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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Elizabeth Speller - The Return of Captain John Emmett

I have had this book for some time but decided to read it over the Easter weekend. I could not put it down, it is beautifilly written  and I think Laurence Bartram's blundering around as an amateur investigator is really rather true to life. We have all had that experience of mentally kicking ourselves and realising what we should have asked or said. He is a wonderful character.
The plot revolves around the request of Captain John Emmett's sister to Laurence who went to school with his brother as to why having survived WW1 he then comes home and commits suicide. It is an interesting study of the period and the conclusion we reach as a reader is that non of the returned soldiers are entirely unscathed be they sound of linb or not. Indeed even those left at home are now changed in some subtle or not so subtel way, it is wonderfully captured in this book.
It would make a fantastic Reading Group book as there is so much to discuss and of course it is very topical at the moment as we commemorate the beginning of WW1

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