On the eve of Marcus Cicero's inauguration as consul of Rome, the grisly death of a boy sends ripples of fear through a city already wracked by civil unrest, crime, and debauchery of every kind. For Cicero, the ill forebodings of this hideous murder only increase his frustrations and the dangers he already faces as Rome's leader: elected by the people but despised by the heads of the two rival camps, the patricians and populists.
Caught in a political shell game that leaves him forever putting out fires only to have them ignite elsewhere, Cicero plays both for the future of the republic and his very life. There is a plot to assassinate Cicero, abetted by a rising young star of the Roman senate named Gaius Julius Caesar -- and it will take all the embattled consul's wit, strength, and force of will to stop it and keep Rome from becoming a dictatorship.
Robert Harris once again weaves a compelling and historically accurate tale of intrigue told in the wise and compassionate voice of Cicero's slave and private secretary, Tiro. In the manner of I, Claudius, Harris vividly evokes ancient Rome and its politics for today's listeners, documenting a world not unlike our own -- where the impulse toward dominance competes with the risk of overreach, where high-minded ideals can be a liability, and where someone is always waiting in the wings for a chance to set the world on fire.
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"Republican Rome, with all its grandeur and corruption, has rarely been made as vivid....The allure of power and the perils that attend it have seldom been so brilliantly anatomized in a thriller." - The Sunday Times (UK)
"For all its political insights, though, it is as a pure thriller that Conspirata stands or falls. In that respect, it succeeds splendidly....A tribute not only to the intrinsic fascination of these extraordinary events but also to the narrative skills of a master...." - The Observer (UK)
"A serious piece of storytelling, enormously enjoyable to read, with an insider's political tone...." - The Times Literary Supplement (UK)
"Harris has written a meticulously researched historical novel that is far from being a dry recitation of mere dates and events." - Library Journal
"In this gripping second installment to his ancient Rome trilogy, bestseller Harris proves once again that politics is an ugly game." - Publishers Weekly
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Robert Harris, the son of a printer, was brought up in Nottingham, England. He has been a television correspondent with the BBC and a newspaper columnist for the London Sunday Times and The Daily Telegraph. His novels have sold more than ten million copies and been translated into thirty languages. He lives in Berkshire, England, with his wife and four children.
He got started as a writer of books when he won a contract to write a biography of John le Carré; but le Carré said the book could not be published until his death, so Harris started roughing out a novel exploring what would have happened if the Nazis had won the war.
He sent a few chapters to his American agent and didn't hear from him for two weeks. Then a call came through to tell him that there was to be an ...
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