Vita Brevis: A Crime Novel of the Roman Empire : The Roman Empire

  • by Ruth Downie
  • Narrated by Simon Vance
  • Series: The Roman Empire
  • 9 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Ruso and Tilla's excitement at arriving in Rome with their new baby daughter is soon dulled by their discovery that the grand facades of polished marble mask an underworld of corrupt landlords and vermin-infested tenements. There are also far too many doctors - some skilled - but others positively dangerous.
Ruso thinks that he has been offered a reputable medical practice only to find that his predecessor, Doctor Kleitos, has fled, leaving a dead man in a barrel on the doorstep and the warning "be careful who you trust." Distracted by the body and his efforts to help a friend win the hand of a rich young heiress, Ruso makes a grave mistake, causing him to question both his competence and his integrity.
With Ruso's reputation under threat, he and Tilla must protect their small family from Doctor Kleitos' debt collectors and find allies in their new home while they track down the vanished doctor and find out the truth about the heiress' dead father - Ruso's patient - and the unfortunate man in the barrel.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Same high level of quality characters & story

If you could sum up Vita Brevis: A Crime Novel of the Roman Empire in three words, what would they be?

Atmospheric, endearing & intriguing


What did you like best about this story?

The meeting of an old enemy. The extremes of wealth and poverty in Rome and how the glamour and glitz of the city did not fool anybody.


Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favourite?

Russo and his arch enemy (don't ask me to spell his name, please). Never been keen on Tilla, she's a tad too whiney and stubborn for my taste.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes but it was too long for that. However, the story line made it easy to follow up after breaks.


Any additional comments?

I really hope this isn't the last Russo book.

Read full review

- Debbie Rowe

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-07-2016
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio