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Catilina's Riddle (1993)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312982119, Mass Market Paperback)
Using scholarly historical insight and evocative storytelling that brings to life the glories of ancient Rome, Steven Saylor takes the reader from the bloody lines of clashing Roman armies to the backrooms of the Senate floor, where power-hungry politicians wrestle the Fates for control of Rome's destiny.
With the consular election drawing near, Rome is fiercely divided between the conservative Cicero and the tempestuous Catilina, whose followers are rumored to be plotting a blood-thirsty siege for power if their leader fails to win office.
Gordianus the Finder, retired to his Etruscan farm, is happy to be free of the intrigue and danger of the capital. But when his old friend Cicero enlists the Finder in an elaborate plot to control Catilina, Gordianus is drawn back into a familiar world. Now caught in a cloak-and-dagger political struggle for the fate of the Republic, Gordianus finds himself strangely drawn to the controversial candidate. Is Catilina really a subversive renegade, or are Cicero suspicions part of an even greater conspiracy? When a headless corpse ominously appears on his farm, Gordianus knows he must unlock the secret of Catilina's Riddle before Rome tears herself apart.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:37 -0400)
The year is 63 BC, and Gordianus the Finder unexpectedly achieves the dream of every Roman: owning a farm in the Etruscan countryside. Vowing to leave behind the corruption of Rome, he abandons the city, taking his family with him. This bucolic life, however, is disrupted by the machinations and murderous plots of two politicians. When Gordianus' longtime patron Cicero attains his lifelong dream of a coveted consulship, he urgently requests a favor of Gordianus: his help in keeping watch on a radical populist senator, Catilina-Cicero's political rival and a candidate to replace him in the annual elections. Against his will, Gordianus finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into a maelstrom of deceit and intrigue, uncertain of the dangers and even more uncertain of where his true allegiance lies. When his six-year-old daughter Diana finds a headless corpse in their stable, Gordianus is confronted with the deadliest mystery of his career. Shrewdly depicting deadly political maneuverings, this addictive mystery also displays the author's firm grasp of history and human character.
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