Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd (Bess Crawford)

Charles Todd's new series--also set after World War I--features a bright, sharp female protagonist, Bess Crawford. Bess, raised by her military father and mother, was brought up mostly in India and consequently offers a unique perspective on London, the war, and people's general attitude towards it. 

Fans of Todd's Ian Rutledge series will recognize the wonderful writing style, vivid imagery, and subtle commentary on the ravages of the War to End All Wars. As Bess is a nurse, much of carnage is witnesses first hand and the effect of the war on women is excellently highlighted through Bess' sometimes almost harsh observations. 

However, Bess--having a good relationship with her parents, a fierce independent streak, and solid common sense--is a much lighter protagonist than Ian Rutledge. She is not yet haunted by the war and suffers from no physical or psychological injury (that we know of yet). That being said, Todd still manages to capture the darkness that shrouded England during the time, and Bess is not chipper or perky. She will certainly have demons to deal with, but she does not carry them about with her. 

As such, I am looking forward to Charles Todd's next installment in this series.

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