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One Was a Soldier by Julia Spencer-Fleming

One Was a Soldier

by Julia Spencer-Fleming

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49210431,461 (3.98)104
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» See also 104 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
Complex mystery

This is another excellent addition to my current favorite series. This is not light reading; the intricacies of the plot require a reader's complete attention. Very hard to put down. ( )
  Lynnsoprano | Apr 5, 2018 |
I found this one to be a bit slow but towards the middle the action picks up. Claire returns from Afghanistan along with several other town residents. Of course they bring war baggage with them. For Clare it is the form of a pill addiction. As she plans her much awaited wedding to Russ her addiction worsens. The suicide of one of the newly returned is not what it appears at first and we discover that through many twists as the story unravels. If you love Clare and Russ this book won't disappoint. I am upset that there only appears to be one more book in the series. ( )
  bostonterrio | Nov 21, 2017 |
Although I did enjoy reading this book, I had a lot of problems with it. After reading and enjoying the previous six novels in the series, this is the first one I can remember where Claire annoyed me. Her denial and obstinacy in failing to deal with her own problems, while quick to point out and deal with other people’s, was annoying in itself. But deliberately going behind Russ’s back and interfering with a police investigation (and taking a malicious glee in doing so) angered me and made me lose respect for her character. The fact that she never did apologize and admit she was wrong just made it worse.

I admire the author for her obvious attempt to honor soldiers that have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. That said, I think maybe she was concentrating so hard on doing that she compromised the mystery itself and some character consistency. The set up to the actual mystery seemed to take forever to reach. While the resolution to the crime was satisfying, the eventual outcome was not and kind of made me think the whole investigation had been a waste of time.
( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
I have to say up front that I had never read any of the previous titles in this series before I received this book in a giveaway. Sorry to all those that entered that were waiting for this 7th installment and didn't win. I promise to pass my copy onto a good home where it will be appreciated!

I liked this book much more than I thought I would. It started out kind of slow for me, mostly because I was unfamiliar with the characters and their backgrounds and history. It's always hard to jump into the middle of a series but I think the author did a great job of catching a newbie like me up to speed without heavy handing the facts.
The vet group counseling session was very helpful in introducing all the characters and their relationships to one another.
It was refreshing to read a story that that didn't sugarcoat the hardships that our veterans face when they come home after serving our country. The mental as well as the physical casualties.

I certainly wouldn't classify this book as a mystery. But maybe the previous novels were more mystery oriented? It put me more in mind of a Maeve Binchy or Jan Karon book, with a more serious bent.

If I had the option I would have given this a 3.5 (please goodreads are you listening?!). All and all an enjoyable book.

( )
  Iambookish | Dec 14, 2016 |
The mystery begins when a young woman dies, apparently a suicide. Russ's investigation turns up a complex story that ultimately involves just about everyone in the original community therapy group. There's definitely a mystery to solve, but the novel's focus is on the returning veterans.

If you've never read any of the books in this series, don't start with this book. Do yourself a favor and start with the first book in her series "In the Bleak Midwinter" and read all her books in order. While this book is a self-contained mystery, the growth and relationship of the lead characters is really a huge part of this series and you'll miss out on a large part of the enjoyment of this book if you start the series with this book. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
added by Shortride | editKirkus Reviews (Jan 1, 2011)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Spencer-Fleming, Juliaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Toren, SuzanneReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Sarah Dowling's first thought, peering through the wire-reinforced glass of the community center's door, was that they were an odd group.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312334893, Hardcover)

On a warm September evening in the Millers Kill community center, five veterans sit down in rickety chairs to try to make sense of their experiences in Iraq. What they will find is murder, conspiracy, and the unbreakable ties that bind them to one another and their small Adirondack town.

The Rev. Clare Fergusson wants to forget the things she saw as a combat helicopter pilot and concentrate on her relationship with Chief of Police Russ Van Alstyne. MP Eric McCrea needs to control the explosive anger threatening his job as a police officer. Will Ellis, high school track star, faces the reality of life as a double amputee. Orthopedist Trip Stillman is denying the extent of  his traumatic brain injury. And bookkeeper Tally McNabb wrestles with guilt over the in-country affair that may derail her marriage.

But coming home is harder than it looks. One vet will struggle with drugs and alcohol. One will lose his family and friends. One will die.

Since their first meeting, Russ and Clare's bond has been tried, torn, and forged by adversity. But when he rules the veteran's death a suicide, she violently rejects his verdict, drawing the surviving vets into an unorthodox investigation that threatens jobs, relationships, and her own future with Russ.

As the days cool and the nights grow longer, they will uncover a trail of deceit that runs from their tiny town to the upper ranks of the U.S. Army, and from the waters of the Millers Kill to the unforgiving streets of Baghdad.

One Was a Soldier is "a surefire winner" (Booklist) and "Outstanding" (Library Journal)--Julia Spencer-Fleming at her best.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:45 -0400)

At the Millers Kill Community Center, five veterans gather to work on adjusting to life after war. The Reverend Clare Fergusson has returned from Iraq with a head full of bad memories she's using alcohol to wipe out. Dr. George Stillman is denying that the head wound he received has left him with something worse than simple migraines. Officer Eric McCrea is battling to keep his constant rage from affecting his life as a cop, and as a father. High school track star Will Ellis is looking for some reason to keep on living after losing both legs to an IED. And Tally McNabb has brought home a fatal secret. Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne just wants Clare to settle down and get married to him. But when he rules Tally McNabbs death a suicide, Clare sides with the other vets against him. Russ and Clares unorthodox investigation will uncover a trail of deceit that runs from their tiny Adirondack town to the upper ranks of the Army, and from the waters of the Millers Kill to the unforgiving streets of Baghdad.… (more)

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