Monday, December 30, 2013

Book Review: A Christmas Garland

Author: Anne Perry
Title: A Christmas Garland
Publisher: Ballentine Books
Publish Date: Oct 30, 2012
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: The year is 1857, soon after the violent Siege of Cawnpore, with India in the midst of rebellion. In the British garrison, a guard is killed and an Indian prisoner escapes, which leads to yet more British deaths. Cries for revenge are overwhelming. Despite no witnesses and no evidence against him, a luckless British medical orderly named John Tallis is arrested as an accomplice simply because he was the only soldier unaccounted for when these baffling crimes were committed.

Though chosen to defend Tallis, young Lieutenant Victor Narraway is not encouraged to try very hard. Narraway’s superiors merely want a show trial. But inspired by a soldier’s widow and her children, and by his own stubborn faith in justice, Narraway searches for the truth. In an alien world haunted by memories of massacre, he is the accused man’s only hope.

The trial of John Tallis equals the white-knuckle best of Anne Perry’s breathtaking courtroom dramas. And thanks to a simple Christmas garland and some brilliant detective work, Narraway perseveres against appalling odds, learning how to find hope within himself—and turn the darkest hour into one full of joy and light.

Review: Don't read this book if you are expecting a light fluffy Christmas tale. This isn't anything like that. It is a mystery set in 1857 India.

Narraway is given the task of trying to defend Tallis, an orderly accused of killing a man and setting a prisoner free. Things don't look good for him as his is the only person that doesn't have an alibi.

Narraway is a character you can really come to admire. He is determined to give Tallis a fair trial, even though no one else seems to want to. And he only has a limited amount of time to get ready for the trial.

He really has a thirst for justice. I really loved how he kept looking for answers because Tallis insisted on his innocence.

This story wasn't really about Christmas, but the spirit is in the story. The soldiers felt that they needed to remember what Christmas was about, back at home, so that the bad things that happened didn't ruin everything for them.

There is also a small touch of romance brewing between Narraway and widow. I have to admit I teared up a bit when he was playing hide and seek with one of her children.

When all is said and done I was a bit surprised at what likely happened to the inmate and the guard. I look forward to reading more by Anne Perry in the future.

Rating: 5 flowers


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