The fountain was not working. Nothing unusual in that...' Marcus Didius Falco and his laddish friend Petronius find their local fountain has been blocked- by a gruesomely severed human hand. Soon other body parts are being found in the aqueducts and sewers. Public panic overcomes official indifference, and the Aventine partners are commissioned to investigate. Women are bing abducted during festivals, with the next Games only days away. As the heat rises in the Circus Maximus, they face a race agaisnt time and a strong test of their friendship. They know the sadistic killer lurks somewhere on the festive streets of Rome- perparing to strike again.
Lindsey Davis has written over twenty historical novels, beginning with The Course of Honour. Her bestselling mystery series features laid-back First Century detective Marcus Didius Falco and his partner Helena Justina, plus friends, relations, pets and bitter enemy the Chief Spy. After an English degree at Oxford University, Lindsey joined the Civil Service but became a professional author in 1989. Her books are translated into many languages and have been dramatized on BBC Radio 4. Her many prizes include the Premio Colosseo, awarded by the Mayor of Rome 'for enhancing the image of Rome', the Sherlock award for Falco as Best Comic Detective and the Crimewriters' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement. She was born in Birmingham but now lives in Greenwich, London. Her most recent books are Master and God followed by The Ides of April.