I just finished with Charles Todd’s newest offering, A Duty to the Dead, and I’m happy to say that he (they, really, since it’s a mother-and-son authorship) have successfully brought to life a new main character! The year is 1917, and Bess Crawford is a young British army nurse who’s been injured when the hospital ship she was on is blown up. On leave, she takes home with her a promise she made to a dying soldier, that she would go to his family and deliver a cryptic message that implicates him in some past event that needs to be set right. Bess keeps her promise, but things quickly become tense and strange. The soldier’s family has a secret to keep, despite his last wishes, and Bess gets involved in finding out what it is.
Bess, like Rutledge, is persistent, brave, and clever, and she does her best to serve her country. She hasn’t quite seen the horrors that he has, though, so she isn’t as damaged and closed-in as he is. In fact, she’s pretty plucky and personable…I like her, I think Rutledge would like her, and maybe you will too!