Wednesday 20 December 2017

Book Review: The Return of Captain John Emmett by Elizabeth Speller

Title: The Return of Captain John Emmett
Author: Elizabeth Speller
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 436
Format: Paperback
Genre: Historical/Mystery
Source: Borrowed Copy

London, 1920. In the aftermath of the Great War and a devastating family tragedy, Laurence Bartram has turned his back on the world. But with a well-timed letter, an old flame manages to draw him back in. Mary Emmett’s brother John—like Laurence, an officer during the war—has apparently killed himself while in the care of a remote veterans’ hospital, and Mary needs to know why.

Aided by his friend Charles—a dauntless gentleman with detective skills cadged from mystery novels—Laurence begins asking difficult questions. What connects a group of war poets, a bitter feud within Emmett’s regiment, and a hidden love affair? Was Emmett’s death really a suicide, or the missing piece in a puzzling series of murders? As veterans tied to Emmett continue to turn up dead, and Laurence is forced to face the darkest corners of his own war experiences, his own survival may depend on uncovering the truth.
(Goodreads Synopsis)

The Return of Captain John Emmett was a pleasant if not thrilling read. It had the feel of a cozy mystery, but I never really experience any great sense of expectation over solving the puzzle. Nevertheless, Laurence is an engaging and likeable character, and it was his journey throughout the course of the events in the book that kept me reading. Although it didn't blow me away, it was still enjoyable, and this is a book that will appeal to fans of historical fiction who like a little mystery alongside their history.

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