Semper Fidelis (Gaius Petreius Ruso Series #5)

Overview

Back at his post as a doctor in the Twentieth legion in Roman-occupied Britain, Ruso uncovers a new danger even closer to home than the neighboring barbarians.

As mysterious injuries, and even deaths, begin to appear in the medical ledgers, it's clear that all is not well amongst the native recruits to Britannia's imperial army. Is the much- decorated Centurion Geminus preying on his weaker soldiers? And could this be related to the appearance ...

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Semper Fidelis (Gaius Petreius Ruso Series #5)

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Overview

Back at his post as a doctor in the Twentieth legion in Roman-occupied Britain, Ruso uncovers a new danger even closer to home than the neighboring barbarians.

As mysterious injuries, and even deaths, begin to appear in the medical ledgers, it's clear that all is not well amongst the native recruits to Britannia's imperial army. Is the much- decorated Centurion Geminus preying on his weaker soldiers? And could this be related to the appearance of Emperor Hadrian?

Bound by his sense of duty and ill-advised curiosity, Ruso begins to ask questions nobody wants to hear. Meanwhile his barbarian wife, Tilla, is finding out some of the answers-and 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

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.
From the Publisher
"Downie injects a modern who-done-it twist into the imperial action." —-Kirkus
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608197095
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 1/8/2013
  • Series: Gaius Petreius Ruso Series , #5
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 360,805
  • Product dimensions: 6.58 (w) x 9.36 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruth Downie is the author of the New York Times bestselling Medicus, as well as Terra Incognita, Persona Non Grata, and Caveat Emptor. She is married with two sons and lives in Devon, England.

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Table of Contents

"Downie injects a modern who-done-it twist into the imperial action."—Kirkus Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Ruth Downie¿s SEMPER FIDELIS entwines the reader into a Roman Em

    Ruth Downie’s SEMPER FIDELIS entwines the reader into a Roman Empire mystery filled with political intrigue.

    Ruso thinks being a doctor with the Twentieth legion in Roman-occupied Britain would be a good change from his investigator days. But no matter where he goes, mystery follows. A slew of injuries and deaths have the legion feeling as if it is cursed. Ruso just can’t believe it, so he investigates against orders. While his wife Tilla does the same, the two are caught in a web of lies. As Emperor Hadrian’s visit looms, Ruso must solve the case before all is lost.

    SEMPER FIDELIS ensnared me from the very beginning. As a Classics major, this novel took me back to my university roots and made me realize how much I missed reading about Ancient Rome. The setting and historical research involved drew me into the past. The characters are well-written with their own flaws and strengths. Even though the fifth book in the series, I had no problems diving right in. My favorite character would have to be Tilla. She’s spunky and doesn’t know how to take “no” for an answer. The mystery is fast-paced and kept me guessing to the very end. I also loved the political intrigue and how the mystery is much deeper than a normal whodunit.

    I would highly recommend Ruth Downie’s SEMPER FIDELIS to historical mystery lovers. Now I need to catch up and read the previous books in the series!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Again I have stumbled upon a captivating series several books in

    Again I have stumbled upon a captivating series several books in; however, Semper Fidelis is a guaranteed stand alone book that will engulf your senses with historical charisma and leave you feeling fulfilled with a sense of honor, duty, and pride.
    “Please, sir, I don’t know. I don’t know anything at all.”
    Set in Roman-occupied Britain, Twentieth Legion doctor, Gaius Ruso, is dealing with a plethora of mysterious illnesses and deaths that not even he can explain, and it appears as if it is coming from within. Gaius is determined to find out what or who is causing this havoc. When Gaius’s wife starts uncovering some of the answers he is seeking, she is brought in by the Imperial Army for investigation, and it doesn’t help that she is a barbarian and not of Roman descent, which therefore labels her a liability. Can Gaius use the information she has uncovered to save her life and those of the Britannia Imperial Army? Will anybody even care?

    This book is action packed from beginning to end and holds a mysterious edge that gives The DaVinci Code a run for its money. You won’t regret the time spent on this book.
    *You can view the original review at City Book Review

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2014

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    .

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2013

    Roman holiday

    A fun series for anyone who likes historical mysteries.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2013

    Very Good-Possibly the best "Ruso" novel yet!

    Good development of new characters with a seamless integration of prior ones. This is both an excellent follow-up novel as well as a good stand-alone story. If you've enjoyed Dr. Ruso's previos adventures you'll really like this.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    Another gem!!

    Just like with previous Ruth Downie books, I couldn't put it down!

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