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The Shattered Tree: A Bess Crawford Mystery    by Charles Todd order for
Shattered Tree
by Charles Todd
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2017 (2016)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Although World War I seems to be coming to an end, the shelling has not stopped. As Nurse (or Sister as nurses are known in England) Bess Crawford is attending to a wounded soldier, she herself is wounded by a sniper's bullet. She winds up in a base hospital in Paris.

The last soldier she had been attending when shot troubles her as the man was wearing a tattered French uniform and cried out in German! Could he have been from Alsace-Lorraine where he would have spoken both German and French?

As she heals, she cannot get this man out of her mind. She decides to look into his background and traces him to a small French village. While there, she learns of the murder of five people in that village when the man she is looking for might have been a young boy. Where is that man now?

Bess manages while in the base hospital to commandeer taxis and friends with access to automobiles. A nurse/nun who has left convent life to play her part in the war is savagely slashed on a street in Paris. Bess visits her and learns something of the man whom she is seeking. Just not where he is now. Could he have been responsible for this woman's wounds? Bess jeopardizes her recuperation to continue her search for this elusive person. Is he a spy?

I have always enjoyed Charles Todd's books. First with the Ian Rutledge series. Now with Bess. My father served with the British during WW I. These books have been instrumental in my finally understanding him and the terrors he survived. PTSD was not understood at that time but it did exist. The authors recognize this condition. And bring it to mind in their readers. Survivors need help today as much as they did then.

Don't miss this latest addition to the Bess Crawford series. And give the Ian Rutledge series a try too. They're all good books.

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