K's Reviews > Medicus

Medicus by Ruth Downie
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's review
Jan 06, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: historicalfiction, mysteriesthrillers, should-ve-been-shorter
Recommended to K by: Mintzis

“Medicus” is both historical fiction and a mystery, but it’s anomalous for both genres – purists, beware. Although the story takes place in the time of the Roman empire, except for occasional references to slaves, scrolls, and centurions it reads like a contemporary novel, something I appreciated but avid historical fiction fans may not. And while there’s technically a mystery here, the plotting is rather slow; we mostly watch our Harrison Ford-esque hero deal with all sorts of unfortunate (and often dryly comical) mishaps in his life rather than hot on the trail of more clues. The dead body shows up immediately, but the clues come slowly and sporadically and don’t drive the story.

That said, “Medicus” has a charm of its own. Although I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I couldn’t put it down, it was easy enough to pick up and read quickly and enjoyably. I couldn’t always follow every plot development, but I don’t know how much of that to blame on the book; preparations for Passover are wreaking havoc with my powers of concentration right now. Ultimately, I agree with the reviewer who called this “a beach read for historical fiction fans” and recommend it for anyone seeking a light and entertaining read that’s a little different.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Rebecca (new) - added it

Rebecca Dare I say Passover plans might have contributed to the relatively short review? It's not the usual expose length we've all come to expect....and about I book I plan to read too. Khaya you do this on purpose i think!

message 2: by K (last edited Mar 17, 2010 04:15AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

K Yes, Passover plans do cut into my reading and writing time. Alas. Although truthfully, I also didn't have a whole lot to say about the book. It was a nice mystery to pass the time with, but it was neither great enough or terrible enough to inspire a long and passionate review. I'd love to hear what you think, though!

message 3: by Rebecca (new) - added it

Rebecca When i get my hands on it i shall deliver a reivew of heartbreaking clarity and Khaya style length!

message 4: by K (new) - rated it 3 stars

K That gives me something to look forward to...

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