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.
"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)
Just a simple girl living the simple life. Nothing is complicated when the power of imagination leads the way. Close your eyes & just listen
A Roman Army doctor with a keen sense of humor and Simon Vance was spot on! This was my first book by Ruth Downie and chosen mainly because of the narrator, and partly from reading reviews. HOWEVER.......I am glad I took a chance because now I am on to the 2nd book in this series! I am HOOKED
The author should have read, e.g., The Egyptian and The Roman to understand, how to write stories from ancient times. It is surely difficult to reconstruct the way of thinking (and such book could be actually difficult to read) but using ancient or quasi-ancient words and sometimes the original language (Latin, here) helps to form the atmosphere of old times. The author unfortunately goes the opposite way, using and also generating new terms, such as Chief Medical Officer, CMO (!!!) It lets you puzzle if someone in the book will check his answering machine soon. The story is a bit boring, this is what I can forgive but the limited understanding of the life in the ancient Rome is not acceptable. Today we are amused with 500-year old painting of the Jesus' crucifixion, when all characters are dressed in 500-year old fashion and wear 500-year old weapons. In 2513, the book might be amusing showing how people thought in 21st century but it is not much fun today.
Not from the genre but from the author.
When the Medicus writes a protocol with a description of a found dead body like a current pathologist.
interesting background on rome etc during that period; story dragged some
the goings on in the hospital and market and brothels if they were true were enlightening
simon vance was good to a point until he spoke for Tilla and sometimes reverted to an irish accent. would have been better if he just kept to his normal speaking, it distracted one from the character and what she was saying because it did not fit. I have listened to other vance books and they were great. not sure what happened here
no reaction. will not pursue the series because I could better spend my time on better books.
I enjoy historical novels and this one is decent. The main drawback is the pace is really slow and drawn out, and I personally had trouble identifying with any of the characters. Narrator - Simon Vance is exceptional. I much preferred the Robert Harris Novels of Ancient Rome or the Lantern Bearers by Rosemary Sutcliffe.
I enjoy historical novels if they are not light. I have never read about this period before and it was quite good. The character, especially the Medicus, were well done. I may try a sequel eventually, especially with Simon Vance as a narrator. He is great!
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!
The nuances about life in Britain during Roman rule.
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.
The Medicus (forgot proper name), as well as his contemporary.
The narrator was fine - he just didn't have much to work with.
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.
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!
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