Lynn's Reviews > Medicus

Medicus by Ruth Downie
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's review
Sep 04, 2009

it was ok
Read in September, 2009

I see some of the other folks below reacted to this book as I did: it was a page turner, but I won't be likely to remember I even read it in a few months (or next week). I, too, found the main character kind of boring. He was a good guy, but not a very interesting one. I didn't feel a connection with the character, which I really need to do to love a book. It was really a modern mystery novel set in Roman Britain. The trappings of the Roman Empire were there, but not the spirit or really the understandings of the time. Yes, the medical knowledge was rather more rudimentary (duh), but if it weren't for the garb, it could have been set today.

I was also put off by the great debt the author owes to Catch 22. Priscus was so much like Milo Minderbinder (but more evil) that I kept expecting an acknowledgement. The dysfunctionality of the legion was just too close, although of course, that's current corporate dysfunctionality, too. But it felt like a rip-off of that (wonderful) novel with a couple of murders thrown in.

The jacket copy compares this book to Alexander McCall Smith, and that's probably an apt comparison. I've only read one of his books, but they also seem instantly forgettable. Ah well, nothing ventured....

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