Review: Caveat Emptor

Caveat Emptor: A Novel of the Roman Empire by Ruth Downie;

Caveat Emptor coverBloomsbury USA (2010), Hardcover, 352 pages;

This fourth volume in the series finds Ruso back in Britain and reluctantly as usual on the case of a missing tax collector. I say as usual because he seldom has his way with anything, it seems, and for a Roman citizen with a trade is rarely pleased with the way his life is going. His discontent is wearing off on me as a reader, and I slogged through this book like a legionnaire does mud.

Downie makes the atmosphere feel real, and her descriptions are usually right on. The cast of co-stars is rather large, something I don’t enjoy, but most of the major players were well-identified. I don’t like the fact that Ruso is left in the dark for so long while he bumbles about looking like a amateur. Tilla is constantly causing more trouble, which I realize is fuel for the fire.

I would like something more positive from this series in order to continue. Ruso as the inept detective may have been fun at the beginning, but has now worn off as a plot device.

[I received this book gratis as part of the Early Reviewers program from LibraryThing.]

© Jan McClintock of We Need More Shelves

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