The First Casualty

by Ben Elton

eBooks of the Month Historical Fiction

LoveReading View on The First Casualty

“The first casualty when war comes is truth” so why send a conscientious objector detective out to the mud and horror of Ypres in 1917 to investigate a murder when sanctioned slaughter is all around you?  An impossible, ridiculous situation and an interesting scenario of Mr Elton’s.  This is powerful, fast, exciting and very different from previous works by Elton.  Full of concealment, contradiction and disillusion, it is dark, depressing and very good indeed.

Comparison: For 1st World War Pat Barker, for Ben Elton satire Rupert Morgan, for detection Christopher Fowler’s Bryant and May series.
Similar this month: None.

Sarah Broadhurst

The First Casualty Synopsis

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 evermore blurred, Kingsley quickly learns that the first casualty when war comes is truth.

 

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780593051115
Publication date: 01/11/2005
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780593051115
Publication date: 1st November 2005
Author: Ben Elton
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Format: Hardback
Genres: eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction,
Categories:

About Ben Elton

Ben Elton’s career as both performer and writer encompasses some of the most memorable and incisive comedy of the past twenty years. In addition to his hugely influential work as a stand-up comic, he is the writer of such TV hits as The Young Ones, Blackadder and The Thin Blue Line. Elton has written three musicals, The Beautiful Game, We Will Rock You and Tonight’s the Night and three West End plays. His internationally bestselling novels include Popcorn, Inconceivable, Dead Famous and High Society.

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