Vita Brevis

Vita Brevis : A Crime Novel of the Roman Empire

4.11 (1,100 ratings by Goodreads)
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Ruso and Tilla's excitement at arriving in Rome with their new baby daughter is soon dulled by their discovery that the grand facades of polished marble mask an underworld of corrupt landlords and vermin-infested tenements. There are also far too many doctors--some skilled, but others positively dangerous.

Ruso thinks he has been offered a reputable medical practice only to find that his predecessor Doctor Kleitos has fled, leaving a dead man in a barrel on the doorstep and the warning, "Be careful who you trust." Distracted by the body and his efforts to help a friend win the hand of a rich young heiress, Ruso makes a grave mistake, causing him to question both his competence and his integrity.

With Ruso's reputation under threat, he and Tilla must protect their small family from Doctor Kleitos's debt collectors and find allies in their new home while they track down the vanished doctor and find out the truth about the heiress's dead father--Ruso's patient--and the unfortunate man in the barrel.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 33.02mm | 683g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1620409585
  • 9781620409589
  • 638,580

Review quote

"Downie writes with quiet authority and surprising depth, offering an engaging depiction of an obscure slice of history." "Kirkus Reviews on Tabula Rasa"

"A pleasure to read. The Ruso series might not be as well known as, say, Lindsey Davis longer-running Marcus Didius Falsco series, but it s just as entertaining." "Booklist on Tabula Rasa"

Ruso is a complex, engaging, utterly human medic . . . with panache and good-humored compassion. With a finely wrought plot, a densely woven cast of characters and plenty of action, this is a book to savor to the last sentence. M. C. Scott, author of the "Rome" and "Boudica" series, on "Tabula Rasa""
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About Ruth Downie

Ruth Downie is the author of the New York Times bestselling Medicus, as well as Terra Incognita, Persona Non Grata, Caveat Emptor, Semper Fidelis, and Tabula Rasa. She is married with two sons and lives in Devon, England.
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Rating details

1,100 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 35% (383)
4 45% (494)
3 18% (194)
2 2% (21)
1 1% (8)
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