World War I battlefield nurse Bess Crawford goes to dangerous lengths to investigate a wounded soldier's background--and uncover his true loyalties--in this thrilling and atmospheric entry in the bestselling "vivid period mystery series" ( New York Times Book Review ).Read more...
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More About The Shattered Tree by Charles ToddOverview
World War I battlefield nurse Bess Crawford goes to dangerous lengths to investigate a wounded soldier's background--and uncover his true loyalties--in this thrilling and atmospheric entry in the bestselling "vivid period mystery series" (New York Times Book Review).
At the foot of a tree shattered by shelling and gunfire, stretcher-bearers find an exhausted officer, shivering with cold and a loss of blood from several wounds. The soldier is brought to battlefield nurse Bess Crawford's aid station, where she stabilizes him and treats his injuries before he is sent to a rear hospital. The odd thing is, the officer isn't British--he's French. But in a moment of anger and stress, he shouts at Bess in German.
When Bess reports the incident to Matron, her superior offers a ready explanation. The soldier is from Alsace-Lorraine, a province in the west where the tenuous border between France and Germany has continually shifted through history, most recently in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, won by the Germans. But is the wounded man Alsatian? And if he is, on which side of the war do his sympathies really lie?
Of course, Matron could be right, but Bess remains uneasy--and unconvinced. If he was a French soldier, what was he doing so far from his own lines . . . and so close to where the Germans are putting up a fierce, last-ditch fight?When the French officer disappears in Paris, it's up to Bess--a soldier's daughter as well as a nurse--to find out why, even at the risk of her own life.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-06-13
- Reviewer: Staff
Not even a life-threatening bullet wound can stop Bess Crawford in bestseller Todd’s compelling eighth whodunit featuring the dogged English nurse (after 2015’s A Pattern of Lies). At an aid station in France in October 1918, Bess encounters an injured, unidentified French lieutenant, who yells in fluent German after being attacked by a fellow patient, a Scotsman. Though Bess’s matron suggests that the Frenchman is from German-speaking Alsace-Lorraine, Bess isn’t so sure. Two weeks later, Bess is in the trenches when a German sniper shoots her in the side. Sent to Paris to recuperate, Bess pursues the matter of the French officer’s identity at her peril. She finds an ally in old acquaintance Captain Barkley, an American who’s ostensibly in the city searching for deserters. Bess keeps pushing her luck, but Todd (the mother-son writing team of Caroline and Charles Todd) makes her persistence plausible and delivers an interesting answer to the mystery. Agent: Jane Chelius, Jane Chelius Literary Agency. (Aug.)