Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Book Review - One Was A Soldier

The evening book club inadvertently started with the sixth book in the Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mystery series. The members who had read all the books in the series (and loved them) were concerned we wouldn't have the full picture of the characters picking up so late in the series, and they may have been right. But, having said that, I found One Was a Soldier by Julie Spencer-Fleming to be an enjoyable read. And, although I think I might have benefited from reading previous novels, Spencer-Fleming filled in the background details needed. 

Clare Fergusson is in distress, she has just returned from combat, and in many ways is behaving erratically. She is suffering with flashbacks and other PTSD symptoms. Being a minister, she is unwilling to let anyone, even her lover, Russ, see the pain that is consuming her.

While the military service and its consequent problems are the backdrop of the story and an important theme, the mystery drives the story forward. 

Another returning soldier in Clare's support group has been found dead. It looks like suicide, but Clare and the other members of the group are suspicious.

As the mystery is unraveled by amateur Clare and professional Russ, we see the effects that military service has on each of the members of Clare's support group. Although this book deals with the painful difficulties veterans have returning to "normal" life, I would still describe this novel as an easy read. I started and finished it in less than a weekend, and it kept me going until the last page.