Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Charles Todd

Pub Date: Jan. 21st, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-06-223718-7
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Inspector Rutledge returns for another painstaking investigation of murders in the aftermath of World War I.

When a sharpshooter kills Capt. Gordon Hutchinson at a wedding in Ely, Cambridgeshire, no one in the panicked crowd can tell precisely where the bullet came from. A similar shooting in the neighboring town of Wriston that kills the popular Tory candidate Herbert Swift draws Inspector Ian Rutledge from Scotland Yard. When he first arrives, Rutledge is nearly lost in the marshy Fens until a mysterious man emerges from the mist to steer him toward the hearth of Marcella Trowbridge. Even after Rutledge is able to find his way around by daylight, he’s still enshrouded in fog in his attempts to discover if the two murders are related. Reports of a monster behind the rifle that killed the two men, a haunted mill and the mythical Green Man painted on the ceiling of Ely Cathedral lead Rutledge, in a blend of dogged research and intuitive leaps, to a case of two wronged women. But is more than one man exacting revenge? The mother-and-son team Todd (Proof of Guilt, 2013, etc.) may be letting up on their tortured hero: The ghostly voice of Hamish MacLeod, the soldier whom Rutledge had to shoot in the Great War, is a bit less prominent than in earlier installments.

Less from ghost Hamish? That change may be as welcome to some fans as to the inspector himself, though others may miss the inspector's invisible partner and conscience.