Robert Harris's Lustrum is a thriller that pitches the listener into the power struggles and vicious factionalism of the Roman republic at one of its most tumultuous moments, as Cicero is alerted to a plot to overthrow the government and take over the state. The conspiracy is led by the aristocratic politician Catalina, backed by other, shadowy factions; even Julius Caesar is implicated. Undeterred, Cicero devotes himself to exposing the treachery, and after a bloody struggle, emerges triumphant.
But the gods are pitiless - and the most talented men over-reach themselves. When the sexually voracious senator and nobleman Clodius is put on trial, accused of entering a sacred women-only religious ritual in pursuit of Caesar's wife, Cicero finds himself embroiled in the case as the reluctant star witness for the prosecution. He has made many enemies, and as Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey grasp political power, he discovers that he has sown the seeds of his own downfall.
Meticulously researched and brilliantly written, Lustrum is an entirely self-contained novel, but it is also a continuation of Cicero's story as told in Robert Harris's best-selling Imperium. A third Roman volume will complete the trilogy in 2011.
©2009 Robert Harris; (P)2009 Random House Audio
As someone who has enjoyed all of Harris' books, I will advice to you listen to his other works before this one. It is simply too unfocused to ever get me wound up in the story. It is all also too short, and I don't understand why it has been abgridged (unless the unabridged version would have been even more unfocused).
I recomend instead you hear Pompeii (ancient rome setting) or Ghost (modern thriller).
"Great but too short"
I would have preferred the full version but this was still enjoyable. harris is a great story teller and it was well narrated.
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