I think this is the book I will tell people to read when recommending the series and I will be recommending the series. The first book had some few parts that needed a little polishing (still was a GREAT read) but this is near perfection. It has everything I like in a mystery, adventure, intelligence, wry humor, great characters, a noir feel, and writing compelling enough to keep you up way past your bedtime. Downie is particularly skilled in her characters and keeps them believable to period while still appealing to modern sensibilities. I am a history buff so I love the Roman/Britania backdrop but even if you hate historical books you'd like this. The story is compelling without any moments where you'd be embarrassed when if someone strolls in while your listening. (As opposed to say Pillars of the Earth which could frequently be embarrassing in the many long and explicitly sexual moments) Simon Vance reads this so well you forget him completely and dissolve into the story. He's also less nasal in this than in other books which some reviewers havent liked. He's one of my favorite narrators. This would be a great book for a car trip, especially one where you are worried about falling asleep. I should know as its 430 am right now but I couldn't stop listening. I only wish there were more than 4 books in this great series.
I stumbled upon Medicus in the public library’s audio book stacks and discovered the sequels on Audible. Ruth Downie makes ancient Rome accessible to the modern reader/listener in so many ways. The clever parallels she draws to our own times proves that human behavior is timeless. Simon Vance nuanced characterizations breathe life into Ruso, Tilla, and all of the characters. BTW--If you want another good Simon Vance-read audio book, try The Religion by Tim Willocks.
This book is sheer fun. Can't wait to read more Ruth Downie
This book continues the adventures of a medicus in Roman Britain, Ruso, and his slave/companion, Tila. This book spends a lot of time on Tila, exploring her background and developing her character. One of the best things about this series on Audible is the fantastic narrator who does a splendid job in bringing the characters to life.
Great story, great reader...from the slimy snake from Rome to the malingering patients in the ward, to the puffed up local brewer, these characterizations are spot on.
Kudos to writer and narrator!
Addicted to Audible!
I liked the first book in this series- for some reason it sparked my imagination about that time period and I found the characters entertaining, so I was excited to listen to this one. It falls flat in my opinion. Perhaps the author should have just left well enough alone.
This is a good book for those who love stories of ancient Rome as well as murder mysteries.
The Roman medicus, Ruso, travels north with his female slave and finds himself embroiled in a messy murder, a possible native uprising and the ravings of a seemingly mad resident doctor to the Legion. Who killed, and beheaded, Felix? What happened to the head? And, in the absence of the actual culprit, who will be executed for the crime?
I first read this book under the title, Ruso and the Demented Doctor, and revisited it this time with the audio version narrated by Simon Vance. Mr.Vance has a very pleasant reading style although the performance of the female voices did become irritating at times. Also, at the beginning of the reading, there is a complete, and long, list and brief description of the cast of players to come, useful in the print version but simply annoying in the audio version where reference later is not easy.
This is not the more usual fighting-with-the-legions type of story, nor one based around known historical personages or events. It is a murder mystery set in an Anglo Roman background and filled with colourful characters involved in an interesting plot.
I loved the first book in this series, and the sequel did not disappoint. This follow-up continued to deepen the character development. As a fan of Roman history, I loved how the author made Roman Britain come to life. I'm not a fan of the mystery genre, so I can't comment on the quality of this book compared to other mystery novels--but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Simon Vance did a great job narrating. This is definitely worth reading.
I ordered this mostly because it was offered in a 3-for-2 special. I found it very engaging. Not being expert in Roman Britain, I cannot comment on the historical accuracy, but it seemed plausible enough to carry the story. I am looking forward to Book #1 and the rest of the series.