52 BC, and Rome is in turmoil. Rival gangs prowl the streets as Publius Clodius, a high-born populist politician, and his arch-enemy Titus Milo fight to control the consular elections. But when Clodius is murdered on the famed Appian Way and Milo is accused of the crime, the city explodes with riots and arson.
As accusations and rumours fly, Gordianus is charged by Pompey the Great with discovering what really happened on the Appian Way that dark January night. Was it murder? And if so, should the perpetrator be condemned as a villain - or hailed as the saviour of the Roman Republic? For on the truth of that hangs the fate of Titus Milo ...