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A Duty to the Dead

Saturday, February 24, 2018

A Duty to the Dead (2009) Charles Todd

Set in Europe in 1916

Bess Crawford is a nursing sister on the HMHS Britannic when its sunk by the Germans. She’s sent him to recuperate, and also to deliver a message given to her by a dying soldier.

The mystery here is good, but what I enjoyed most about this story is the setting–Europe during the Great War.

Barbara was older than most of us, an experienced nursing sister before the war had begun in 1914. She had told me once that her family had been horrified when she decided to train as a nurse. Now, with the war on, it was socially acceptable to tend the wounded. But not then, not a woman of her class, not in 1905.

From across the room Ted Booker stared at him, unaware who the doctor was. I could see the blankness in his eyes.

Ignoring us, he went on talking to invisible companions, men he could see clearly and appeared to know well. He was arguing, vehement and insistent and profane. It appeared that a sniper had already killed three of his men, and he was on the field telephone, asking someone to do something about it.

“I call it madness, to sit in a dark room and talk to the dead and threaten to use that shotgun. I tried taking it away once, but he came raging over to my house and demanded it back. And I was afraid to say no.”

“It takes time.”

“No, it doesn’t. He needs to brace up, like a man, and say good-bye to his brother and remember he’s still alive, with a family looking to him for love.”

It was a very enjoyable re-read.
Rating: 7.5/10

Publisher: William Morrow

Categories: British, Female, Historical, Mystery, Re-Read     Comments (0)    



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