Sunday, August 17, 2014

An Unwilling Accomplice-Charles Todd

An Unwilling Accomplice
Charles Todd
Morrow, Aug 12 2014, $25.99
ISBN 9780062237194

In 1918, home from the front lines, Nurse Bess Crawford escorts wheelchair bound Sergeant Jason Wilkins to Buckingham Palace where King George V awards the wounded warrior with a medal.  Afterward, Jason asks Bess to give him some alone time with his friends.  However, when Jason fails to return to the London hotel, Bess informs her superiors; who admonish her for negligence and place her on two weeks leave.

Though surprised when Jason asked her to push his wheelchair at his ceremony, Bess now realizes why he selected a female instead of a male orderly.  Determined to find the missing veteran, Bess learns the police seek Jason as their prime suspect in a homicide.  As a former family servant Sergeant Major Simon Brandon accompanies Bess, she wonders whether Jason is really Wilkins and whether he is physically injured or psychologically damaged shooting at soldiers as if he is still at the front.

Team Todd’s timely sixth Bess Crawford WWI mystery (see An Unmarked Grave and A Question of Honor) is an exhilarating investigation that looks deeply into the emotional state of combat soldiers suffering from PTSD.  Although there is too much coincidence, readers will appreciate this powerfully poignant psychological historical.

Harriet Klausner

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