WHO'D EVER PASS UP A DESSERT LIKE DULCIA DOMESTICA?


Miriam does in THE DEADLIEST HATE when, on the way from Alexandria to Caesarea, she dines with Cousin Eli in one of the lavishly appointed cabins of the Orion, one of his father’s ships. (See my blog of April 14, 2015.)

She and Eli are alone, sitting across from each other on massive, carved oak armchairs in the parlor of his suite when he warns her about the Sicarii, the Judean terrorists who’ve been organizing cells in every Judean city. She recalls what he told her:

More than taking aim against our Roman administrators and bureaucrats, they direct their attacks against their fellow Jews, the ones they say "bow too low to Rome." Unfortunately, they don’t mean just the high priests who accept favors from the legion. They also mean us, the "Greek" Jews they accuse of being faithless collaborators with Rome. They might waylay their target in the marketplace and then, before the unlucky corpse has had a chance to bleed out, they’re melding with the crowd. Or at one with the shadows and heard only by the wind, they might slip into their enemy’s home and leave him with only the swiftness of their blade and the silence of his screams.

No wonder Miriam couldn’t eat. And sure enough, the Sicarii target her as soon as the ship moors in Caesarea. Click here to find out why.

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