Friday, September 2, 2016

The Shattered Tree - Book Review

The soldier is brought to the nurse's station after he's found clinging to the shattered tree. He's suffering from exposure, loss of blood and his bare feet are in terrible condition after he's walked so far without boots. Bess Crawford, an English nurse, is surprised that the soldier is French but when he awakens suddenly he shouts in German. Bess is intrigued by this enigma.

Needing to recover from her own injuries, Bess is sent to convalesce in Paris where she sees the soldier again. She's determined to find out more about him. Her digging puts her right in the middle of a potentially dangerous mystery.

Set towards the end of World War I, The Shattered Tree uses the intrigue and fighting between the nations to set up this mystery. Was the soldier from Alsace-Lorraine--the border area that was constantly shifting between German and France? Could he be a spy?

Though The Shattered Tree by Charles Todd is part of the Bess Crawford Mysteries, I have not read any of the earlier mysteries. The Shattered Tree is capable of standing alone. There were a few characters that had clearly been previously introduced in earlier novels and so the relationships between them and Bess were not as clear as they might have been if I had already read the others. Other wise, I was able to enjoy this novel without previously reading the others.

In some ways, Bess Crawford reminded me of a spunky Maisie Dobbs. In Bess's case she is able to use her father's connections to get her to help with her digging and discovering of information though she does not do it any official capacity.

The novel is well written and kept my attention. I read it quickly over two days. As with many mysteries, the coincidences are sometimes hard to swallow. There is a large cast of characters and some surprising twists but it felt like it was all over the place. Overall, The Shattered Tree was enjoyable but I'm not going to be rushing out to get the next Bess Crawford mystery.

The Shattered Tree by Charles Todd is published by William Morrow and released on August 30, 2016.

**I received a complimentary copy of The Shattered Tree. This review reflects my honest opinions. No compensation was received.**

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