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A Forgotten Place by Charles Todd
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A Forgotten Place

by Charles Todd

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WWI is over and Bess is now working with the wounded soldiers needing rehabilitation. Many of them are depressed because they have lost limbs and can no longer do the work they did before the war. She’s given a few days off and decides to check on some of her patients who have been sent home, and this brings her to a very isolated peninsula in Wales where no one is friendly and there is something disturbingly odd going on in this little village. Her driver abandons her and there are no phones, mail or police. There’s only one car and the woman drives off and leaves Bess there. Bess didn’t mention where she was going thinking it would be a short trip, and when she doesn’t return, Simon is called to find her.

I almost quit after reading the first few chapters because it was so sad reading about these poor depressed veterans and how difficult it was for them and how the war had brought such hard times to England. ( )
  Kathy89 | Oct 29, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Sense of place unfolded gradually as suspense built over the unnatural actions of this seafront village in Wales. Bess Crawford's reactions to the suspicions of the small minded villagers is admirable in her unwillingness to sit by whilst injustices and violence are perpetrated. A lot of interesting historic detail of people and place is subtly included, adding to the interest in reading.
Well written. Well read.
New historical mystery #10 from the mother/son writing team of Charles Todd. ( )
  FHC | Oct 29, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Great War is over, but there are still wounded men who need nurses and Bess Crawford is there to do what she can. This time, however, she gets sidetracked by caring too much for a group of Welshmen who seem overwhelmed by their injuries and the daunting prospect of returning to coal mining country having lost arms and legs and therefore any prospect of making a living. Several of the men commit suicide before leaving the nursing clinic; the remainder are shipped home in a group. Soon after that, she receives a worrisome letter from the leader of the group, and when she is given a short leave, takes it upon herself to travel to Wales in search of the leader and the other men.

When she arrives in the hometown, most of the men have died and the leader has disappeared. Bess sets out to track him down, concerned that he too will succumb to suicidal thoughts. The trail leads her into even more desolate country where everyone has a secret and no one wants the truth revealed. Then someone begins viciously attacking men in the village, with each beating resulting in more and more serious injuries until a man is killed. Bess can't leave well enough alone and sticks her nose even further into places it doesn't belong, which results in an attempt on her life too. The culprit is finally brought to justice, but not before another victim's life is claimed.

I found this book to be less interesting than the stories when Bess was in France, perhaps because some of the usual characters were missing. Simon is still there, but her parents play only a very peripheral role, and there is no trace of her Australian or American buddies.

While this book is a continuation of the series, it could be read alone as there are no story lines which carry over from previous adventures.

I received this book as part of the Early Reviewers group in LibraryThing. ( )
  eawsmom | Oct 2, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Atmosphere can make a good murder mystery better. That's why so many memorable mysteries are set in stately country homes and foggy London streets. There's plenty of atmosphere in Charles Todd's new novel, “A Forgotten Place,” and it's one reason this book ranks among the best in the Bess Crawford series. There's so much atmosphere, in fact, that the novel might more accurately be termed a thriller than a mystery.

The Great War has recently ended as the story begins, but Bess, a nurse, remains in France caring for those British soldiers still not well enough to be sent home. Of particular concern to her are some Welsh soldiers, mostly coal miners who, as amputees, no longer have jobs waiting for them. For some, suicide looks like their best option.

When she's given a few days leave, she decides to track down Captain Williams, one of these soldiers, to determine how he and others in his unit are faring. Not finding him in the mining town where he had lived before the war, she follows him to that "forgotten place," an isolated seacoast village subject to violent storms, both the natural kind and the human kind. She finds the captain living with his brother's widow. She, the widow, seems in love with him, while he still searches for a purpose to his life.

Abandoned by the man who takes her to the village, Bess can find no way to leave. What's more, the people of the village seem to not want her to leave. Men, including Captain Williams, are being seriously beaten at night, while Bess observes other men being buried in the darkness, their graves left unmarked. What's going on here, and can Bess discover the answers and still get out of town alive?

Todd builds the suspense gradually and, for the most part, believably. ( )
  hardlyhardy | Sep 24, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Title: A Forgotten Place (A Bess Crawford Mystery #10)
Author: Charles Todd
Pages: 357 (ARC)
Year: 2018
Publisher: William Morrow
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
Bess Crawford is still working in service to the Queen’s military forces as a nurse. The war is over, but the wounded still need care. They didn’t just miraculously heal once the war ended. She is tasked with caring for a Welsh unit that all had amputations. Most came from the mines in Wales, and with their injuries were not sure how they were going to support their families. They felt they would have been better off dying in the war and not returning half a man. Bess encourages them as best she can. They are all released together for the return home journey. A couple of months later Bess receives a letter from their commanding officer, himself an amputee, asking for her help. Several of the troop have died from illness, accident or their own hand. Bess has some time off due her, so she heads to Wales. She plans to spend a day or two there and then return to finish out her leave visiting her parents in England.
After tracking down Captain Williams, Bess finds herself on a beautiful but desolate space of land at the furthermost region of Wales. There are no telephones, mail service, grocery stores or police force. The small village is not tolerant of strangers. Once Bess is dropped off by her driver, she plans to leave the next day as a storm approaches. However, during the night her driver takes off, leaving her stranded. Bess has no way to contact anyone, and she soon discovers the villagers have a secret they don’t want known. Bess is now constantly watched wherever she goes. A couple of men are beaten badly, but don’t know the culprit’s identity. There are dead men washing ashore and secretly buried. The village’s wealthy widow seems to visit rarely, but when she does her home is slowly being dismantled from the inside. What is going on? Bess has a sense of justice and curiosity that is going to get her in trouble. Will she end up a permanent resident in the churchyard?
I enjoy the mysteries of Charles Todd because they are so much more than just a “whodunnit” for me. The deeper thoughts and psychological aspects of the characters are intriguing. How will a certain character act in a certain situation? How will Bess react? I like watching the characters interact and develop along the path of the story, reaching a conclusion with a twist. Each story can stand alone but does progress in time, so it would be best to start with book one of the series. Enjoy this wonderful British mystery series set during WWI and immediately thereafter! ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | Sep 24, 2018 |
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The war had ended, but not the suffering.
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The war was over. The dying wasn't.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Though the Great War has ended, Bess Crawford finds herself caught in deadly circumstances on a remote Welsh headland in this tenth entry from the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author.

The fighting has ended, the Armistice signed, but the war has left wounds that are still agonizingly raw. Battlefield Nurse Bess Crawford has been assigned to a clinic for amputees, and the Welsh patients worry her. She does her best to help them, but it’s clear that they have nothing to go home to, in a valley where only the fit can work in the coal pits. When they are released, she fears that peace will do what war couldn’t—take their lives. Back of book.
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