Published Apr 2016
216 x 140mm (282 pages)
Back at the palace end of the tunnel, I opened the door a couple of centimetres. I waited, Fabia’s semi-automatic in my hand. A tap running, people moving, but quietly. I caught a gasp, sobbing, cursing. Then the smell of blood hit me. I opened the door only wide enough to slip out, but casting round all the time. Nobody was in this storeroom. I locked the tunnel door, drew the wood panel back across to hide it. Thank the gods, the only noise was made by the panel catches as they clicked into place.
‘The second fall of Rome?’
Aurelia Mitela, ex-Praetorian and imperial councillor in Roma Nova, scoffs at her intelligence chief when he throws a red file on her desk.
But 1980s Roma Nova, the last province of the Roman Empire that has survived into the twentieth century, has problems – a ruler frightened of governing, a centuries-old bureaucracy creaking for reform and, worst of all, a rising nationalist movement with a charismatic leader.
Horrified when her daughter is brutally attacked in a demonstration turned riot, Aurelia tries to rally resistance to the growing fear and instability. But it may already be too late to save Roma Nova from meltdown and herself from entrapment and destruction by her lifelong enemy…
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