cover image The Confession

The Confession

Charles Todd. Morrow, $24.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-201566-2

Set in 1920, Todd’s excellent 14th mystery featuring Insp. Ian Rutledge (after 2011’s A Lonely Death) offers an intriguing setup. When Wyatt Russell shows up at Scotland Yard and confesses to murdering a cousin, Justin Fowler, five year earlier, Rutledge is unwilling to accept the story at face value, especially since Russell refuses to explain why he killed Fowler. Russell, who’s dying of cancer, agrees to lunch with the inspector in London, but divulges little more. Rutledge travels to a remote corner of Essex to pursue the few leads Russell provides, but receives an extremely hostile reception from the locals. The cold case takes an even stranger turn after Russell suffers a fatal gunshot wound to the back of his head. The plot convolutions compel, but the book’s main strength is its remarkable lead, who has survived the trench warfare of WWI and remains haunted by what the exigencies of the battlefield forced him to do. Agent: Jane Chelius. (Jan.)