Gaius Petrius Ruso is a divorced and down-on-his-luck army doctor who
has made the rash decision to seek his fortune in an inclement outpost
of the Roman Empire, namely Britannia. His arrival in Deva (more
commonly known as Chester, England) does little to improve his mood, and
after a straight thirty-six hour shift at the army hospital, he
succumbs to a moment of weakness and rescues an injured slave girl,
Tilla, from the hands of her abusive owner.
Now he has a new
problem: a slave who won’t talk and can’t cook, and drags trouble in her
wake. Before he knows it, Ruso is caught in the middle of an
investigation into the deaths of prostitutes working out of the local
bar. A few years earlier, after he rescued Emperor Trajan from an
earthquake in Antioch, Ruso seemed headed for glory: now he’s living
among heathens in a vermin-infested bachelor pad and must summon all his
forensic knowledge to find a killer who may be after him next.
are the true barbarians, the conquered or the conquerors? It’s up to
Ruso—certainly the most likeable sleuth to come out of the Roman
Empire—to discover the truth. With a gift for comic timing and historic
detail, Ruth Downie has conjured an ancient world as raucous and real as
our own. Download and start listening now!