One Was A Soldier

One Was A Soldier

Book - 2011
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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.

One Was a Soldier is "a surefire winner" ( Booklist ) and "Outstanding" ( Library Journal )--Julia Spencer-Fleming at her best.

Published: New York : Minotaur Books, 2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780312334895
Branch Call Number: F SPE
Characteristics: 327 p. ;,25 cm.
Alternative Title: 1 was a soldier


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Jun 30, 2019

7th title in the series of 9 titles thru yr 2020.
This plot is emotionally intense -- and it gives a representation of how emotional and psychological trauma will be present long after the facts of the causation/s. What is trauma as a condition affecting abilities?

The landscape of emotional depth becomes more apparent in the communication between Russ and Clare. I suspect most readers do take delight in the comaradrie between Russ and Clare. Stand up to the issues, define the communication.

Feb 11, 2012

When I read a mystery I expect the mystery to be solved to show up early in the book. It took half the book to get to it. Also, not everyone who go to war comes back with PTSD.

Cdnbookworm Jun 06, 2011

This is one of my favourite mystery series, featuring Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne. This one continues the story, with Clare returning from duty in Iraq (as a helicopter pilot). The story moves back and forth between events beginning with Eric McCrea's return from duty and group therapy sessions for those returned from overseas duty. Eric returned in June (and Clare not much later) and the therapy sessions start in September. Besides Eric and Clare, who are both in the National Guard, with Eric an MP, there are also Dr. Stillman who did medical work overseas as part of the Guard, Tally McNabb, and Will Ellis. Will is a former high school track star who lost both his legs in Fallujah as a Marine. Tally had an affair while overseas the effects of which followed her back and threaten her marriage. All the vets are dealing with issues due to their overseas experiences. Coming home is hard on all of them and they all have issues they are struggling with.
Clare hasn't been upfront with Russ about her issues, and she is struggling with even admitting the issues to herself. When one of the vets dies, the others take it hard. Clare particularly can't accept the police verdict of suicide and this drives a wedge between her and Russ. She draws the other vets into an unofficial investigation and that has effects on them all.
This is a good one, with a variety of issues brought forward, and a good plot.

debwalker May 07, 2011

"When last seen, at the end of I Shall Not Want, Reverend Clare Fergusson had exchanged her pastor’s robe for a major’s uniform and was off to fly a helicopter in Iraq. Her soulmate, Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne, was left behind in the small New York town of Miller’s Kill. One was a Soldier, the latest chapter in their relationship, takes place 18 months later. Clare has returned to once again take up her position as pastor of the local Episcopalian church, and also resume her relationship with Russ. But no one comes back from war untouched. That’s the subtext of this terrific novel."
Margaret Cannon
Globe and Mail May 6 2011


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Apr 11, 2013

A soldier turned Episcopal priest returns home to murder and fraud while trying to plan a wedding and deal with her own demons from the War.


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