At the turn of the century, in a war taking place far from England, two soldiers chance upon an opportunity that will change their lives forever. To take advantage of it, they will be required to do the unthinkable, and then to put the past behind them. But not all memories are so short.
Twenty years later, a successful London businessman is found savagely and bizarrely murdered in a medieval tithe barn on his estate in Somerset. Called upon to investigate, Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge soon discovers that the victim was universally despised. Even the man's wifewho appears to be his wife in name onlyand the town's police inspector are suspect. But who, among the many, hated him enough to kill?
Rutledge tenaciously follows a well-concealed trail reaching back to an act so barbarous and with consequences so devastating that even the innocent are enveloped by the murderous tide of events. As he summons all his skills to break through a wall of silence in time to stem this tide, others are eager to twist the truth for their own ends. When justice takes a malevolent turn, can Rutledge's own career survive?
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"Starred Review. [A] more human and complicated protagonist than most other series sleuths." - Publishers Weekly.
"In many ways a more subdued Todd, with many earmarks of a classic village mystery and less byplay from Hamish, the ghost who haunts Rutledge." - Kirkus Reviews.
"Readers need not be familiar with Rutledge's previous adventures to appreciate this one, another smoothly constructed, literary endeavor ..." - Booklist.
"With its typically intricate plotting, detailed characterizations, and red herrings, this is a compelling addition to the popular Ian Rutledge series." - Library Journal.
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Charles Todd is the author of nineteen Ian Rutledge mysteries to date, two stand-alone novels, The Murder Stone and the The Walnut Tree. 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. They live in North Carolina (mother) and Delaware (son).
Ian Rutledge Series
A Test of Wills (1996)
Wings of Fire (1998)
Search the Dark (1999)
Legacy of the Dead (2000)
Watchers of Time (2001)
A Fearsome Doubt (2002)
A Cold Treachery (2005)
A Long Shadow (2006)
A False Mirror (2007)
A Pale Horse (2008)
A Matter of Justice (2009)
The Red Door (2010)
A Lonely Death (2011)
The Confession (2012)
Proof of Guilt (...
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