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The medicus Ruso and his wife Tilla are back in the borderlands of Britannia, this time helping to tend the builders of Hadrian's Great Wall. Having been forced to move off their land, the Britons are distinctly on edge and are still smarting from the failure of a recent rebellion that claimed many lives.

Then Ruso's recently arrived clerk, Candidus, goes missing. A native boy thinks he sees a body being hidden inside the wall's half-finished stonework, and a worrying rumor begins to spread. When the soldiers ransack the nearby farms looking for Candidus, Tilla's tentative friendship with a local family turns to anger and disappointment. It's clear that the sacred rites to bless her marriage to Ruso will have to wait. Tensions only increase when Branan, the family's youngest son, also vanishes. He was last seen in the company of a lone and unidentified soldier who claimed he was taking the boy to see Tilla.

As Ruso and Tilla try to solve the mystery of the two disappearances -- while at the same time struggling to keep the peace between the Britons and the Romans -- an intricate scheme involving slavery, changed identities, and fur trappers emerges, and it becomes imperative that Ruso find Branan before it's too late.



About the Author

Ruth Downie

Ruth (RS) Downie left university with an English degree and a plan to get married and live happily ever after. She is still working on it. In the meantime she is also the New York Times bestselling author of a mystery series featuring Roman legionary doctor Gaius Petreius Ruso and his British partner, Tilla.

The latest book is VITA BREVIS, and the previous six are:

MEDICUS (the first story, formerly 'Medicus/Ruso and the Disappearing Dancing Girls' in the UK and Australia)

TERRA INCOGNITA ('Ruso and the Demented Doctor')

PERSONA NON GRATA ('Ruso and the Root of All Evils')

CAVEAT EMPTOR ('Ruso and the River of Darkness')

SEMPER FIDELIS (at last, only one title!)

TABULA RASA

In 2015 Ruth helped to put together 'A YEAR OF RAVENS: a novel of Boudica's rebellion' with co-conspirators Stephanie Drey, E Knight, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, SJA Turney and Russell Whitfield.

Ruth now lives in North Devon, England, with a husband, a fine view and too many cats. She is not the same person as the RS Downie who writes real medical textbooks. Absolutely none of the medical advice in the Ruso books should be followed. Roman and Greek doctors were very wise about many things but they were also known to prescribe donkey dung and boiled cockroaches.

Find out more at www.ruthdownie.com



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