Gaius Ruso Mystery #5: Semper Fidelis by Ruth Downie

Read: 13 May, 2013

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of the next Ruso mystery for quite a while new. So when I heard about Semper Fidelis, I ordered it as soon as I was done with my patented Happy Dance ™. Unfortunately, it seems that once again underestimated the selling power of any book that doesn’t feature a teenager marrying a sparkly vampire and, as with The Fault In Our Stars, I got my copy quite late (though, to be fair, I didn’t pre-order this time).

I really enjoyed Semper Fildelis. It followed a similar pattern to the other novels in that Ruso isn’t really a good investigator, he’s just bumbling about knocking stuff over and ends up “solving the case” simply by making the guilty parties nervous enough that they start to make mistakes. Or, in this case, by making the victims riled up enough that clues starts to fall together. It’s a really interesting (albeit sometimes frustrating) take on the detective model!

As in several of the other books in the series, much time is spend exploring the relationship between the Roman occupiers and the Briton natives, and how that relationship impacts a “mixed” couple like Ruso and Tilla.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but there is a new character added to Ruso’s retinue and s/he hints at a very interesting story arc to come. So, once again, I eagerly await the next instalment!

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