This is a compelling new mystery for Libertus, set against the backdrop of the Roman Empire in turmoil ... An astonishing new order has usurped power in Rome and the reverberations are reaching even to Glevum, where the legion is preparing to depart. Libertus' wealthy patron, until recently one of the most influential men in the Empire, finds himself not only deprived of the privilege and protection he had previously enjoyed, but under actual threat both from the political establishment in Rome and from an anonymous and vindictive enemy much closer to home. The murder of another councilor, similarly placed, makes the matter urgent. Libertus, whose humbler status affords obscurity, is charged with spiriting Marcus' young family away to a place of safety. But his task will bring problems of its own, as Libertus uncovers a grisly secret and an ancient crime - with ramifications stretching to the present day.