Rome AD 72. Marcus Didius Falco returns home from a six-month mission to the German legions. But trouble is in store for him: his apartment has been wrecked by squatters and an ex-legionary friend of his colourfully heroic brother Festus is demanding money, allegedly owed him as the result of one of Festus's wild schemes. Worse still, the only client Falco can get is his mother - who wants him to clear the family name. Then just as Falco thinks things can only get better, fate takes a turn for the worse...The legionary is found viciously stabbed to death with Falco the prime suspect. Now he has only three days to prove he is not a murderer, to trace the real suspect, amass evidence and win a fortune...