My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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 were 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
I read A Pattern of Lies (the book before this one) last year and loved the book. So I was in seventh heaven when I got approved for this one. I have read most of the books in this series since I read A Pattern of Lies and I quite enjoy both the stories and the books characters. Bess Crawford is a wonderful character, strong and competent and I'm so happy that the doesn't spend her time romanticizing about some guy. (I do wish however that she and Sergeant Lassiter would get a bit...closer)
Anyway, this book is, to be honest not my favorite in the series. I'm actually I bit disappointed how weak the story felt compared to A Pattern of Lies. I grew a bit frustrated reading the book because the main story about the soldier that may or may not be a german spy just didn't rock my boat. It was not totally bad, I just didn't find The Shattered Tree as intriguing and as engrossing to read as I usually do with the books in this series. And, I missed Sergeant Lassiter who wasn't even in this book, just mentioned a couple of times (Yes I did a search for him after reading 1/3 of the book because I was really looking forward to reading about Bess and him meeting again). Now, I don't say that the book was bad because Sergeant Lassiter wasn't in it, rather it just didn't make the situation better.
So, not my favorite book in the series, still good to read, but I hope the next book in the series will be better!
I want to thank William Morrow for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!