Search This Blog

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Return of Captain John Emmet by Elizabeth Speller

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.


  1. I first heard of this on Whimpulsive and she made me really want to read it!

  2. That sounds wonderful. Excellent review, Jenclair.

  3. Kailana - It was on the new book shelf at the library, and I grabbed it. I'm so glad I did!

    Nancy - It was a good book and well-written. I know that mysteries aren't really your genre, but you might enjoy this one!

  4. This does sound good. I will have to look for it.

  5. LF - Hey Wendy! I think you'd like it. It was a great read!

  6. So glad you enjoyed this--I thought it was really well done and can't wait to read her second book!

  7. Danielle - I really did like it, and I can't wait for her second book, either!

  8. I really enjoyed this book. I'm so glad you did too. Loved the setting and time period. I'm eagerly anticipating the second book.

  9. SuziQ - It will be a priority for me, too!