Nero's reaction was simple. 'You find what's responsible and stop it.' Rome, 65 AD. The city is held together by fear alone. It's just survived a massive and destructive fire which many think was instigated by the crazy emperor Nero himself, but as a new imperial city rises from the ashes, dominated by Nero's gigantic palace, the people are faced with a new threat. Someone - or something - is killing prominent citizens in a brutal and violent way. Investigating the murders on behalf of the elite Eighth Cohort of Police, Quintus Julius Marcellus finds himself in a mesh of palace intrigue - battling against jealous rivals, having to placate the paranoid Nero, protecting his Christian friends against the suspicion that focuses on them, and - as if that weren't enough - struggling against the unbeatable force of falling in love . . . against his better judgement, and with someone who could be close to the centre of the mystery he's trying to solve. Antony Cutler is the pseudonym of acclaimed novelist and renaissance historian Anton Gill. The Accursed, the first in his gripping and surprising new series, is a must-read.