Saturday, September 6, 2014

TABULA RASA (Gaius Petreius Ruso #6)
Ruth Downie, narrator Simon Vance
Bloomsbury USA, Tantor Audio
August 2014

Tabula Rasa, #6 in Ruth Downie's Gaius Petreius Ruso series set in Roman Britain is equally as enjoyable as all that have come before it. Ruso, a Medicus in the Roman Legions and his British wife, Tilla, are stationed in the borderlands building Hadrian's Wall. Tilla is plying her trade as a midwife and Ruso is wondering where his new clerk, Candidus, has disappeared to. Since Candidus is the nephew of Ruso's friend and former clerk he feels responsible for him. Meanwhile rumors are flying about a body being hidden in a newly built section of wall. When Branan, the youngest son of a local family that Tilla has formed a tentative relationship with also goes missing Ruso feels he must act. Action, as always, comes very reluctantly for Ruso. He would much rather keep his head down and do his job. There is little chance of that with Tilla around.

Downie tells her Ruso stories with a wealth of period detail and a wry humor that I really appreciate. Having visited a Roman encampment site in Northumberland in the depths of winter, I have a very good idea of how challenging the Legion life was. Tabula Rasa is packed with richly realized characters, both old and new. I am struck by how similar these characters are to us, with failings and foibles that the modern reader can recognize and relate to. Once again, Simon Vance narrates Tabula Rasa with his customary excellence. I highly recommend  the Gaius Petreis Ruso series for readers of mystery and historical fiction.

RATING-4.5 Stars

No comments:

Post a Comment