Bathyllus was standing with his back to me, and sitting on the bed was a seriously-unshaven late-middle-aged man in a grubby threadbare tunic.
Bathyllus turned round, the guy got up, and they both stared at me, jaws dropping, like actors at the end of a play where the god is lowered from a crane to sort out a too-convoluted plot.
‘Hi, sunshine,’ I said to Bathyllus. ‘So who’s your friend?’
I’d never, ever seen Bathyllus lost for words before, but I saw it now. He swallowed a couple of times, coughed, and then said:
‘This is Damon, sir. He’s my brother.’
When Corvinus’s major-domo Bathyllus’s long-lost brother turns up in a Suburan tenement he is totally gobsmacked. And things don’t improve when he discovers that Brother Damon is a serial crook on the run whose owner and partner-in-crime has just died under very suspicious circumstances. Digging into the whys and wherefores brings its own dangers. Especially when the case turns political…
The fact that his mother suspects her octogenarian husband Priscus of having an affair and wants him to look into the matter doesn’t help much, either.
The nineteenth book in the Marcus Corvinus series.