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One Was a Soldier: Book summary and reviews of One Was a Soldier by Julia Spencer-Fleming

One Was a Soldier

A Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mystery

by Julia Spencer-Fleming

One Was a Soldier by Julia Spencer-Fleming X
One Was a Soldier by Julia Spencer-Fleming
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  • Published Apr 2011
    336 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

On a warm September evening in the Millers Kill community center, five veterans sit down in rickety chairs to try to make sense of their experiences in Iraq.  What they will find is murder, conspiracy, and the unbreakable ties that bind them to one another and their small Adirondack town.

The Rev. Clare Fergusson wants to forget the things she saw as a combat helicopter pilot and concentrate on her relationship with Chief of Police Russ Van Alstyne. MP Eric McCrea needs to control the explosive anger threatening his job as a police officer. Will Ellis, high school track star, faces the reality of life as a double amputee. Orthopedist Trip Stillman is denying the extent of  his traumatic brain injury. And bookkeeper Tally McNabb wrestles with guilt over the in-country affair that may derail her marriage.

But coming home is harder than it looks. One vet will struggle with drugs and alcohol. One will lose his family and friends. One will die.

Since their first meeting, Russ and Clare's bond has been tried, torn, and forged by adversity. But when he rules the veteran's death a suicide, she violently rejects his verdict, drawing the surviving vets into an unorthodox investigation that threatens jobs, relationships, and her own future with Russ.

As the days cool and the nights grow longer, they will uncover a trail of deceit that runs from their tiny town to the upper ranks of the U.S. Army, and from the waters of the Millers Kill to the unforgiving streets of Baghdad.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Clare and Russ's relationship deepens, while the focus on the struggles of veterans supplies another strong emotional thread." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Spencer-Fleming's fans who have been waiting anxiously for her latest won't be disappointed; this series, as intelligent as it is enthralling, just keeps getting better." - Booklist

"Starred Review. In the hands of a lesser writer, this novel would not fly, but Spencer-Fleming carries it off and concludes with a believable resolution. As always, there is a cliffhanger ending for Clare. Outstanding." - Library Journal

"Spencer-Fleming's most ambitious book yet - think The Best Years of Our Lives with corpses - can't quite live up to its lofty goals. But fans will continue to be impressed by her resourceful determination never to tell the same story twice." - Kirkus Reviews

"A story of greed, betrayal, and wounded love, One Was a Soldier left me entertained, satisfied, and a shade wiser about the cost of war." - New York Times bestselling author John Hart

"An absolute tour de force! Both a superb murder mystery and a gripping examination of the suffering of returning soldiers." - Louise Penny, New York Times bestselling author

This information about One Was a Soldier was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Julia Spencer-Fleming

Julia Spencer-Fleming is an Agatha, Anthony, Barry, Dilys, Gumshoe and Macavity Award winner. She studied Acting and History at Ithaca College and received her J.D. at the University of Maine School of Law. Her books have been shortlisted for the Edgar, and Romantic Times RC awards. Julia lives in a 190-year-old farmhouse in Buxton, Maine with her husband and three children.

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