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An Impartial Witness
Bess Crawford Mystery # 2
Charles Todd

William Morrow / HarperCollins
August 2010/ ISBN 9780061791789
Historical Suspense / England World War I

Reviewed by Barbara Buhrer

In the summer of 1917 Bess Crawford, Army nurse, accompanies Lt. Merrywether Evansen, a severe burn victim, from the Continent to England. On the train station she sees his supposedly devoted wife, Marjorie, crying on another man's shoulder. After returning to France, she is stunned to read in the newspaper that Marjorie has been found floating in the Thames, stabbed to death. Depressed, the lieutenant commits suicide by slitting his throat. Bess seeks to identify the unknown companion on the train station as the possible killer.

This is an excellent book with an intricate plot, well-drawn characters and atmosphere. Bess is a strong and appealing character, The authors (a team of mother and son) capture the feel of the battlefield and the emotional toll taken on those waiting back home for their loved ones to return. They show the vision of two faces of war: military horror on the battlefield and the domestic anguish of the homefront; the toll the war has taken on their loved ones and the burden placed in the women of the men off to war.

Well recommended.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Duty to the Dead, #1  [review]
Impartial Witness, #2  [review]
Bitter Truth, #3   [review 1] [review 2]
An Unmarked Grave, #4
A Question of Honor #5  [review]
An Unwilling Accomplice #6  [review]
A Pattern of Lies #7 [review]
The Shattered Tree # 8 [review]


Reviewed 2011
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