. Behind him, the sun is setting over the centre of the known world. Far below, the river is in full flood. The City of Rome lies spread out before him on the far bank. 

Footsteps pound up the stairs. He's been set up. An enemy is closing in; he is cornered. He jumps. 

Bruised and battered, he crawls out of the raging river. He is alone and unarmed, without money or friends, trapped in a deadly conspiracy at the heart of the empire. The City Watch has orders to take him alive; other, more sinister, forces want him dead. As the day dies, he realises he has only 24 hours to expose the conspirators, and save the leader of the world. If the Emperor dies, chaos and violence will ensue. If the Emperor dies, every single person he loves will die. 

He must run, bluff, hide and fight his way across the Seven Hills. 

He must reach the Colosseum and the Emperor. 

He must make it to the last hour.

©2018 Harry Sidebottom (P)2018 W. F. Howes Ltd

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great ‘page turner’

It is nice to have Ballista back after quite a gap. Harry Sidebottom knows how to tell a good story. It is packed with incident and the book is full of the historical details that bring it to life. Possibly some of the events in the book are a little contrived but it really doesn’t matter in the sweep of the story. Dugald Lockhart is a fine narrator. Anyone who enjoyed Ballista before should certainly enjoy this.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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guide to rome

having recently returned from Rome, I found this book a reminder of streets I had walked. sadly although other ballista stories have been 5 star, something is missing from this tale. the familia appear only towards the end, and I feel Harry sidebottom has attempted his own kiefer Sutherland 24hr .

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Balliiiissstaaa!

Superb. Love all the Ballista stories. This was a major change of style, but a great way of taking the reader through the history of Rome. More please!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-02-19

the best in the series and sidebottom's fiction

one of the best historical action novels I have read (just as good as Christian Cameron's long war and tyrant entry novels).
the previous warrior of Rome books were really good but that one stands out due to the changes in structure and narrative. there is almost no time spent explaining any details to the plot (and far fewer time diving into other characters's thoughts and makings than before), it is focused mostly on the Ballista's survival quest on his way through Rome. the story itself makes a city itself a second main character (with all its markets, slums, different communities and architectural sites), which presents the human protagonist with countless challenges and opportunities throughout the course of the novel. I think Gareth Evans's first "Raid" movie is a pretty good parallel to the "Last hour" novel because it also deals with protagonists being locked into the environment in which they have to scheme and fight their way out in a short period of time