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Medicus Audiobook

Medicus: A Novel of the Roman Empire

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. 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. And before he knows it, Ruso is caught in the middle of an investigation into the deaths of prostitutes working out of the local bar.
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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 (1067 )
5 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.0 (634 )
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1 star
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Story
4.4 (630 )
5 star
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4 star
 (212)
3 star
 (74)
2 star
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1 star
 (3)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Kindle Customer 08-15-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    Story
    "Excellent adventure"
    Any additional comments?

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I am a great fan of historic fiction, though I had never ventured into Roman subject matter. This is an excellent introduction. Vance's narration is nothing short of brilliant - I will be looking up other books which he reads, as he truly made the experience memorable. I look forward to 'hearing' other books from this series very soon!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    russell Tampa, FL, United States 08-11-13
    russell Tampa, FL, United States 08-11-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    240
    6
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    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting Spin On The Traditional Crime Thriller"
    What made the experience of listening to Medicus the most enjoyable?

    The nuances about life in Britain during Roman rule.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The main character is very likable, the author did a great job of setting the scene, and revealing just enough of the story to keep you listening.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    The Medicus (forgot proper name), as well as his contemporary.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    not really.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charnley 07-23-13
    Charnley 07-23-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    70
    6
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    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"
    Would you ever listen to anything by Ruth Downie again?

    No


    What aspect of Simon Vance’s performance would you have changed?

    The narrator was fine - he just didn't have much to work with.


    Any additional comments?

    As a fan of historical fiction, I was disappointed. It didn't seem very authentic to me - more like a modern story with occasional ancient trappings. If I'm wrong and it is authentic - then I would have to say it wasn't very convincing.
    I never really warmed up to the characters - didn't feel like I really knew them or cared what happened.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill cody, WY, United States 07-12-13
    Jill cody, WY, United States 07-12-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    9
    5
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    0
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    Story
    "I’ve found my Summer Listening!"
    Any additional comments?

    Well written, interesting and well researched setting, engaging characters - and Simon Vance as narrator.I think I’m onto a winning series for the summer!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stacy S. Scott 03-26-13 Member Since 2003

    stacy@metamet.com

    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
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    25
    14
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    Story
    "Puppy"

    They should've given the porter a puppy. A good story, good performance, ready for book2.
    thumbs up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gerald Cedar Rapids, IA, United States 12-11-11
    Gerald Cedar Rapids, IA, United States 12-11-11 Member Since 2010

    Traveler

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    152
    10
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    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This book is a snoozer"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I doubt if anyone would like this book. It is basically a book about nothing, but the author attempts to put it in Roman times. It isn't very accurate, and you learn nothing about the actual historical landscape or environment. Basically it appears the author took a poor written novel about people and translated the time.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Ruth Downie again?

    No


    How could the performance have been better?

    Performance was fine.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    boredom


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Valerie Salt Lake City, UT, United States 03-05-11
    Valerie Salt Lake City, UT, United States 03-05-11 Member Since 2014

    OD

    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
    ratings
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    924
    74
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    0
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    Overall
    "Good story - poor narration/reader"

    The story is interesting for a lot of reasons - but I did not care for the reader/narrator. He was not able to differentiate between characters enough to keep my full attention. Not sure if I will get another in the series.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon CHANDLER, AZ, United States 01-07-11
    Jon CHANDLER, AZ, United States 01-07-11 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    117
    3
    Overall
    "Great story worth a look or listen."

    This was a great book. I love history and I love mystery and this book combined both well. I’ve always found the Roman time period fascinating and I enjoyed the characters and British frontier setting. I’m no expert in the Roman civilization but I thought the historical elements were well researched and believable. Worth a look or listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert 03-10-10
    Robert 03-10-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    75
    ratings
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    67
    24
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    2
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    Overall
    "Life on the edge of Roman Empire"

    I enjoyed this story for its mystery, its characters and its ability to help me understand what life might have been like for the "real" people who lived at the very edge of their civilization. They were faced with the problems of dealing with the locals, superior officers, politics and everyday life. Not to mention murder.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Lebanon, India 10-30-09
    Laurie Lebanon, India 10-30-09 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    56
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    95
    12
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Listen again and again..."

    I love this book. It is a delight to me...the perfect match of novel and narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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