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An Impartial Witness

Saturday, February 24, 2018

An Impartial Witness (2010) Charles Todd

Set in Europe in 1917.

Nursing sister Bess Crawford has just escorted a group of wounded soldiers back to London, including a terribly burned pilot whose picture of his wife was what he turned to through his excruciating first days.

When that woman’s murdered body is discovered, Bess realizes she might have been one of the last people to see her alive.

Like the previous book, the historical bits remain fascinating.

(I)f Marjorie was meeting a man in places where neither of them was known, she was outside that safe circle of acquaintances and familiar surroundings that made it possible for women to move about London on their own.

How strange it must have been to move from the battlefield to parties in London, as if that was the most normal thing in the world.

We did indeed have a connection in common. It seems that the chaplain of my father’s old regiment— now long since retired to grow roses and tomatoes in Derbyshire— had been a friend of the rector’s father, and with those bona fides, I was accepted into the bosom of Little Sefton.

As well as the reminders that so many deaths were due not to the immediate injuries but to the lack of antibiotics.

The fear, as always, is infection. From the knife, from bits of cloth driven into her wounds, from the surgery itself.

Antibiotics truly changed medicine in ways we often fail to recognize. A return to that time would be utterly terrifying.
Rating: 7.5/10

Publisher: William Morrow

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



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