After not-so-patiently waiting for several weeks, I finally got Julia Spencer-Fleming's new book, One Was a Soldier, from the library. Despite my goal to savor it, especially since it may be a year or two before the next one is published, I couldn't help myself and just devoured it.

The story is centered around a therapy group for veterans who've recently returned from Iraq. Clare and the other four veterans are haunted by their wartime experiences. Each has been damaged in their own way and is trying to deal in their own way, but all poorly. And when one of the group is found dead, the others vow to discover the truth about what happened.

This book is actually much more about Clare's and the other veterans' struggle to come to terms with their experiences in Iraq and their return home than it is about the mystery. Indeed, the group's determination to solve the mystery is to a large extent an outlet for the remaining members - an issue they believe they can solve, rather than facing their own problems. But as they work together to find the truth, each is forced to confront their problems and find a way to move forward.

I found it to be an amazing book. Though it was often painful, Spencer-Fleming did an excellent job in showing some very different sides of Clare, and portraying Russ as he dealt with the difficulties of knowing that she was in trouble while also knowing that he had to let her deal with it at her own pace, that he couldn't truly help her until she was ready to admit that she needed it. They're both so action-oriented and focused on helping others; it was agonizing to watch them struggle, but so beautifully written. And I loved the opportunity to get to know some Millers Kill residents who've played only small roles in the previous stories.

It was hard to give the book back to the library, but I know someone else was waiting as anxiously for it as I did, and I hope they'll love it as much. And though I know it will be a long time, I'm looking forward to the next book in this fantastic series.
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