Thursday, 1 May 2014
The Return of Captain John Emmett by Elizabeth Speller
In this story, he is approached by Mary Emmett, the sister of an old school friend who is disturbed by the apparent suicide of her brother – once a fit and confident young man but who had been traumatised by his experiences at the front. A sequence of clues leads Bartram to unravel a story concerning the execution of a British officer; and as if this isn't bad enough, the members of the firing squad aren't faring too well, with several unexplained deaths.
There are odd bouts of danger, too. Thank goodness Bartram’s other school chum, Charles, is at hand with his trusty service revolver. Charles has had a better war than many and relishes the opportunity for a bit of action.
While there is all the drama of a good mystery novel here, Speller doesn't shy away from adding the details that make for a satisfying read with well-rounded and appealing characters. Bartram has his own personal tragedy and is made all the more interesting for it. In the background is added insight about shell-shock and battlefield justice to add a bit of depth. I shall certainly be keen to read more of Mr Bartram’s investigations and hope the author has plenty more in mind for him.
Posted by JAM
Catalogue Link: The Return of Captain John Emmett