Dunne, March 2003, 22.95, 224 pp.
After fighting the Gauls for a year under Julius Caesar, Decius Cecilius Metellus, the black sheep of the powerful and wealthy Metellus clan, is glad to be home again in his beloved Rome. Married to Caesar's niece Julia and running for political office that could lead to bigger and more powerful positions, Decius is a very happy man. The populace is not in favor of Tribune Marcus Licinus Craessus going to war against the Parthians.
On the day he is to depart, the fanatical opposition leader, the tribune of the people Caius Ateius Capito delivers a curse on Marcus, daring to speak the secret name of Rome. Decius is ordered to find out how he learned such a sacred name but before he gets very far in his investigation, the mauled body of Ateius is found. Decius must get answers and soon otherwise the frightened populace will start rioting.
John Maddox Roberts, through the use of the first person narration of his protagonist, gives the reader a glimpse into the mindset of the citizens of the Roman Empire on the subject of slavery, magic, politics, and war. The story line is colorful allowing readers to feel as if they have gone back in time to Ancient Rome. THE TRIBUNE'S CURSE is an exciting, well-researched historical mystery.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner