Impartial Witness Intl, An: A Bess Crawford Mystery (Paperback)
Indie Next ListSeptember 2010
Bess Crawford, World War I battlefield nurse, catches a glimpse of the wife of one of the wounded soldiers in her care in a desperate clutch at a train station. The wife is murdered later that day and Bess's patient is soon dead, also. What and whom did Bess see? Scotland Yard is soon in touch, and Bess can't let the memory go. The battlefield scenes are unforgettable, but it is the characters and suspense that drive this, the second in the excellent new series from the author of the Ian Rutledge Mysteries. -- Becky Milner, Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA
World War I nurse Bess Crawford, introduced in A Duty to the Dead, returns in an exciting new mystery in which a murder draws her inexorably into the sights of a cunning killer
It is the early summer of 1917. Bess Crawford has returned to England from the trenches of France with a convoy of severely wounded men. One of her patients is a young pilot who has been burned beyond recognition, and who clings to life and the photo of his wife that is pinned to his tunic.
While passing through a London train station, Bess notices a woman bidding an emotional farewell to an officer, her grief heart-wrenching. And then Bess realizes that she seems familiar. In fact, she's the woman in the pilot's photo, but the man she is seeing off is not her husband.
Back on duty in France, Bess discovers a newspaper with a drawing of the woman's face on the front page. Accompanying the drawing is a plea from Scotland Yard seeking information from anyone who has seen her. For it appears that the woman was murdered on the very day Bess encountered her at the station.
Granted leave to speak with Scotland Yard, Bess becomes entangled in the case. Though an arrest is made, she must delve into the depths of her very soul to decide if the police will hang an innocent man or a vicious killer. Exposing the truth is dangerousand will put her own life on the line.