Pompeii by Robert Harris is a straightforward historical fiction about (what else?) the last days of Pompeii.
The story is told from the point of view of Marcus Attilius, a young aquarius in charge of the aquaducts. When the water supply fails in the main aquaduct which supplies vital water to multiple cities, Attilius investigates. His foreboding grows as he begins to suspect that Vesuvius will erupt.
There are not really any cliff-hangers here. We all know that this is going to end in fire, brimstone, flying pumice, sulphur fumes and ash.
Nevertheless, the novel is well written and researched, and I’d recommend it as a nice easy read for a Winter’s evening in front of the heater.