The First Casualty

  • by Ben Elton
  • Narrated by Jack Davenport
  • 3 hrs and 5 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- Robert

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.
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- P. E. Haynes

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-11-2005
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks