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A Pattern of Lies

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A Pattern of Lies (2015) Charles Todd

Set in Europe in Autumn 1918

It’s time to take a break from this series. Reading one after the other is making me notice the weaknesses rather than the strengths.

It’s unfortunately, because I thought the bits about the mill were very interesting.

(A) mill had to be located near water, because water was needed in the manufacture as well as to transport the gunpowder to the scattered factories where shell and cartridge casings would be filled with it. No one wanted to see wagons of gunpowder on the rutted and wretched roads.

Potassium nitrate— saltpeter— made a better gunpowder than sodium nitrate. And alder trees made the best charcoal for the formula. That was something else I’d heard. But for some time now gunpowder works all across Britain had begun to produce cordite instead of traditional black power, and that was a much more complicated recipe. With far more chances for something to go badly wrong.

Bess Crawford runs into Major Mark Ashton, an officer she had previously nursed, while returning to England with a group of wounded. When he discovers her train to London has been delayed, he invites her to stay with his family, as she’d met while nursing Mark.

I probably should have stopped at the previous book, and picked this one up in a month or two, because there were plenty of interesting bits I enjoyed.

“I’ve had trouble with my hearing. It’s coming back now, but when the tunnel went up nearly beneath our feet, I wouldn’t have heard an artillery barrage. I was luckier than some of the lads. The shock wave killed them.

I’d seen cavalry give way to trenches, aircraft learning to pursue the enemy or strafe the lines or, when the chance arose, fighting each other high above the battlefield. I’d watched tanks grow from clumsy beasts that killed more men than they preserved to useful battlefield weapons.

So, I’m done with this series for now, and hopefully when I pick up the next book in a month or two it’ll have been enough time for the minor annoyances to pass.
Rating: 5/10

Publisher: William Morrow

Categories: British, Female, Historical, Mystery     Comments (0)    



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