Hanging on the Wire

Gillian Linscott, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (215p) ISBN 978-0-312-08806-4
Turn - of - the - century activist Nell Bray (introduced in Sister Beneath the Sheet ) turns from the suffrage movement to campaign against WW I in this exhilarating mystery. Her friend Jenny Chesney asks her to come to the small auxiliary hospital in Wales where Jenny works with Dr. Julius Stroud, who is using Sigmund Freud's new techniques to help soldiers suffering from shell shock. Jenny wants Nell to help stop the efforts of rabid war supporter Monica Minter, who believes the hospital should be closed and its ``coddled'' patients sent back to the front. When Nell arrives she speculates about a shot that was fired into the room occupied by two soldiers, hitting neither one. Then she finds the body of one of the men, shot through the head and draped over the barbed-wire fence surrounding the hospital. While Stroud deems the death a suicide, Nell disagrees, and tries to determine the truth despite the doctor's wish to avoid notoriety, which might lead to the hospital's closing. A harrowing drive in an automobile takes plucky Nell to a final confrontation in a quarry. Linscott deftly combines period detail and psychological elements in a suspenseful plot. (Jan . )
Reviewed on: 01/31/2000
Release date: 02/01/2000
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