63 BC, the year when Cicero is consul. Most of his time in office is devoted to uncovering and thwarting a violent conspiracy to overthrow the state, ostensibly led by Crassus and a group of disaffected senators. Underlying this is the great rivalry between Cicero and Caesar, who represent two different types of ambition: one orthodox, the other revolutionary. As Caesar's power grows Cicero must face the inevitable compromises that come from holding power – is it justifiable to use illegal methods in order to save the Republic?
Robert Harris yet again proves himself a master of historical fiction as he takes the reader to the heart of republican Rome with a novel that is at once brilliantly researched and utterly gripping.