cover image A Pattern of Lies

A Pattern of Lies

Charles Todd. Morrow, $25.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-238624-3

A chance encounter in the fall of 1918 lands Bess Crawford in the midst of a disturbing mystery in bestseller Todd’s suspenseful seventh outing for the veteran British nurse (after 2014’s An Unwilling Accomplice). With her hopes high that the slaughter of WWI will end soon, Bess manages to get leave from France to visit her parents. But when she’s stranded in Canterbury waiting for a train, she runs into Maj. Mark Ashton, a former patient. Her pleasure at the unexpected meeting is soon marred by his revelation that his family has been the subject of a sustained whispering campaign. Two years earlier, the family business, a gunpowder factory, exploded, causing more than 100 deaths. Though the official investigation ruled out sabotage, rumor has it that Mark’s father, Philip, was responsible. Even Philip’s arrest doesn’t end the Ashtons’ persecution, and Bess hazards her life to find the truth. The resolution doesn’t match the buildup, but this is a minor shortcoming. [em]Agent: Jane Chelius, Jane Chelius Literary Agency. (Aug.) [/em]