Bridget's Reviews > An Impartial Witness

An Impartial Witness by Charles Todd
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's review
Nov 27, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2010-reads
Read in October, 2010

This book was quite enjoyable, and is the second in a series featuring Bess Crawford, a WWI nurse whose home is England.

In this installment, Bess is accompanying a group of wounded soldiers home from France to England. One of the soldiers that she cares for, who is severely wounded, has a photo of his wife pinned to his garment. After taking the soldiers to the appropriate hospital, Bess is at a train station when she notices a tearful goodbye between a woman and a man who looks like an officer in one of the British regiments. After trying to remember why the woman looks familiar, she realizes that it is the wife of the soldier mentioned previously in the story!

Once back in France, Bess sees a newspaper story with the drawing of the photograph, stating that the woman was murdered later the same day that Bess saw her at the train station. Scotland Yard is asking anyone with leads to contact them; Bess does, and from that point, becomes involved in the murder investigation.

This was a good story, with evocative descriptions of time and place. I have not read a lot of books set during World War I, and I find it a fascinating time period. Modern life and modern warfare that were not as modern as they seemed to be. People were adjusting to new kinds of lifestyles, not necessarily tied to farming, but social roles (especially in England) were still very set into place.

I think that anyone interested in the time period, and/or in the history of medicine and police work would like this book.

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