The review I was dreading writing – Medicus by Ruth Downie


I downloaded this book with a considerable amount of trepidation. I meet the author at my writing groups and although I’ve not really spoken to her I would have found it rather embarrassing if I hated the book, or worse found it historically inaccurate. The book tells the story of Roman military doctor newly arrived in Britannica in Early Imperial period, he reluctantly gets involved solving a murder.

What I didn’t like

I’m pleased to say not a lot. I only have two minor grumbles;

The character, Tilla was a bit blank when we were in her POV, I understand why the author did it to keep the mystery, it just felt odd that she was hiding things from herself at times.

After the climax I thought the ending was a bit dragged out, sometimes you don’t have to tie up every lose end tied up, some of it could have been left to the next book.

What I did like;

The lead character was great, he was a bit flawed and made mistakes which made him feel like a real person. The book also had a few interesting minor ones too.

The story was engaging, you want to know what was going to happen, it was a real page turner. I can boast and say I guessed who the murder was but not until near the end.

This is one of the periods I studied for my degree and have to say how impressed I was with its accuracy. The author must had done a fantastic amount of research to get this much correct detail. As with all ancient history you have a wide latitude as primary sources are patchy, biased and sometimes contradictory. I did detect one small mistake but I’m going to keep quiet in case I’m wrong.


It’s a great book I really enjoyed reading it and I’m already well into the second one. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a good historical novel or good mystery. I’m going to picky and give it 4 ½ stars knocking half a star off for the drawn out ending. Now go and down load this book!

UK Amazon link
US Amazon link

3 thoughts on “The review I was dreading writing – Medicus by Ruth Downie

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