'Davis's prose is a lively joy, and Flavia's Rome is sinister and gloriously real' The Times on Saturday Flavia Albia's day-old marriage is in trouble - her new husband may be permanently disabled and they have no funds. So when Palace officials ask her to expose a traitor in their midst she is ready for the task. Ever since the Emperor Nero committed suicide in AD 68, Rome has been haunted by reports that he is actually alive and ready to reclaim his throne. Two Nero pretenders have emerged from the East and met grisly fates. But now a new pretender has been smuggled into Rome by the traitor. Flavia must negotiate with spies, dodge assassins and reveal this third Nero before he can make his move. Will she act in time or will Rome once more be plunged into civil war?