WINGS OF FIRE by Charles Todd


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 Scotland Yard's Inspector Ian Rutledge, still recovering from the ravages of his service in WW I, his thoughts haunted by the ghost of fellow soldier Hamish MacLeod, (A Test of Wills, 1996), is sent by Supt. Bowles to the village of Borcombe in Cornwall. Lady Rachel Ashford, of the influential Trevelyans, has asked for further investigation into the recent double suicide and accidental death within the family. Unearthing background, Rutledge finds that matriarch Rosamund Trevelyan, widowed three times, mother of many children, died of a laudanum overdose. Many years before, she'd suffered the accidental death of eight-year- old Anne, a twin to crippled Olivia, and later, the disappearance--never solved--of five-year-old Richard. Now, the adult Olivia, a respected poet, and her brother Nicholas have been found dead--of laudanum. Days later, their half-brother Stephen, hobbled by war injuries, falls to his death down the staircase at Trevelyan Hall. Meanwhile, Cormac Fitzhugh, son of Rosamund's last husband, wants to buy the Hall from the heirs, a prospect opposed by Stephen. Rutledge, undeterred by protests from the local doctor, police chief, family members, and retainers, tirelessly sorts through fact and legend to reach the truth. But he has more patience than sorely tried readers might as they untangle the snarl of family relationships and slog through an avalanche of high-flown, semimystical verbiage--all augmented by the terser, Scots-accented dialogue between Rutledge and his inner voice. The long-dragged-out solution seems scarcely worth the effort. (Author tour)

Pub Date: March 20th, 1998
ISBN: 0-312-17064-5
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1998


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