'I still can't believe I've put the bastard away for good!' Petro muttered. Petronius Longus, captain of the Aventine watch and Falco's oldest friend, bas finally nailed one of Rome's top
criminals. Under Roman law citizens are not imprisoned but are allowed 'time to depart' into exile outside the Empire. One dark and gloomy dawn Petro and Falco put the evil Balbinus aboard ship.
But soon after, an outbreak of robbery and murder suggest a new criminal ring bas moved into Balbinu's territory. Petro and Falco must descend into the underworld of vespasian's
Rome to investigate...