If Gordon Masterton wants to read a book that features a civil engineer as a hero (NCE 3 November), he should try Pompeii by Robert Harris.
It's late August AD 79.
Vesuvius is the perfect backdrop to the beautiful Bay of Naples. The tourists are enjoying themselves in the coastal resorts of Herculaneum and Pompeii, spending their money like there's no tomorrow. No-one has a care in the world.
Except Marcus Attilius, the engineer responsible for the Aqua Augusta, the sixty mile long aqueduct that brings fresh water to the richest corner of the Roman Empire.
Some of the springs have been reduced to sulphurous trickles, and worst still, the aqueduct has inexplicably fractured. Marcus must repair it before the reservoirs run dry or there will be riots.
That's not his only worry.
He loves Corelia, the daughter of one of the Pompeii Mafi a. They eliminated his predecessor for refusing their water bribes. Is Marcus next- Will he yield to their persuasion- Surely nothing else can go wrong. . . . . . . .
Not only a great read, but will count towards your CPD!
Andrew Baxter (M) Banbury Oxon, email@example.com