Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"In our quest for knowledge...we place trust in an...impartial intellect which brings us nearer to destruction."

As the story begins, during WWI, nurse Bess Crawford is helping escort a group of injured soldiers back to England, from France.

One of the members of the group is a badly burned pilot who keeps a photo of his wife on his chest as if she is his inspiration for keeping him alive.

After delivering the patients to the clinic, Bess notices a woman at a train station. This woman is tearfully bidding another soldier goodbye. Bess recognizes the woman from the burn victim's photo and sees the woman's affection for the departing soldier as inappropriate.

When Bess returns from her brief leave, she learns that the woman, Marjorie Evanson, has been murdered. Not only that, but that the burn victim's wife was three month's pregnant. Bess knows that the pilot had been at the front for over four months. Bess's sadness mounts when she found that when Lt. Evanson learned that his wife was murdered, he committed suicide.

Bess feels her old curiosity begin to kick in and she desires to learn more. On her next leave back to England, she visits Marjorie's family and learns of the antagonism that Marjorie's sister Victoria had for her. Bess also meets Lt. Everson's sister, Serena Melton, and finds that Serena is claiming that Marjorie's death was just from a robbery that went too far.

Bess is in contact with the police investigator and examines a photo of the man who Marjorie was seeing off at the station but the photo is not the man Bess saw. However, Bess does feel that the answer to the murder does involve the soldier that Marjorie was with at the train station.

There are more twists and deaths in the story as Bess attempts to find the answers. This is described around the events of the war. Bess returns to the front, caring for newly wounded solders and the reader sees the insanity of the war with the trench warfare and the high cost of life that the soldiers pay for a few hundred yards gained or lost in the battle.

This historical novel was so well described that it was as if the reader could feel the ground shake from the ammunition exploding, smell the gunpowder and hear the moans of the wounded.

Bess is a brave and steadfast character who shows her bravery and determination to find the answers that she feels will ease someones pain.


Zibilee said...

Oh, this sounds like a book that I would love, and I thank you for your great and thoughtful review of it. Adding this one to my wish list right now!


This one sounds a bit heartbreaking. First set in WWII then all the deaths. Might be a little much for me but you do such a great job of reviewing books, giving just enough of the plot away to tempt without giving any spoilers. As a reviewer myself, that's a tricky thing to do. You're very good at it!


Cherry said...

Historicals is not my usual reads but if the story telling quality is that good, I do stray... and by the sound of your post here, it is good... thanks for sharing!

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