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An Impartial Witness

af Charles Todd

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Serier: Bess Crawford (2)

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A murder leads World War I nurse Bess Crawford into the clutches of a wily killer.
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Viser 1-5 af 40 (næste | vis alle)
(2010) Plodding through 2nd in series. Last 1/3 did pick up as Bess tries to solve who killed the wife of one of the soldiers she has treated at the front. One of that soldier's friends is implicated and later charged with the murder. Since she has no real authority and is not really a private detective, Bess is always one or two steps behind actually doing anyone any good. Kirkus: Achance encounter engenders more danger than a World War I battlefield.

Kirkus: As Waterloo Station teems with soldiers en route to their regiments in France and loved ones bidding tearful farewells, Bess Crawford, a nurse returning to the fray after escorting a badly burned Meriwether Evanson to hospital, recognizes his wife from a photograph the pilot clung to. A distraught Marjorie Evanson is being rebuffed by a member of the Wiltshire Fusiliers. Later, back in France, Bess learns from a newspaper clipping that Marjorie died that very day?she was stabbed, then thrown into the Thames. Did that Fusilier murder her? Bess thinks her information will help Scotland Yard, but it doesn?t, and when she hears that Evanson committed suicide when advised of Marjorie?s infidelity, she begins her own inquiries. At length she turns up two sisters?one who loathed Marjorie, the other determined to find out who her lover had been?and a handsome platonic friend of Marjorie who craved more intimacy than she could offer. He falls under suspicion, confesses and is set to hang, but Bess, abetted by Simon, her father?s former batman, persists in her sleuthing. There?ll be another possible suicide, a near-fatal knifing and many trips between French battlefields, London and Great Sefton before Bess herself comes under attack and Scotland Yard must reconsider its conclusion.

Bess (A Duty to the Dead, 2009) is dogged, implacable and headstrong in the way of Victorian heroines, and mired in a plot the author?s more capable detective, Ian Rutledge, would dispatch in half the time with twice the brio.
Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-06-079178-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
  derailer | Jan 25, 2024 |
Great characters, believable fiction, extremely vivid setting -- this series continues to knock it out of the park for me. I particularly like Bess' resistance to romance and frustration when everyone assumes that she has fallen for one of the suspects, but I suspect at some point she and Simon will figure it out. It's a tiny bit formulaic (patient draws her into a convoluted murder plot, only recourse to proving the bad guy is to be attacked) -- but it's still a vastly different story than the first book, and I actually really liked that there was no guarantee that Scotland Yard would see the attack her way -- again with the realism. Good stuff. ( )
  jennybeast | Aug 2, 2022 |
An Impartial Witness is the sequel to A duty to the Dead and I was eager to read this book since this series has become a favorite of mine.

It's the early summer of 1917 and Bess Crawford is returning home from the trenches of France with a convoy of wounded men. One of the patients is Lt. Meriwether Evanson, a pilot who has been burned beyond recognition and he clings to life much thanks to his wife Marjorie whose picture he has pinned to his tunic. But Bess notices a woman on a London train station that is bidding farewell to an officer and she recognizes the women. It's the pilots wife. But the man isn't her husband. She then discovers back on duty in France that the woman has been murdered and Scotland Yard is asking for information from anyone that saw her that day.

Bess informs the police about what she knows, but it's not enough information since she can describe the man the woman was with, but she doesn't know who he is and soon she starts her own inquiry to learn who killed Marjorie. But it's a frustrating case, and it seems that the killer may be getting away with murder and send an innocent man to the gallows.


I felt that this book was not as engrossing to read as the first book was, but it was still very good, but there were moments in the book when I felt that the pacing was a bit slow and I wanted the story to progress a little bit faster. Not that the story was bad, I mean there were several people in the book that could have been the murderer and it wasn't like I guessed right away who it was. I found the story picked up speed towards the end when a man that Bess had befriended was accused of murder and she had to fight to clear his name. Then, the story got more intense and I loved the ending.

I like Bess Crawford very much, she is a well-written character and I like the fact that even though everyone in the book seems to think that she has more than friendly feelings towards the accused man she is trying to save is she just his friend. Not that I wouldn't mind her finding some happiness (I have read A Pattern of Lie, the perfect man is out there for her she just has to see it), but she isn't a woman that is easily swept off her feet. And, that is something I like.

Thankfully the book had a strong beginning and ending and, despite me feeling that the story dragged here and there in the middle was it a good book and I wasn't sure in the end it would end happily. ( )
  MaraBlaise | Jul 23, 2022 |
After reading this second in the series, I struggle to recall why I wanted to continue beyond the first book. In this novel, Bess comes across as a busybody who should have been arrested for interfering with an investigation after being told multiple times by police to leave it alone. Instead, she inserts herself, repeatedly, without having any background information and manipulates her way into the lives of others. While her desire for justice is admirable, she’s a nurse and not an inspector. Her efforts result in an attack on someone who might otherwise have been left alone and in the death of another character (not right, no matter how unlikeable that character was).

I don’t recall her being so out of control and meddlesome on the last story I read, but it was practically leaping from the page in this one. ( )
  AMKitty | Oct 15, 2021 |
One of the wounded that Nurse Bess Crawford is escorting back to England is Lt. Meriwether Evanson. Pinned to his clothes is a picture of his wife. Later at Portsmouth rail station Bess sees Mrs Marjorie Evanson, with a man, and in great distress. On finding out that Mrs Evanson has been murdered Bess informs the police of what she has seen, and so becomes embroiled in the investigation.
I enjoyed this mystery, the style of writing, and I like the reoccurring characters. ( )
  Vesper1931 | Jul 29, 2021 |
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Charles Toddprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Landor, RosalynFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet

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