Hampton Regis, a small harbor town on the southern coast of England, is a most unlikely place for violence. Yet, one spring morning, a man is found on the strand so severely beaten that he slips in and out of consciousness. The prime suspect? His wife's jilted lover, who served with Rutledge in the recently ended Great Warbut who left the Front under a cloud. Badly wounded, yes, but did someone also cover up cowardice?
Rutledge is called on to prove the innocence of a man he dislikes and distrusts. But the deadly triangle also stirs up memories of the woman Rutledge himself loved and lost when he went to France to fight. His doubts about the accused and himself only deepen when the victim of the beating mysteriously disappears, with no body to be found.
As the brilliant yet tormented detective discovers that he's not the only person seeing a reflection of tumultuous emotions in this case, he must confront the demons that threaten to overwhelm him and search out the truth. For in Hampton Regis hides a vicious killer who intends to let nothingand no onestand in the way.
Early February, 1920
It was a bitterly cold night of frost, the stars sharp and piercingly bright overhead.
He pulled the motorcar to the verge and settled to watch the house that lay directly across the black expanse of water. It stood out against the sky, amazingly clear. Even from here he could tell there were lamps burning in three of the rooms. He could picture them in his mind: at the rear of the housethe sitting room, very likely. In the entry, where the pattern of the fanlight over the front door shone starkly against the deep shadows therebehind it the staircase, of course. And one on the first floor, under the eaves.
Their bedroom, surely.
The sitting room lamp went out after half an hour. He could see, for an instant, the grotesque silhouette cast for a moment or two against the drawn shades as someone reached out to turn down the flame. And then the silhouette reappeared briefly in the fanlight just ...
For anyone already familiar with this series it should be a given that the authors deliver a neatly packaged plot laced with psychological suspense reminiscent of Agatha Christine, Arthur Conan Doyle and P.D. James, but what raises the series above the mass of historical detective mysteries are the memorable characters, the subtlety of the plot-twists, the evocative, fully-realized settings and, most of all, the war-damaged, painfully slow-healing character of Rutledge himself.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (1184 words).
Charles Todd is the author of ten Ian
Rutledge mysteries to date, and one
stand-alone novel, The Murder Stone.
This USA-based mother-and-son (Charles &
Caroline) writing team maintain a strong
level of anonymity, even though they
appear on many author panels together
and Charles is a very active member of
the Mystery Writers of America.
According to Caroline "because of Charles' job and his father's job," they've been reticent about using their last name. Charles was a corporate troubleshooter, who traveled frequently for his job. Even their ...
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