When Tom, a graphic designer and artist in semi-retirement, takes his metal detector to the site of a Roman villa on the River Tas near Norwich, he unearths more than a slice of history. Gold coins, jewels, silverware and precious artefacts from antiquity start to fill his life and the cottage he shares with his new love, Helen. A working trip to Rome takes Tom to the Vatican in the exalted company of a Russian archaeologist, Professor Borodin. Can the Professor and a mysterious Russian cardinal help Tom unlock the secrets of Maximus Afranius, a fabulously wealthy Roman commander who settled in Britannia on the River Tas? Fascinating glimpses into Roman and medieval life, and a deep awareness of archaeology and genealogy, plus a keen ear for the echoes of the past, give Peter Mortimer's saga of lost treasures a vivid and colourful realism. This is a big read with a big theme. Leave page unturned!