Footprints in the Ash

On mountain slopes south of Pompeii a group of Roman citizens flees the doomed city, leaving their footprints in a layer of volcanic ash.

Two thousand years later the footprints are rediscovered, and a joint Anglo-Italian dig is set up.
Just when the project is making progress, eminent Oxford archaeologist Professor Julian Lockhart vanishes mysteriously.
English detectives Nick Roberts and Lucia Fabri go out to assist the Italian police with the investigation, unaware of the sinister forces – both human and natural – that lie in wait for them.
Their subsequent race for survival sweeps them up in an eerie re-enactment of historical events.

The authentic atmospheres of Southern Italy, and of Pompeii in Roman times, emerge strongly from this exciting and original debut crime thriller.

“Suspenseful from page one – fast and original … Completely involving and unpredictable. Best read this year.” — UKA Crime Writers

“A fascinating, richly detailed look at the past, in a gripping present day mystery…” — Barnacle Reviews

“FOOTPRINTS IN THE ASH twists and turns through treachery, greed and betrayal in its plot of archaeological mystery, with highly entertaining and authoritative descriptions of people and events along the way … a craftily written thriller, full of absorbing puzzles and characters.”


Salmons’ vivid descriptions successfully depict the fear and uncertainty Pompeians must have felt over the eruption of Vesuvius. Craftily written, this mystery is full of absorbing puzzles and characters. Even though the main plot takes place in the present, history intertwines throughout, creating a fascinating look at Pompeii and its people. — Rebecca Roberts, Historical Novels Review Online


Out Of Print