On a chill January evening in 56 B.C., two strange visitors to Rome—an Egyptian ambassador and a eunuch priest—seek out Gordianus the Finder whose specialty is solving murders. But the ambassador, a philosopher named Dio, has come to ask for something Gordianus cannot give—help in staying alive. Before the night is out, he will be murdered.
Now Gordianus begins his most dangerous case. Hired to investigate Dio's death by a beautiful woman with a scandalous reputation, he will follow a trail of political intrigue into the highest circles of power and the city's most hidden arenas of debauchery. There Gordianus will learn nothing is as it seems—not the damning evidence he uncovers, not the suspect he sends to trial, not even the real truth behind Dio's death which lies in secrets—not of state, but of the heart.
"Imaginative . . . Saylor's style is smooth . . . An absorbing look at a time when men tried to rule themselves wisely and failed."—San Francisco Chronicle
"Saylor writes with vision and clarity, balancing sound historical scholarship with a gift for storytelling."—Anniston Star
"Engrossing . . . Intensely dramatic . . . Erotic, funny, compelling . . . A bona fide page-turner."—Detroit Free Press
"Steven Saylor transports you to Ancient Rome with spellbinding effectiveness."—Austin Chronicle
"Finely etched historical background . . . The finest flower yet of Saylor's Roma Sub Rosa series."—Kirkus Reviews
"Engrossing . . . Simmering with eroticism . . . An absorbing brew of Rome's decay."—Publishers Weekly
Table of Contents
Part One: NEX [death, usually violent death: murder]
Part Two: NOXIA [a fault or offense: a crime]
Part Three: NOX [the goddess Night, sister of Eros; blindness; gloom]
Part Four: NEXUS [a binding or tying together]