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Balbinus Pius, the most notorious gangster in Emperor Vespasian's Rome, has been convicted of a capital crime at last. A quirk of Roman law, however, allows citizens condemned to death "time to depart" and find exile outside the empire. Now as every hoodlum in Rome scrambles to take over Balbinus' operations, private eye Marcus Didius Falco has to deal with an unprecedented wave of crime--and the sneaking suspicion that Balbinus' exile may not really be so permanent after all.
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Balbinus Pius, the dirtiest underworld organizer in Emperor Vespasian's Rome, has been convicted of a capital crime at last, thanks to public servant Petronius Longus, better known to Marcus Didius Falco as his old army buddy Petro. A quirk of Roman law, however, allows every citizen condemned to death "time to depart." In other words, he has a chance to skip town. Taking full advantage of the law, Bilbinus embarks on a ship fit for a king, accompanied by his loyal factotums. From the wharf, Falco and Petro watch Balbinus sail off to exile instead of Hades. And the race is on among his competitors to take over his old operations. It begins with a colossal heist at the Emporium, a major trading center. As Falco tries to stem the escalating crime wave, he faces another task almost as daunting: find a new apartment for himself and the woman he loves, a senator's daughter forbidden by Roman law to a man of Falco's rank. To make matters even more dangerous, Helen believes she's pregnant. Falco's head - along with other body parts - could be on the chopping block if her condition becomes public.
1. - "Non-stop action, excitements and astonishments -- a real cracker." --"The Good Book Guide"
- "Davis's writing zings with fun." --"Daily Mail"
2. "Non-stop action, excitements and astonishments -- a real cracker." --"The Good Book Guide"
"Davis's writing zings with fun." --"Daily Mail""
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