The Return of Captain John Emmett by Elizabeth Speller

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Synopsis

London, 1920. In the aftermath of the Great War and a devastating family tragedy, Laurence Bartram has turned his back on the world. But with a well-timed letter, an old flame manages to draw him back in. Mary Emmett’s brother John—like Laurence, an officer during the war—has apparently killed himself while in the care of a remote veterans’ hospital, and Mary needs to know why. 

Aided by his friend Charles—a dauntless gentleman with detective skills cadged from mystery novels—Laurence begins asking difficult questions. What connects a group of war poets, a bitter feud within Emmett’s regiment, and a hidden love affair? Was Emmett’s death really a suicide, or the missing piece in a puzzling series of murders? As veterans tied to Emmett continue to turn up dead, and Laurence is forced to face the darkest corners of his own war experiences, his own survival may depend on uncovering the truth. 

At once a compelling mystery and an elegant literary debut, The Return of Captain John Emmett blends the psychological depth of Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy with lively storytelling from the golden age of British crime fiction.

This book features a teaser chapter from The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton, the sequel to Elizabeth Speller’s thrilling debut novel.

 

About Elizabeth Speller

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Elizabeth Speller studied Classics at Cambridge University. She is the author of The Return of Captain John Emmett and The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton, both of which received stellar critical acclaim. She lives in England.
 
Published July 5, 2011 by Mariner Books. 449 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Return of Captain John Emmett

Kirkus Reviews

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When Mary calls for help on Laurence Bartram, an old school friend of John’s, Laurence, wrestling with an apathy that has consumed him since his pregnant wife died and his war service ended, tentatively noses around, then becomes fixated with finding out the truth.

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Publishers Weekly

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Londoner Laurence Bartram, three years after coming home from WWI a shell of his former self, starts to reawaken at the outset of this moving mystery debut from British classics scholar Speller (Following Hadrian).

May 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Return of Captain John Em...

Star Tribune

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A true-to-life mystery, but told with a bit too much British restraint.

Jul 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Return of Captain John Em...

The Bookbag

Summary: This debut novel centres around the aftermath of World War One - the Great War.

Jun 25 2011 | Read Full Review of The Return of Captain John Em...

Mysterious Reviews

Review: Elizabeth Speller opens her debut novel with a reversed occurrence after the conclusion of a war.

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M/C Anderson

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Jul 17 2010 | Read Full Review of The Return of Captain John Em...

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