A Novel of the Roman Empire
By Ruth Downie
(Bloomsbury USA, Hardcover, 9781596916081, 352pp.)
Publication Date: December 21, 2010
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In her fourth novel, Ruth Downie brings to life the corruption and treachery of Roman-occupied Britain, as it closes in on her winsome leading man, Gaius Petreius Ruso.
Ruso and Tilla, now newlyweds, have moved back to Britannia, where Ruso's old friend and colleague Valens has promised to help him find work. But it isn't the kind of work he'd had in mind-Ruso is tasked with hunting down a missing tax man named Julius Asper.
Of course, there's also something else missing: money. And the council of the town of Verulamium is bickering over what's become of it. Compelled to delve deeper by a threat from his old sparring partner, Metellus, Ruso discovers that the good townsfolk may not be as loyal to Rome as they like to appear.
While Tilla tries to comfort Asper's wife, an anonymous well-wisher is busy warning the couple to get away from the case before they get hurt. Despite our hero's best efforts to get himself fired as investigator, he and his bride find themselves trapped at the heart of an increasingly treacherous conspiracy involving theft, forgery, buried treasure, and the legacy of Boudica, the Rebel Queen.
Ruth Downie the author of the New York Times bestselling Medicus, Terra Incognita, and most recently Persona Non Grata. A part-time librarian, she is married with two sons and lives in Milton Keynes, England.
Ruth Downie is the author of the New York Times bestselling Medicus, Terra Incognita, and most recently Persona Non Grata. She is married with two sons and lives in Milton Keynes, England.
- Caveat Emptor opens with a quotation from the Roman Tacitus about the Britons: “So, fighting separately, all are conquered.” What does this quotation tell us about the Romans’ attitude toward the Britons? How does it set the stage for what’s to come?
"The characters are vividly drawn."—Historical Novel Society"Downie remains a peerless storyteller and a master entertainer. BBC’s Masterpiece should take a long look at this series. It’s a winner."—Kirkus Reviews "Supurb … Downie excels in bringing the ancient world to life as well as making the attitudes and customs of its inhabitants accessible to a modern audience."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)