Lustrum : The second book in the stunning Roman Empire trilogy by Robert Harris. It is 63 BC, the year when Cicero is consul. Most of his time in office is devoted to uncovering and thwarting a violent conspiracy to overthrow the state, ostensibly led by Crassus and a group of disaffected senators. Underlying it all is the great rivalry between Cicero and Caesar who represent two different types of ambition: one orthodox, the other revolutionary. As Caesar's power grows, Cicero must face the inevitable compromises that come with power; is it justifiable to use illegal methods in order to save the Republic? Robert Harris yet again proves himself a master of historical fiction as he takes the reader to the heart of republican Rome with a novel that is at once brilliantly researched and utterly gripping.