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Medicus: A Novel of the Roman Empire [Paperback]

Our Price $ 16.16  
Item Number 379493  
Buy New $16.16

Item Specifications...

Pages   386
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.4" Width: 5.4" Height: 1.1"
Weight:   0.82 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 4, 2008
Publisher   Bloomsbury USA
ISBN  1596914270  
EAN  9781596914278  

Availability  59 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 20, 2016 05:32.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
Orders shipping to an address other than a confirmed Credit Card / Paypal Billing address may incur and additional processing delay.

Item Description...
A down-on-his-luck Roman army doctor, Gaius Petreius Ruso has made the rash decision to seek his fortune in one of the inclement outposts of the Roman Empire, journeying to the far reaches of Britannia, where he rescues an injured slave girl, Tilla, from her abusive owner, an ill-advised decision that leads to nothing but trouble. Reprint.

Publishers Description
“The highest praise I can offer this wonderfully entertaining portrait of the Roman Empire at its most far-flung is that I hope Downie is planning a series. Ruso is too good a character for just one book.”—Malcolm Jones, Newsweek

Divorced and down on his luck, Gaius Petreius Ruso has made the rash decision to seek his fortune in an inclement outpost of the Roman Empire, namely Britannia. In a moment of weakness, after a straight thirtysix- hour shift at the army hospital, he succumbs to compassion 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. Now Ruso must summon all his forensic knowledge to find a killer who may be after him next.

With a gift for comic timing and historical detail, Ruth Downie has conjured an ancient world as raucous and real as our own.
Published in the UK as Medicus (Ruso) and the Disappearing Dancing Girls.

Buy Medicus: A Novel of the Roman Empire by Ruth Downie from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781596914278 & 1596914270

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More About Ruth Downie

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ruth Downie is the author of the New York Times bestselling Medicus, as well as Terra Incognita, Persona Non Grata, Caveat Emptor, and Semper Fidelis. She is married with two sons and lives in Devon, England.

Ruth Downie was born in 1955.

Ruth Downie has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Medicus
  2. Novels of the Roman Empire

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary   [78538  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical   [9169  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > Historical   [186  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A fabulous read!  Nov 16, 2008
I loved this book. Ruso is a great character -- well-drawn, likeable, modern yet believable as an ancient Roman. The writing style is funny, charming, and very readable. By three-quarters of the way into the story, I just couldn't put it down. And now I can't wait to read the next installment in the adventures of Ruso and Tilla. I hope there are many more installments to come.
Almost......  Oct 18, 2008
Mrs. Ruch Downie nearly made it with MEDICUS. It's like you put all of your effort cooking a great meal for all your friends and only during dinner you realize that it could have been perfect with a little more of TABASCO and salt. Yep, that's exactly what happened to MEDICUS.

The tale follows the life of Ruso, a Medicus for the Roman Empire that is exiled to the far frontier of the empire (Britania). Ruso is a extremely likable fellow, he is troubled by almost the same issues of a modern person. Debts, divorce and a particular anoying boss. The only difference to us, "normal people".

Ruso suddenly gets involved in the investigation of the assasination of prostitudes in the town that sorrounds the Roman Post. All against his will, he owns enough problems and there is no way he will add more to the list. In the process he gets involved with a slave who plays a key role in the investigation.

As mentioned before, MEDICUS lacks. Don't get me wrong it has a good plot and well defined characters. The sorround of the tale give's you a fair notion of how was life in Britian during the Roman ruling. I would say that the book is definetly SLOW and some more action never hurts.

I still have to read the second book of the series but to be totally honest I will invest my time reading some R.R. Martin and somewhere in the future I will give a shot to the next book.

Short on History, Short on Mystery  Sep 8, 2008
This novel, set in Roman Britain during the reign of Hadrian, features an army doctor posted to Deva (modern Chester). While Downie writes well and the character has a certain engaging charm, the plot is thin and very slow to develop.

I enjoyed the first 200 pages, but the mystery, such as it is, had barely begun to develop. Before long I started skimming and managed to finish the book, but even that took some effort.

As a mystery, it's weak and badly plotted. It takes forever to get going, and then, it's still fairly thin. Added to that, this is not really a novel about ancient times. Roman Britain is not an ideal setting for a "Roman whodunit", in part because it's so far from Rome itself. Britain was never really romanized and as the author mentions in her afterword, there is not much documentation to go on. I can't help but feel that if she had dug a little deeper, she might have painted a more convincing portrait.

In any case, the story is weak, and lacks tension and suspense. It took more effort than it was worth to plow through it, and I don't plan on reading any more in the series. It's a shame, really, because there's some potential here; but if I had been the editor on this manuscript, I would have rejected it and sent it back to the author with encouragement and recommendations for a thorough rewrite.
Poorly Executed Historical Fiction  Jun 26, 2008
This extremely dull "mystery" novel is set in Roman-occupied Brittania, yet displays little knowledge of or interest in what life was actually like at the time. All of the characters act and speak as if they are from modern-day Britain. The story itself could take place at any time period--there is nothing going on here that would require it to be set in the Roman era. In an afterword, the author hedges her bets by making the dubious claim that no one really knows what life was like in Roman Britain, and admits that much of the setting and background of her tale is pure fantasy. I feel strongly that she is merely excusing her own bad writing and lazy fact-checking.
How hard would it have been to actually research what the career paths of Roman doctors was like? Or to do rudimentary research into the foods that were eaten, the buildings that existed, or the economy of the area? It seems clear that the Roman setting has been tacked on in a feeble attempt to make this flaccid mystery stand out from its dozens of competitors on bookstore shelves. In the Roman mysteries of Lindsey Davis, it is clear that the author knows quite a bit about life at that time. In this book, it is painfully obvious that Ruth Downie does not. Worse, she doesn't seem to care, and is happy to create speculative scenarios which would have been quite easy to research and write realistically.
As if this weren't enough, the mystery itself is extremely slow to get going and incredibly easy to figure out. I had the culprit pegged almost from the beginning, then had to slog through almost 400 pages to have my prediction proven true. This book is poor in every respect. I'm glad I only paid a quarter for it at a thrift store...
Very Entertaining  Jun 22, 2008
So maybe it is not the most accurate portrayal of life in Roman occupied Britain. But it was a lot of fun to read, and a lot of the charm came from the contemporary angle of the story. It was more a story of modern characters set in a backdrop of an imagined Roman era with all the motivations of contemporary people. I found the main characters to be very engaging and human, and the central mystery story intriguing. Plus it was very humorous. I enjoyed the follow up novel "Terra Incognito" every bit as much. Highly recommended for an entertaining read.

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