Semper Fidelis (Gaius Petreius Ruso Series #5)
  • Semper Fidelis (Gaius Petreius Ruso Series #5)
  • Semper Fidelis (Gaius Petreius Ruso Series #5)

Semper Fidelis (Gaius Petreius Ruso Series #5)

4.3 11
by Ruth Downie
     
 

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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

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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.

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781608197095
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
01/08/2013
Series:
Gaius Petreius Ruso Series, #5
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
923,730
Product dimensions:
6.58(w) x 9.36(h) x 1.16(d)

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