Angels in the Gloom
Although he is a chaplain with the army, that doesn't prevent Joseph Reavely from helping rescue the men wounded on the front line in Flanders. It is 1916. England is losing thousands of men on the lines against the Germans. Joseph works with the men, bolstering them, and crawling out in gunfire to bring wounded soldiers back to be sent to the hospital. As he tries to rescue one of the men from his village in England, Joseph himself is hit.
Joseph is lucky he lives. He is so badly hurt that he is sent back to England to recuperate. He is sent back to his home. When he is finally released from the hospital, he goes to his home where his sister and her children are living while the war is going on. Hannah's husband, Archie MacAllister, is a commander in the English Navy. Their sister Judith is driving an ambulance in France. Their brother Matthew is working with the English secret service.
While Joseph regains his strength to his damaged right side, he debates whether he should return to the front if he totally heals. He enjoys being home and near his old friend, Shanley Corcoran. Shanley is the head of the local science research facility. His team is working on a new torpedo that would track U-boats by movement. If successful, this invention could end the war quickly and may be England's only hope, especially if the United States doesn't join the war. But when the lead scientist on the project is killed, the chances of success dim. Joseph starts looking for the murderer while Shanley tries to continue the work on the torpedo.
This is the third novel in Anne Perry's World War I mystery series. Like the previous novels, this book gives a vivid picture of the atmosphere in England during The Great War. England had gone from a halycon existence to fear and horror. She gives a realistic picture of the front lines without overdoing the descriptions. The characters are believable, with all the inner conflicts that are happening to them.
The mystery is complex. There are numerous reasons why the scientist may have been murdered. The police and Joseph have many courses and people to suspect. The solution comes out of left field, but is believable. Anne Perry has another winner here.
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