Series fans will appreciate Todd’s 17th Ian Rutledge mystery (after 2014’s Hunting Shadows), a prequel set in the summer of 1914. Rutledge, a Scotland Yard inspector, has just gotten engaged, and as the guns of August loom, he lands a tricky murder case in Dorset. Furniture maker Ben Clayton—who had no obvious enemies—was hanged from his staircase by an intruder. More deaths follow, but a scene that Todd (the mother-son writing team of Caroline and Charles Todd) presents early on makes this a thriller rather than a whodunit. The writing is as sharp as ever, but without the series regular Hamish MacLeod, whom Rutledge was forced to execute during WWI for disobeying orders and who subsequently haunts the shell-shocked Rutledge as a sort of ghostly Watson, newcomers won’t appreciate how extraordinary this series is. Five-city author tour. Agent: Jane Chelius, Jane Chelius Literary Agency. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/24/2014 Release date: 01/01/2015 Genre: Fiction
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