‘I need a favour from you, Corvinus. Do what Occusia asks, and I’ll be very grateful. Very grateful indeed. Turn her down, or fudge things, and – watch my lips here, please – you’ll wish that you’d never been born. Your choice, absolutely no pressure. You understand?’
Four years down the line, and Sempronius Eutacticus is still the charming, good-natured organized-crime boss that he was when they last met. Now his stepson has gone missing, and he wants Corvinus to trace him. Not that it should be difficult, mind: there’s no cause for concern, because young Titus has simply run off to join his uncle’s acting troupe. Or that’s what everyone assumes, anyway.
Until, of course, he’s found murdered.