The Shattered Tree (Bess Crawford Series #8)

The Shattered Tree (Bess Crawford Series #8)

by Charles Todd

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World War I battlefield nurse Bess Crawford goes to dangerous lengths to investigate a wounded soldier’s background—and uncover his true loyalties—in this thrilling and atmospheric entry in the bestselling “vivid period mystery series” (New York Times Book Review).

At the foot of a tree shattered by shelling and gunfire, stretcher-bearers find an exhausted officer, shivering with cold and a loss of blood from several wounds. The soldier is brought to battlefield nurse Bess Crawford’s aid station, where she stabilizes him and treats his injuries before he is sent to a rear hospital. The odd thing is, the officer isn’t British—he’s French. But in a moment of anger and stress, he shouts at Bess in German.

When Bess reports the incident to Matron, her superior offers a ready explanation. The soldier is from Alsace-Lorraine, a province in the west where the tenuous border between France and Germany has continually shifted through history, most recently in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, won by the Germans. But is the wounded man Alsatian? And if he is, on which side of the war do his sympathies really lie?

Of course, Matron could be right, but Bess remains uneasy—and unconvinced. If he was a French soldier, what was he doing so far from his own lines . . . and so close to where the Germans are putting up a fierce, last-ditch fight?

When the French officer disappears in Paris, it’s up to Bess—a soldier’s daughter as well as a nurse—to find out why, even at the risk of her own life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062386298
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/30/2016
Series: Bess Crawford Series , #8
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 32,905
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Charles Todd is the New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother-and-son writing team, they live on the East Coast.

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The Shattered Tree 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Delphimo More than 1 year ago
The Shattered Tree shows Bess Crawford as a determined nurse and investigator. Bess suffers a slight altercation while trying to find an ex-patient. During her recovery, Bess continues her search for a wounded soldier. In this search, Bess encounters an old case in which the wounded soldier is accused of killing a family and has been running all these years. Too many minor characters and confusing names to remember everyone. As always, the description of the country and the individuals provide a vivid picture.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
"He crawled as far as the shattered tree and lay there, faint from the effort. But he knew he had to keep moving. When he stopped, when the sweat dried on his skin, he'd begin to shiver again, wracking his body until his teeth chattered. There wasn't enough left of his uniform to keep his warm, and his captors, God help them, had taken his boots. Good English leather. He'd stolen them himself from a corpse. He grimaced, afraid to look at his torn feet. He'd lost too much blood from other wounds. The one in his leg had mercifully stopped bleeding, and the cut in his hairline had clotted over, but the damage had been done. He was light-headed from lack of food, finding it hard to concentrate. A crow couldn't find enough to eat in this countryside after four years of war. He'd be dead soon if he didn't reach his own lines." Welcome to the latest Bess Crawford mystery by Charles Todd, the Shattered Tree. It all takes place in France in October of 1918, where a lone man is discovered wounded. He is taken to a local hospital where nurse Bess Crawford tends to his wounds before he is taken elsewhere to recover. But since he can't tell anyone who he is or where he is from, he remains a mystery patient. Until one night he is attacked by another patient and in his stress, he utters protests in German. Bess is concerned that this man might be a German spy, but why is he wearing a French soldier's uniform and missing all identification? As she is sent to attend a man along with a doctor in a trench, she is caught in the crossfire of a sniper's round and finds herself a patient. She begins to follow the mystery man to the very same location she is being sent to recover, only know she has a possible name he is going by Phillipe Moreau, which is French, but why does he seem so fluent in German? That is the best part of any Bess Crawford mystery is the slow unraveling of clues as she uses her recovery time in Paris, to figure out who this man is. Why is he running? What is he hiding? As she gets closer to the truth, those around her wind up their own victims of being stabbed. How can it be the wounded man who clearly is unable to walk much less attempt murder of anyone including an attempt on her own life again. She must figure it out before she is sent back to the aid station in France again or before more people wind up wounded or even murdered. Will she be next? I received The Shattered Tree by Charles Todd compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers. This is such an extraordinary series and even though they are ongoing, you don't need to read them in order to appreciate the mystery aspects of the novel. It's like a Sherlock Holmes book, each mystery is unique and original and always involves nurse Bess Crawford, like a historical Nancy Drew of sorts! This is one of my favorites of the novels I've had the pleasure to read and review. I give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for the next one, Casualty of War coming soon. At the conclusion of this one, readers will find discussion guide questions, an interview with the author about this novel and more about the Bess Crawford series. This is the 8th Bess Crawford novel in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
dibbylodd More than 1 year ago
The writing team that is Charles Todd continues to do an amazing job recreating the reality of the time and place. These books are, for me, the history classes I wish I had had where I have a real sense of why knowing about this matters. Here is the reality of war with medical services taking care of anyone who comes to them. Questions aren't asked about nationality, unless there is a poSsibility that a patient is a danger. But Bess can't help herself. Something is not right about this soldier and she feels duty bound to try and figure it out. Even when seriously wounded and unsure who she can trust. It is marvelous.
Griperang72a More than 1 year ago
This is the first book that I have read in this series. I did good keeping up but I know want to go back and read the entire series. For me having history and mystery all in one book is a hit. The authors do a good job of including lots of details which for me makes me like it even more. I enjoyed following Bess around Paris as she is trying to solve the mystery of the missing officer. The authors did a good job of giving me plenty of twists and turns so you are kept guessing until the end. A fun interesting book for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well darn love it need to buy it I guess