Book Review: The Return of Captain John Emmett by Elizabeth Speller

Title: The Return of Captain John Emmett
Author: Elizabeth Speller
Stars: 3

Blurb: Following the death of his wife and baby and his experiences on the Western Front, Laurence Bartram has become something of a recluse, until a young woman he once knew persuades him back into the world. She wants him to look into events that apparently led her brother, John Emmett, to kill himself, and so Laurence is forced to revisit the darkest parts of the war. Emmett was a former schoolfriend and served as an infantry officer in France. As Laurence starts to unravel the connections between his suicide, a group of war poets, a bitter regimental feud and a hidden love affair, more disquieting deaths are exposed.

Excellently written, Speller takes the reader into a world long past that most people can only dream about. Follow Laurence Bartram as he struggles to unravel the details of the death of his old school friend, John Emmett. In doing so he also bring to the surface memories which otherwise would have stayed hidden and develops a relationship with Johns sister.

It’s not very often I read this kind of book. I typically read things like LOTR, Obernewtyn, Game of Thrones and books that contain characters that my imagination wouldn’t think of in a hundred years. Although these reads are few and far between, it’s good to have a break from Elves, Dwarfs and people that communicate through their minds.

Definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, particularly about the war (in this case World War 1).


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