One day a eunuch and Dio come knocking at Gordianus’ door, Dio fears for his life and asks Gordianus to help him. Gordianus tells him that he’d love to help but that he has his own family to think of and therefore refuses to help him. Only moments later Dio is murdered. He is stabbed to death. Clodia (who knew Dio too) has reason to believe that Caelius did it, she wants to start a case against him and therefore calls for Gordianus to help her find evidence. He starts collecting evidence by questioning slaves and friends of Dio’s. One of the slaves he questions is Zotica, she was Dio’s sex-slave. On the night of the murder he started beating her and raping her as usual but then he suddenly fell deadonto the bed. So Dio was poisoned and Gordianus knows who did it because the last time Dio ate was at his house. His daughter Diana had put the poison into Dio’s meal because Dio had apparently killed her grandmother while raping her and he had also raped and beaten up Bethesda. Gordianus didn’t know about this because his wife had never told him about her life as a slave girl. Gordianus decides not to tell anyone about the crime his daughter committed and thanks to Cicero’s eloquence Caelius is able to walk out of the trial as a free man (although he did stab Dio 9 times after he was already dead). Gordianus, Bethesda and Diana live happily ever after and never tell anyone their little secret! Hush!
- personal opinion: 9/10
This book was really my cup of tea. The story was gripping, thrilling, educative and fun to read. The book is written in a very fluent way and there aren’t any difficult words used in this book. Although I do think that the book is probably more interesting if you are in the Latin-section, I would recommend it to anyone who likes historical novels.
To see them as real people, with vices and virtues makes them much more interesting. I also really loved the fact that the author used the original texts and poems by Catullus and Cicero in his book. This book really shows you how to combine a story full of suspense with a lot of historical facts and figures, and still make it appealing.