Ruth Downie has two previous books in this series, both were New York Times best sellers, Medicus and Terre Incognita.
Based around the main character, a career military doctor, Gaius Petreius Ruso, who is stationed in Roman Britain, near Hadrian’s Wall and lives with his companion Tilla a tribal native of the isle. He receives a letter summoning him back to his family in the south of France.
On reaching the family home and vinyard, nobody owns up to sending the letter. All is in turmoil. The family are on the edge of bancrupty, their creditors are breathing down their necks, they could all be out on the street. Gaius’s sister-in-law’s brother, has drowned mysteriouly on a sea voyage.
Gaius has not told his family he will be bringing Tilla and has not told them of their relationship.
As if this isn’t enough their main creditor comes to visit and drops dead of poisoning in front of Gaius.
How is his younger sister mixed up the the gladiators.
Gaius is now expected to sort out the family fortunes.
What did I think?
I was truthfully expecting more. Knowing that Ruth Downie’s two previous books were New York Times best sellers. It was a good read, a not in depth read. Interesting research on Roman Life. I enjoyed it, and probably I should go back and read the two previous books.
I studied Roman Britain for my final exams, so had some background understanding of this period in history.
I felt it was an OK book that benefited from it’s period setting. I will hold judgement until I read the previous two books.