Ancient Rome, during the troubled joint reign of the Emperor Caracalla and his hated brother Geta. The authorities are puzzled by a series of prostitute murders in the notorious Subura district.
Quintus Celer, a chariot-racing trainer whose own racing career was cut short by injury, is instructed to investigate by the young aristocrat Gaius Numerianus, anxious to clear his name after being unjustly suspected of the murder of his wife, one of the victims.
Other leading characters, most of whom appeared in the prequel The Noblest Roman, are Gaius’s feisty sister Lucilia and her latest husband, the enigmatic Titus Sinopean, the Emperor’s trusty advisor and greatest friend Marcus Granua, and Granua’s cousin, the notorious tavern brawler and tribade Flavia Rufina.
Quintus’s enquiries lead him not only deep into the seedy Roman underworld, but the even more lethal environment of imperial power politics, before the surprising truth is revealed.
An epic historical novel, set in Rome 211-212 AD, during the reign of the Emperor Caracalla. Sequel to The Noblest Roman, by Roger Butters, published by Janus Publishing Company Limited, London 2009. Approximately 121,000 words.