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The Return of Captain John Emmett Hardcover – July 5, 2011
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Audio CD, Audiobook, Unabridged
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
The after-effects of one such incident are what put Capt. John Emmett in a veterans' hospital in 1920. Now, just as he seems to have been working his way back to some semblance of his old self, comes word that he has committed suicide. His sister Mary needs to know why and turns to the only friend of her brother's that she knows, Laurence Bartram, another British officer who's trying with not much success to create some sort of postwar life for himself --his wife and son died in childbirth while he was serving in France. Mary suspects that incompetence or something seriously amiss at the veterans' hospital may be at the root of it and asks Laurence to investigate. And, oh yes, might he also look into the who and why of all these people unknown to John's family who were given sizable bequests in his will? For help, Laurence calls on his friend Charles--an Agatha Christie aficionado and one of those guys who knows everybody who's anybody. Before long a much broader mystery comes to the fore: Not only is John Emmett dead, but so too are some other members of his company who survived the war, all of whom had been assigned to the same army execution squad. Is there a connection? Could this "suicide" have been a murder?Read more ›
Laurence Bartram, like so many other still-young men, is back from the trenches and their horrors, but only to find a very different kind of muted horror in postwar life -- the difficulty of adjusting to "normality". The only memory of his former life is the piano that his wife Louise once cherished; she and their infant son died on the same day he went "over the top" in a particularly memorable and horrifying attack. He struggles to find a life for himself, desultorily pondering a book about church architecture. Then the sister of a schoolfriend, John Emmett, seeks him out to request his help understanding why her brother has killed himself.
That's the starting point for the mystery, which rapidly turns into a compelling novel, transcending the mystery genre. True, in many ways this is a predictable story. There's a bluff sidekick, Charles (think Poirot's buddy, Hastings, with a bit more on the ball and in the little grey cells); a romantic interest, a cast of supporting characters who fulfill various predictable roles in the investigation and in Speller's portrait of postwar England. And yet... Speller handles these so well that even when one part of my brain was saying, yeah, I might have known this would happen, another part was saying "just keep reading!Read more ›
This review is not very well written, but I find it very difficult to review a book I did not like with out spoilers indicating the reasons behind my dislike.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For the egghead reader and history buff it's one of my all time favorites! Speller is a detail writer! And she takes you back to places that need to be never forgotten! Read morePublished 3 months ago by ralph shelley
Sensitive writing about WWI and its consequences for the British. Sure to appeal to fans of Jacqueline Winspear. .Published 4 months ago by Rosemary Karr
Heartwarming and tragic. That is how I would describe the story that Ms. Speller has told in this book. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Shirley Schwartz
After plodding through this book, I was infuriated by the ending that was so ridiculous I could not believe that this book received such glowing reviews. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Carl Gethmann
All these four- and five-star reviews make me wonder if we read the same book. I found Elizabeth Speller's book weak, derivative, shallow, error-filled. Read morePublished 9 months ago by D. B. James
This is a well written book, by a writer who knows her craft and has laid out the plot and story line very effectively. Possible spoiler alert. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Jonesy
Fist in the series. Pretty well written. Should could have had better editing. Too many coincidences and he bumbles too much. Read morePublished 12 months ago by P. Oleary
At times this story seems contrived and an unreal. But it is a moving and emotionally stimulating story, with interesting people drawn against the horrors of WWI and the years just... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Sidney B. Brinckerhoff
It's been nearly three years since the Great War ended, but Captain Laurence Bartram is still unable to settle into civilian life. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Melissa Embry