A Duty to the Dead (Bess Crawford Series): 1 Audio CD – Unabridged, 16 August 2011
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- ISBN-10 : 1609982002
- ISBN-13 : 978-1609982003
- Audio CD : 1 pages
- Dimensions : 12.88 x 2.95 x 15.47 cm
- Publisher : AudioGO; Unabridged edition (16 August 2011)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
About the Author
Charles and Caroline Todd, a mother-son writing team, are the New York Times bestselling authors of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. They live in Delaware and North Carolina, respectively.
Rosalyn Landor has won eight AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the Audie Award. She has worked as an actor since the age of seven, both in Europe and the United States. Her extensive list of credits includes leading roles in film, theater, and audio productions, as well as in various miniseries on all the major television networks and in such productions as Masterpiece Theatre's Sherlock Holmes and Rumpole of the Bailey.
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Bess, a nursing sister (WW1) returns to England after her hospital ship is sunk. She is recovering from a broken arm and while on sick leave takes the opportunity to visit the family of an officer who died whilst under her care. Before dying, this officer entrusted her with a very important message to one of his brothers, and the delivery of this message becomes a sacred duty for Bess. As the story unfolds she spends her time between London and parts of the South East saving lives, following up clues, hunting for witnesses and trying to put right the effects of a great injustice.
Overall, the plot is too busy, and seems to have been written with an eye to fast camera work- shifts between scenes- small pieces of the truth being revealed - onto the next location for the next revelation. Characters are uneven. We get unnecessary details about some minor characters, but major characters are left half drawn and their actions/motivation seem unreal or contrived.
The main male character, Peregrine, is completely unbelievable. For some reason, he was not loved by his mother, was considered to be educationally subnormal as a child, kept separate from his siblings, was prone to fits of violence, murdered a young servant, was incarcerated in a lunatic asylum- the list goes on. As the story rattles on, we find that his family has conspired against him so that he only APPEARS to have been these things. In fact, after years kept isolated and sedated in the asylum, he manages to trace our heroine by reading her address from an envelope, outwits his doctor, escapes from the asylum and tracks her to her digs in London (where he successfully evades the eagle-eyed landlady)!
Minor irritations such as an Edwardian child remembering eating "milk and cookies", the use of the Americanese "gotten" and "I could use" only serve to add to the general feeling that this is not a well-crafted book. In another writer's hands It could probably be the basis for a mini-series on t.v. or a film, but as it stands, this book just isn't well-written enough to deliver a satisfying story.