Lustrum
Robert Harris

Book cover image

Narrated By: Bill Wallis

Duration: 15 hours and 36 minutes

What to expect

Rome, 63 BC. In a city on the brink of acquiring a vast empire, seven men are struggling for power. Cicero is consul, Caesar his ruthless young rival, Pompey the republic's greatest general, Crassus its richest man, Cato a political fanatic, Catilina a psychopath, Clodius an ambitious playboy.

The stories of these real historical figures - their alliances and betrayals, their cruelties and seductions, their brilliance and their crimes - are all interleaved to form this epic novel. Its narrator is Tiro, a slave who serves as confidential secretary to the wily, humane, complex Cicero. He knows all his master's secrets - a dangerous position to be in.

From the discovery of a child's mutilated body, through judicial execution and a scandalous trial, to the brutal unleashing of the Roman mob, Lustrum is a study in the timeless enticements and horrors of power.

Genre

Historical fiction

Listen to a sample

Harris never makes his comparisons between Rome and modern Britain explicit, but they are certainly there. And that's the principal charm of his ancient thrillers - their up-to-dateness

Sunday Telegraph

Harris is the master. With Lustrum, [he] has surpassed himself. It is one of the most exciting thrillers I have ever read

Evening Standard

Harris communicates such a strong sense of imperial Rome - the book is awesomely well-informed about the minutiae of everyday life

Guardian

Magnificent ... Better than Robert Graves's Claudius novels

Standpoint

Thoroughly engaging ... The allure of power and the perils that attend it have seldom been so brilliantly anatomised in a thriller