The Crossroads Brotherhood by Robert Fabbri
Publication Date: December 2011
Length: 54 pages
This prequel to the Vespasian series is only a novella, so don’t be disappointed that you haven’t purchased a full length novel. I haven’t read the rest of the Vespasian series yet, so this is my first encounter with Robert Fabbri. Being a short tale, I read the whole book in a short period of time on my mobile phone, but this didn’t detract from the experience. The everyday life of the Crossroads Brotherhood, imagined here, probably realistically, as a Mafia style organisation, is described with vivid detail and excitement. It was a surprise to me to find a story set at almost the same time as my own novel, Carbo (first draft finished, yay!) and like my own novel set in the lower echelons of society, but I was reassured that the story was dissimilar enough from mine that I don’t need a rewrite. Magnus, the Patron of the Crossroads Brotherhood, has to help a brothel owner under his protection, while also doing a nefarious favour for a Senator that he owes. The story is wrapped up neatly in the length available, and while this isn’t as satisfying as finishing a full length novel, I would recommend the Crossroads Brotherhood as an entertaining diversion. I will certainly be moving on to the Vespasian series when time allows.