The medicus Ruso and his wife, Tilla, are back in the borderlands of Britannia, where he is tending the builders of Hadrian's Great Wall. Having been forced to move off their land, the Britons are distinctly on edge and are still smarting from the failure of a recent rebellion that claimed many lives.Read more...
The medicus Ruso and his wife, Tilla, are back in the borderlands of Britannia, where he is tending the builders of Hadrian's Great Wall. Having been forced to move off their land, the Britons are distinctly on edge and are still smarting from the failure of a recent rebellion that claimed many lives.
The tension grows when Ruso's recently arrived clerk goes missing and things go from bad to worse when the young son of a local family also vanishes. While struggling to keep the peace between the Britons and the Romans, Ruso and Tilla uncover an intricate deception involving slavery and fur trappers, and it becomes imperative that they solve the mystery of the two disappearances before it's too late.
- ISBN-13: 9781608197088
- ISBN-10: 1608197085
- Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
- Publish Date: August 2014
- Page Count: 352
- Dimensions: 9.61 x 6.43 x 1.19 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.35 pounds
Series: Novels of the Roman Empire
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-06-23
- Reviewer: Staff
Downie’s sixth whodunit set in second-century Britannia (after 2013’s Semper Fidelis) immediately transports the reader to another time and place with an evocative description of work on Hadrian’s Wall in the midst of an unrelenting rainstorm (“It was easy to believe that the rain threw itself at you personally; hard not to feel persecuted and aggrieved when it found its way into your boots no matter how much grease you slathered on them”). When Candidus, Roman medico Gaius Ruso’s new clerk, goes missing, Ruso uses his many connections—he’s rumored to be personally acquainted with Emperor Hadrian, and is married to a local, Tilla, whose relatives view him, understandably, with distrust—to find out what happened to Candidus. While the mystery itself isn’t one of the author’s more gripping, the book plausibly depicts life in Roman Britain and tensions between the occupiers and the occupied. Agent: George Lucas, Inkwell Management. (Aug.)