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‘[This] is the story of the beginning and the end of St Paul, that most complicated and worrying of all the saints. The narrator is Diomed, a colonial officer stationed at Tarsus, enlightened, intelligent, a great fraterniser with the patrician natives, [who] sends the strange young Jew to persecute the Nazarenes… [Kersh brings] a highly concentrated area of Roman colonial history to very real life – the ornate wine-cup, the crapulous cold fruit-juice at dawn, dust on a sandal… King Jesus is here, all the time… the fly-itch nuisance to the Empire that wakes its prefects up in nightmare… This is a masterly book, full of live people and a live age, live language, too… We may adjudge Mr Kersh, after reading The Implaccable Hunter, to be now at the height of his powers.’
Anthony Burgess, Yorkshire Post, 1961
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