At Some Disputed Barricade by Anne Perry



At Some Disputed Barricade At Some Disputed BarricadeAnne Perry; Ballantine Books 2007WorldCatJoseph Reavley is a chaplain at the front at the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917. The men in his unit know that most of them will die there. That doesn’t stop them from doing their duty. There is a new major in command who is young, arrogant, and foolish. He keeps giving orders where men die needlessly. He won’t listen to his lesser ranked, more seasoned soldiers. He is killed by a bullet to the head. At first German snipers are blamed. But it is obvious that someone was close to the man with the gun that killed him.

Joseph is assigned the task of discovering who killed Major Northrup and why. He tries not to investigate too deeply because he understands what happened even if he doesn’t know the details. The major’s father, General Northrup, won’t let the matter drop. Joseph has to dig deeper. His sister Judith is still there as well, driving the ambulance from the front to the field station. Germans even invade the hospital while she is there.

In England their brother Matthew is back to his government job. When a member of Parliament comes to him Matthew realizes someone is trying to blacken the name of a group of members who would oppose peace for anything less than a war victory. Matthew had seen the Peacemaker die. Now he believes the man isn’t who Matthew thought and is alive. He needs to clear up the scandal that has been trumped up against these Parliament members. And he needs to learn who the Peacemaker really is.

Each installment of this mystery series brings the reality of war to life. In At Some Disputed Barricade Anne Perry makes the soldiers and characters people that the reader could know in every day life. I could picture the battlefront and the mud and rain and camaraderie and disgust and sadness without getting overwhelmed. This novel deals with the possibility of mutiny and how easy it is to change allegiances to become a mutineer. These men never lose their loyalty to England, only to their incompetent commanding officer. The murderer is revealed well before the end. The tenseness to the ending of this novel is how the court martial hearing turns out and who is implicated before it is done.

Once again I followed Matthew Reavely closely to see if I could determine who the Peacemaker is. I have my suspicions, but Perry is good at misdirection. The next book, We Shall Not Sleep, is the last. I’ll finally get to learn who the man is (I hope…what if she keeps him a mystery?). At Some Disputed Barricade stands alone very well. While dependent on the series for the overall story arc, it is self contained, leaving the reader satisfied.

More books by Anne Perry
Jospeh and Matthew Reavley series

Link to Books

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