Medicus by Ruth Downie


Once again I find myself late to the party as I have only just now started reading about Gaius Petreius Ruso, a Roman Legion Doctor and the protagonist in this delightful tale.  The author has produced a character that is seemingly a competent, if not a good physician, who finds himself drawn into the search for the killer(s) of two prostitutes.  However, unlike some other fictional sleuths of ancient Rome, Lindsey Davis’ Falco or Steven Saylors’ Gordianus for example, Ruso is not so keen on being a detective.  He is too concerned about other things like his financial problems, or his somewhat regrettable purchase of an injured slave woman but as the story goes on he cannot help but becoming involved in an unofficial investigation.  The characters in the book are well written, the day to day existence in an occupied/pacified town in Britain is done nicely with both the seriousness of the situation and with the humor she injects into the narrative.  Being a would be author myself,I particularly love the difficulties Ruso has in trying to write a concise first aid book for the army…brought many a smile to my face.

As to rating the book, as I read the first half I was leaning to a 4 star rating but the second half of the book made me change my mind and so I have given it 5 stars and I already have the second book in the series loaded in my Kindle.  🙂

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