The year is 63 B.C., and Gordianus the Finder unexpectedly achieves the dream of every Roman: a farm in the Etruscan countryside. Vowing to leave behind the corruption of Rome, he abandons the city, taking his family with him. At the same time, Gordianus's longtime patron Cicero has attained the dream of his lifetime: a coveted consulship. Urgently, Cicero requests of Gordianus a favor: his help in keeping watch on a radical populist senator, Catilina. Gordianus, against his will, 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 a headless corpse suddenly appears in his stables, Gordianus finds himself confronted with the most deadly mystery of his career.