Sunday, April 13, 2014

An Unwilling Accomplice by Charles Todd

Bess is home on leave and gets orders to accompany a wounded soldier to Buckingham Palace, where he will be decorated for service by the King.  It seems an easy enough assignment until the morning after when he's no longer in his room.  Is he a deserter?  Why would he do that after accepting a medal?  And is Bess an accomplice or is it just dereliction of duty?

William Morrow and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 12th, so make a note on your TBR list.

Bess is a nurse.  She's just back from France and has seen some horrific injuries on the fighting men.  Her only conclusion was that the soldier was not as wounded as he pretended.  Where he was going and why is a big mystery to her as well as the police.  When she almost ends up losing her job over this fiasco, she decides she's going to try to run him down and make him confess she was not an accomplice.

This story not only covers the war activities (briefly) but the restrictions on women in that era.  Bess couldn't stay with the soldier without it being questioned.  She also can't do a lot of investigating without the help of Simon, who works with her father.  But she doesn't let that slow her down.  She goes where she needs to and asks her questions anyway.  Simon shows up just in time in a few instances but she doesn't admit that.

The most interesting part of the story are the injured soldiers.  The single soldier turns into three soldiers before the story is over and they all have head wounds.  It seems everyone is holding a secret or three and no one is sharing what they do know.  When she and Simon get close to answers, someone starts shooting at them.  

I certainly didn't expect the ending.  It was more complicated than it seemed and all those seemingly unrelated events fell into place.  This is a good mystery, has interesting historical factoids, and moved along at a good pace.  Mr. Todd writes a good mystery.

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