In the latest installment of this series featuring Bess Crawford, the British nurse travels to a wedding in Ireland—where, in the wake of the bloody 1916 Easter Rising, anyone who served in France is now considered a traitor. The groom, a former solider, goes missing, and Bess finds her own life is in danger.
... the plot has such an astute social conscience that I almost felt like I was reading an Anne Perry novel ... So much happens within this complex plot, and there is a level of suspense throughout the book that readers of the previous 11 novels haven’t experienced. Those who are aware of the historical events that drive this story will find themselves torn between the sentiments of the British and Irish characters. An Irish Hostage is yet another triumph for Charles Todd and one of the most memorable additions to the series.
Since this is the twelfth book in the series, I give nothing away by saying Bess and company successfully resolve their issues. That’s simply the nature of a long-running series with a beloved cast of characters. What makes this story interesting is less the will-they but the how-do-they ... I really loved the personal dynamics here ... The author does a good job of giving the secondary characters three dimensions, letting us see the complexity of what they’re feeling and why. My only complaint with the story deals with Bess’ love life. She’s been slow in coming to an awareness of who she loves, and he hasn’t exactly been helpful by saying nothing of his own feelings ... The good news is we do move a tiny bit forward in this novel, so that’s something. That flaw aside, fans of the series will find everything they love about the series in evidence in An Irish Hostage. I’m happy to be able to recommend it.
Charles Todd’s novels centered around WWI are mini history lessons complemented by realistic characters who put a human face on meticulous research ... Each novel...takes the reader deeper into the concerns, culture and aftermath of the Great War ... Bess, who has proved herself to be a cunning sleuth, finds few villagers willing to talk to her. Their hostility toward this Englishwoman is palpable ... In this 12th outing, Todd continues to explore new sides to Bess, an intelligent, compassionate woman who is contemplating her future in nursing now that the war is over.