The Return of Captain John Emmett was a pleasure to read. It is Speller's first novel and is beautifully written and skillfully plotted with well-rounded and interesting characters.
The setting is London, 1920, in the aftermath of the Great War. All of England is still reeling from the loss of life and the domestic tragedies that have ensued. Laurence Bartram has pretty much isolated himself from the world, associating almost exclusively with his friend Charles, who is also a veteran. Charles is social and full of interesting gossip, providing Laurence with a connection to a society he mostly avoids.
When Mary Emmet writes him a letter asking for his help in discovering why her brotherCaptain John Emmett committed suicide after surviving all the horrors of the war, Laurence finds himself intricately involved in asking questions that lead him to more questions. With the help of Charles, Laurence determines that not only Captain John Emmett has died after returning from the war, but so have several other veterans who have ties to Captain Emmett.
As Laurence searches for answers, he also begins to come to terms with his own war experiences.
A compelling novel. I recommend it!
Other reviews/ opinions: A Work in Progress,
Fiction: Mystery/ Historical Fiction. 2011. 442 pages.