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Library JournalIn 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.