At Some Disputed Barricade(CD)(Abr.) Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, CD
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From Publishers Weekly
Fans of the first three books in this WWI series from Perry, best known for her Victorian police procedurals, will eagerly pick up this fourth volume to learn more of the ongoing saga of the three Reavley siblings: Joseph, a chaplain working with soldiers on the front line in France; Matthew, a British intelligence officer; and Judith, an ambulance driver. (Newcomers may struggle to understand the backstory.) Matthew continues his search for the traitorous mastermind—the "Peacemaker"—plotting to align Britain with Germany to end the war, while Joseph is working on a smaller mystery: was British officer Howard Northrop killed by one of his own men? Exposition slows down the pace in places, but the author vividly captures the unspeakable horrors of the Great War. Readers won't have long to wait for the fifth and final entry in the series, We Shall Not Sleep (Reviews, Feb. 5). (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The fourth entry in Perry's World War I series finds chaplain Joseph Reavley three years into his service in the trenches of Ypres on the western front. The British army has suffered appalling losses, and the men are exhausted, hungry, and afraid. Now an incompetent officer, the son of a general, unwilling to take advice from more experienced soldiers, is sending his men to certain death by making wrongheaded, uninformed decisions. When the officer's body is discovered, it falls to Joseph to determine whether he was killed by his own men. The investigation is complicated when Joseph's sister, Judith, a fearless ambulance driver, is drawn into the dispute. Meanwhile, their brother, Matthew, who works for British intelligence, is seeing indications of the work of the Peacemaker, who, under the guise of seeking an end to the conflict, is sabotaging Britain's war effort. Perry explores the shifting nature of loyalty, conscience, and honor when set against the backdrop of a blood-soaked battlefield, and her grisly descriptions of that battlefield are heartrending. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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BUT the 2nd half of the book sparkles!! While Mrs. Perry show the horror on the front, the filth and death and mustard gas, but she has yet to say anything about the flying aces of WWI - She vividly shows us dogfights and even has Joseph take part in one - he even crosses paths with the Red Baron! The brilliance of writing takes us there on the front and we feel the pain of war. There is one more book to this series, and although I am a fan of the Monk and Pitt series, I will miss this series -Perry creates a vivid picture of war.
The story of the English Reavley family is chronicled through the eyes of Joseph, a chaplain stationed in battle, Matthew who works in intelligence, and their sister. Judith, who is an ambulance driver. The premise is that there is a secret conspiracy to bring on peace by forging a union between England and Germany. Led by "The Peacemaker" it would undo all that has been fought for throughout the many years of war. The Reavleys must discover the identity of the man who not only threatens the nation in which they live but who was also responsible for the death of their parents.
Each book in the series develops a different storyline within the basic premise. In the forth one, At Some Disputed Barricade, Joseph must intervene when the men in his company are charged with the murder of their inept commanding officer. In the final entry, We Shall Not Sleep, Matthew is accused of a viscous crime he did not commit. The plots of each are an involved story that interact with the search for "The Peacemaker." It is not necessary to read the whole series or read them in order but it would strongly add to the readers' satisfaction and understanding of the books.
It is the writing of Anne Perry that carries this series. Her historical knowledge to be able to accurately base a fictional account within the context of a very real war is impressive. Her descriptive writing ability to portray the settings, from the heat and carnage of the front to the peace of the English countryside or the grimness of the cities, is outstanding. Her scenes of men living deep within in the trenches, living and fighting in mud that covered them from head to toe are as eloquent picture of hell as can be written. She again proves herself to be a master storyteller, historian and writer.