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The First Casualty | [Ben Elton]

The First Casualty

Flanders, June 1917: a British officer and celebrated poet is shot dead, killed not by German fire, but while recuperating from shell shock well behind the lines. A young English soldier is arrested and, although he protests his innocence, charged with his murder. Douglas Kingsley is a conscientious objector, previously a detective with the London police, now imprisoned for his beliefs. He is released, and sent to France in order to secure a conviction.
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Publisher's Summary

Flanders, June 1917: a British officer and celebrated poet is shot dead, killed not by German fire, but while recuperating from shell shock well behind the lines. A young English soldier is arrested and, although he protests his innocence, charged with his murder. Douglas Kingsley is a conscientious objector, previously a detective with the London police, now imprisoned for his beliefs. He is released, and sent to France in order to secure a conviction. Forced to conduct his investigations amidst the hell of The Third Battle of Ypres, Kingsley soon discovers that both the evidence and the witnesses he needs are quite literally disappearing into the mud that surrounds him.

Ben Elton's tenth novel is a gut-wrenching historical drama which explores some fundamental questions. What is murder? What is justice in the face of unimaginable daily slaughter? And where is the honour in saving a man from the gallows if he is only to be returned to die in a suicidal battle? As the gap between legally-sanctioned and illegal murder becomes ever more blurred, Kingsley quickly learns that the first casualty when war comes is truth.

©2005 Ben Elton; (P)2005 Random House Audiobooks

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    PETER Berry, Australia 06-04-11
    PETER Berry, Australia 06-04-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "clever"

    A clever story well told with a slight twist. Hold syour interest. Well narrated with some interesting characters. It is subtly done considering the setting of the story

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Robert
    Lowestoft, Suffolk, United Kingdom
    1/23/06
    Overall
    "superb, ben elton at his best"

    superbly read by Jack Davenport, this story is set during world war one and tells the tale of a moralistic detective dragged into the war effort against his will.
    a whodunnit of first class proportions this story adds yet another string to the overflowing nib of Mr Elton.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Elliott
    Sidcup, United Kingdom
    11/28/12
    Overall
    "A good listen"

    I normally rate a good book as 3 stars, so 4 is, for me, above average!



    Excellent narration really helps this story come to life. Detailed, though-provoking, and well paced throughout. Recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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