Friday, 8 November 2013

An Impartial Witness

Finished November 5
An Impartial Witness by Charles Todd, narrated by Rosalyn Landor

I've read some of Charles Todd's Inspector Rutledge novels, but not the Bess Crawford ones until now. I thoroughly enjoyed Bess. This is set during World War I, and Bess is a nurse in France. On a journey back to England escorting a group of injured soldiers, Bess witnesses an encounter between a man and a woman in a railway station. She is startled to recognize the woman, but doesn't manage to speak to her. The woman is the wife of one of the badly burned soldiers that she just escorted home, and Bess has recognized the woman from the picture the soldier kept with him at all times. The deeply emotional state of the woman in the encounter with an officer that Bess witnessed is what drew her attention. Back in France, she is startled to find that the woman was murdered later the same day that Bess had seen her.
Bess shares her information with Scotland Yard, but continues to be drawn back to the mystery of the situation, and she tries to find out as much as she can about the woman, her life and what might have led to her death and subsequent attacks on others.
Bess makes friends along the way, has a close shave with violence against herself, and learns more about the nature of people when desperate. A very good read.

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