Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Shattered Tree (Bess Crawford #8)

Title:  The Shattered Tree (Bess Crawford #8)
Author:  Charles Todd
Pages:  304
Year:  2016
Publisher:  William Morrow
My rating is 3 stars.
Bess Crawford is serving near the front at a base hospital when a wounded man in a French uniform is found clinging to a shattered tree.  He is brought to the hospital for care where Bess hears him speaking German.  She is unsure if he is a spy or not.  He receives care, but is then sent to Paris to convalesce.  Bess also is wounded by a sniper bullet when she is trying to give aid to another soldier.  She is also sent to Paris for recuperation.  While there, she sees this same soldier again, but this time he is wearing an American uniform.  Her curiosity spurs her to start asking questions.  Her questions stir up trouble for her, but Bess refuses to give up.
As she uncovers an old murder case that has a connection to this soldier, she puts herself in the line of fire again.  She is escorted on her investigation by various officers supposedly for her protection, but Bess wonders if they have been sent to watch her activities for other purposes than protection.  The action finally comes to a peak with the usual Charles Todd twist that might catch readers by surprise.
For me, there was too much time spent looking for taxis, riding in taxis and multiple trips to small villages too many times as well as too many trips to the hospital to visit the former nun/nurse.  The plot was good, but getting from beginning to end was tedious.  There was not a whole lot of action in the story.  I usually really like these mysteries, but I just couldn’t connect with this one very well.  I did like the descriptions of wartime Paris and the people of the time.  I definitely got a sense of their war-weary lives.  I don’t plan on giving up on the series as this book is set near the end of WWI and I am curious to see where Bess will go or what she will do after the war’s end.

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