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Medicus Audiobook
Medicus
Written by: 
Ruth Downie
Narrated by: 
Simon Vance
 >   > 
Medicus Audiobook

Medicus: A Novel of the Roman Empire

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Publisher's Summary

Gaius Petrius Ruso is a divorced and down-on-his-luck army doctor who has made the rash decision to seek his fortune in an inclement outpost of the Roman Empire, namely Britannia. His arrival in Deva (more commonly known today as Chester, England) does little to improve his mood, and after a 36-hour shift at the army hospital, he succumbs to a moment of weakness and rescues an injured slave girl, Tilla, from the hands of her abusive owner.

Now he has a new problem: a slave who won't talk and can't cook, and drags trouble in her wake. Before he knows it, Ruso is caught in the middle of an investigation into the deaths of prostitutes working out of the local bar.

A few years earlier, after he rescued Emperor Trajan from an earthquake in Antioch, Ruso seemed headed for glory: now he's living among heathens in a vermin-infested bachelor pad and must summon all his forensic knowledge to find a killer who may be after him next.

Who are the true barbarians, the conquered or the conquerors? It's up to Ruso (certainly the most likeable sleuth to come out of the Roman Empire) to discover the truth. With a gift for comic timing and historic detail, Ruth Downie has conjured an ancient world as raucous and real as our own.

©2007 Ruth Downie; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Downie's auspicious debut sparkles with beguiling characters and a vividly imagined evocation of a hazy frontier." (Publishers Weekly)
"Fans of Alexander McCall Smith will delight in this series debut set in Roman-occupied Britain and featuring wry army doctor Gaius Petreius Ruso." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1086 )
5 star
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4.0 (653 )
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4.4 (649 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Catherine West Fargo, ND, USA 08-01-08
    Catherine West Fargo, ND, USA 08-01-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining"

    Entertaining--not historically accurate, but the main character is determinedly grumpy and yet a softie on the inside! I'd love to see a continuation of the series, it was worth listening to.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tammi 11-08-07
    Tammi 11-08-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good sense of place and time"

    The author has a an excellent way of making the reader perceive the ancient Roman empire as modern and vibrant.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ant the Limey Pennsylvania 03-11-07
    Ant the Limey Pennsylvania 03-11-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    82
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    "great book"

    The story is pleasing, the tone is enjoyable. The characters are fantastic. The narrator is good (not Scott Brick good, but only 3rd narrator I want to try books based on his voice).

    I can think of nothing bad to say about this bood. I heartily recommend it

    21 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith A. Weller LaVale, MD United States 11-13-08
    Judith A. Weller LaVale, MD United States 11-13-08 Member Since 2008

    jw1917

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Mystery set in Roman Britania"

    I love mysteries set in the Roman Empire. This one is unique in so far as it is set in Britania instead of Rome itself. Emperor Trajan has just died and Hadrian is the new emperor. The author has really captured the flavor of Roman Britain with all its vices. The hero, as the name implies is a Doctor, so we get to learn about medical practices in the Roman Empire. Our hero has angered just about everyone he possible can and is beaten and threatened throughout. It is both humorous and exciting. But all ends well. The reader is great and really makes the characters come alive. Hope to see more of this character. Great listen - very enjoyable

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Petrik Los Angeles, CA, USA 08-17-07
    Petrik Los Angeles, CA, USA 08-17-07 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Decent book, so-so narration"

    As someone who enjoys historical fiction and the themes tackled here, I expected to like this book. And in fact, the story was quite good. A bit dry and mundane at times, I wished for more medical situations and details, but it's a fine debut for Mrs. Downie. If only the narrator did a better job -- I kept falling asleep! Actually, I ended up borrowing the hardcover from the local library to finish it over the weekend :)

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonnie Bellmore, NY, United States 08-14-07
    Bonnie Bellmore, NY, United States 08-14-07 Member Since 2013

    BJS

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
    Overall
    "An enjoyable surprise"

    I didn't expect much, but soon found I was looking forward to what would happen next. Fun with a twist.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Either San Diego, CA, United States 04-03-07
    Either San Diego, CA, United States 04-03-07 Member Since 2012
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    "All hail the power of Rome"

    I thought this novel to be fantastic. The storyline along with the history was brillant!!And to top it off the talents of the narrator were exceptional!! If you like Roman history or anything to do with Rome then this book is for you

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kerri Bothell, WA, United States 03-26-07
    Kerri Bothell, WA, United States 03-26-07 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I loved it"

    The narration was enjoyable, the story was fun, my only complaint was that it wasn't longer. I recommend.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret San Francisco, CA USA 04-29-13
    Margaret San Francisco, CA USA 04-29-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Delivers a whooping good story"

    I don't know how I missed Ruth Downie and the Russo series, but since the first book was published in 2007, it must be true which is a bummer for me. But, on the good side, there are now four more novels in the series ready to download without any waiting. Discovering a new series is one of the best things that I spend my credits on!

    I realize that people who are very particular about historical accuracy might find Medicus trying, but I have no such standards. I thought it was great! There is a strain of sentimentality in the work that is more common is "cozy" mysteries, but that charmed me right away.

    I hope the next book holds to the same tone and builds the momentum so well done in Medicus. I'm going to download book two now. Fingers crossed.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colby Omaha, NE, United States 08-31-13
    Colby Omaha, NE, United States 08-31-13 Member Since 2016

    Married mother of three teenagers, back to work after 15 years at home - when I read a lot. Now I am the assistant to the Mayor of Omaha and work at least 60 hours a week, and on top of what I have to do at home - no more books. This lets me listen to the classics, the latest, whatever I want. I can learn or escape. I have always love audio books, but now I NEED them.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love, Love, LOVE this whole series..GO IN ORDER!"

    This is really a review of all five books, since I could not wait to listen to them long enough to stop and write this. That alone should encourage you to try this. I spelled their names like I heard them, forgive me if I get them wrong - the one downside to listening vs. reading.

    This series is historical, it is a well-told mystery, but the biggest surprise is that it is FUNNY! I would be following the story, wondering "who dun it," and feeling a bit more educated on the Roman Empire and the lives of those in it, when Russo's dry sense of humor would pop up again and make me laugh out loud. Tilla and her observations of life - and her superior attitude that Romans are inherently nuts, and Valins hedonistic bent often giving way to his truly good nature are priceless. I could see the scene in my mind's eye all the way. I truly become connected to these characters - many of whom continue throughout the series - even the ones I don't like. We get hints of characters that we will actually meet in later books, like Russo's family, and believe me, they are worth the wait.
    But make sure you get them in order or you will get spoilers. I mixed up one and was confused for about 10 minutes before I figured out what I had done.
    Happy Listening!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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