The death of a local tax-collector spells trouble for Libertus in this compelling historical mystery.
Having been inveigled into standing for the local curia, responsible for the submission of all local tax, Libertus discovers that any shortfall must be made good by the councillors themselves. So when news arrives that a tax-collector from a nearby outpost has committed suicide, having gambled everything away, Libertus is despatched to make enquiries, in the hope of recovering at least some of the missing revenue. He has also been asked to attend a wedding, in place of his patron, who is expecting a visit from an Imperial Legate.
But the assignment which should have seen Libertus for once treated as an honoured guest begins to take grisly and unexpected turns. As he pieces together the unlikely truth, Libertus finds himself in mortal danger. Freedom, in all forms, is only relative ? but there is a high price for it, sometimes paid in blood ?