Medicus is a mystery taking place in Ancient Rome (to be specific, Britannia). It features Gaius Petreius Ruso, a doctor working at the army hospital. He’s in Britannia for a reason; to run away from several personal issues and to fix some (ie; family debt). Throughout the novel he’s constantly plagued with a lot of misfortune and a lot of bad luck. He just happens to be at the wrong places at the wrong times. Ruso comes across and unwillingly takes a slave named Tilla who has her own plans up her sleeve (which I won’t reveal, read the book!). Overall, there’s been two women who were murdered and Ruso reluctantly takes the case even though he didn’t want to be involved but since no one seems very interested in two dead dancing girls, someone’s got to do it right?
I like Ruso. Mostly because I find his misfortunes really funny and the way it’s written it’s as if he has a dark cloud hanging over his head for most of his days. There’s comedy mixed into this mystery so it’s not a heavy historical fiction. I would call it “lite” not in a negative sense, but rather, although the history is there, it’s not so involved like in some historical mysteries I’ve read where there’s heavy plotting, a lot of politics, and a lot of intrigue. Which is why Medicus makes for a good “lite” history read. I especially like the inner thoughts that run through Ruso’s head. Throughout the novel, he says little tidbits in his inner voice that makes you want to snicker and laugh.
He also has his friend Valens who is sort of like his sidekick/dumb friend which also adds to the comedy factor. If you place both of them together in a mouse infested dirty dwelling, you get “The Odd Couple” in Ancient Rome. It’s a great laugh and a great read.
Overall the characters are all right and agreeable. Except of course, the murderer but even then you don’t really feel a strong hate for the character.
My only criticism is, somewhere in between it does tend to slow down a bit. It could have been slightly shorter but perhaps extra plot and story was needed to tie all the strings together. I will be getting the second one in this series as I have enjoyed the first one. It’s a good light read after a heavy epic.
Overall it’s a 8 out of 10, because there were parts that just made me laugh so hard my bf had to tell me to shut up 😛
Note: If you’re heavy on the history…don’t bother just take it as a nice light read set in Ancient Rome. It done well enough that you can picture everything in your mind and you don’t need to know the politics behind it (not yet anyway)