I do love this series!
After being introduced to Bess Crawford and the world around her during WWI in A Duty to the Dead, we find her transporting long term wounded to England. One of her charges is a horribly burned pilot who clings to a picture of his wife as he also clings to life. So Bess easily recognizes her on a crowded train platform in London, crying and begging a stony-faced soldier returning to the front. It's not until she's back in France that Bess learns she may have been the last person to recognize her before she was murdered. In attempting to do her duty as an impartial witness, Bess gets drawn into a situation between two families and friends who are full of deception, anger, hatred, and secrets.
Once again, Charles Todd breaths life into this time period and brings the fears, reasons, and choices everyday people faced every day forcibly to the reader. The fear for a loved one's safety, or in someways worse, their return horribly wounded or suffering from the misunderstood shell-shock. How wives and families were often clung to by the soldiers in their horror but the women dealt with crushing loneliness and unremitting worry. We see how some could understand if not condone a wife straying as a way to cling to some happiness. It always amazes me how real these books make that time period feel.
Rosalyn Landor continues to amaze me. I don't know that I could read these books without the voices she gives each character. Bess and Simon's are particularly perfect for them, though the Colonel Sahib's still remains one of my favorites.
So, I'm off to listen to the next one immediately. Though I feel for Bess' family, she really is a magnet for trouble!