Jonathan Marcus, a disgraced classics scholar, has instead taken up law and is in great demand among antiques dealers for his knowledge and ability to ferret out forgeries.
When he is called to Rome to examine an ancient stone artifact, he finds a hidden message inside the stone. On the other side of the table is a former lover, colleague and archaeological preservationist Emili Travia. Jonathan and Emili join forces when it becomes apparent that an ancient cabal is intent on destroying any trace of the priceless artifact that the map points to.
What sets this book apart is the absolutely stunning historical detail. Levin himself has a bachelor's degree in Roman and Greek civilization and is also a lawyer. And his knowledge is used to great advantage. This isn't a plot based on a whim - it's based on historical fact. (You can see some of the research video here.) I found myself often stopping a looking something up on the web. I enjoyed the detail but some readers may find it a bit much. At times the story seemed to get a bit bogged down while history was detailed.
Levin has done a great job of blending fact and fiction into a non stop action suspense novel. Jonathan and Emili are believable characters - in fact I can see them embarking on another adventure together. I'm sure we'll be seeing more of Daniel Levin.