Semper Fidelis (Gaius Petreius Ruso Series #5)

Semper Fidelis (Gaius Petreius Ruso Series #5)

4.3 11
by Ruth Downie
     
 

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When Ruso rejoins his unit in the remote outpost of the Roman Empire known as Britannia, he finds that all is not well with the Twentieth Legion. As they keep a suspicious eye on the barbarians to the north, the legionaries appear to have found trouble even closer to home—among the native recruits to Britannia’s imperial army.

A young soldier has… See more details below

Overview

When Ruso rejoins his unit in the remote outpost of the Roman Empire known as Britannia, he finds that all is not well with the Twentieth Legion. As they keep a suspicious eye on the barbarians to the north, the legionaries appear to have found trouble even closer to home—among the native recruits to Britannia’s imperial army.

A young soldier has jumped off a roof, killing himself. Why? Mysterious injuries, and even deaths, begin to pile up in Ruso’s medical ledgers, and it soon becomes clear that this suicide is not an isolated incident. Can the men really be under a curse? And what has this to do with the much-decorated Centurion Geminus?

Bound by his sense of duty and compelled by his ill-advised curiosity, Ruso begins to ask questions nobody wants to hear. Meanwhile his barbarian wife, Tilla, starts to find out some of the answers—and is marked as a security risk by the very officers Ruso is interrogating.

With Hadrian’s visit looming large, the fates of the legion, Tilla, and Ruso himself hang in the balance.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Downie injects a modern who-done-it twist into the imperial action." —Kirkus
Library Journal
In Downie’s fifth novel (after Caveat Emptor) to feature Gaius Petreius Ruso, the Roman doctor and his wife travel from one camp to another as part of the Twentieth Legion serving in Britannia. Accidents and fatal injuries haunt the new native recruits as they settle in with their Roman counterparts, and Ruso finds his skills as a doctor and as an investigator in high demand. Imprisoned after asking too many questions about the tensions between the troops and their officers, Ruso must discover for himself the real crimes and the true criminals while not running afoul of Emperor Hadrian and his entourage.

Verdict In Ruso, an ancient character modern readers will easily relate to, Downie creates a likable protagonist who navigates the terrain and politics of Roman Britannia with humor and good intentions. This latest installment in the best-selling series will delight readers of history, mystery, and popular fiction.—Catherine Lantz, Morton Coll. Lib., Cicero, IL(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Reviews
The subtitle of this novel is important--"A Novel of the Roman Empire"--lest we think it's about the Marine Corps. Downie's narrative unfolds in a remote outpost of the empire, along the northern border of England (or more accurately, Britannia). Although the 20th Legion is stationed along the frontier, untoward things have been happening--like the deaths of recent recruits to the Roman army, deaths that might be suicides except they're occurring with alarming frequency. Legionnaire Gaius Petreius Ruso, a medical doctor, starts to investigate why these deaths have come about, and he uncovers some rather sordid imperial activity. Geminus, one of the Roman centurions, has been promoting fights to the death among Roman soldiers, for example, and having the legionnaires bet on the outcomes. Ruso's wife, Tilla, a native of Britannia and hence somewhat suspect to the other Roman soldiers, is also wondering why this has been happening and wants to help her husband's investigation. Tension ratchets up when two things happen: Geminus is found murdered and Hadrian, the emperor, is coming to inspect how the empire is faring along the periphery. Because of his curiosity about Geminus' role in the deaths of the young soldiers, Ruso becomes a prime suspect in the murder, so he's arrested on what seems a trumped-up charge. Hadrian visits this corner of Britannia since, after all, there's a wall to build. Downie injects a modern who-done-it twist into the imperial action.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781620400500
Publisher:
BLOOMSBURY PUBLISHING
Publication date:
01/08/2013
Series:
Gaius Petreius Ruso Series , #5
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
102,292
File size:
3 MB

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