In a house with a red door lies the body of a woman who has been bludgeoned to death. Rumor has it that two years earlier, she'd painted that door to welcome her husband back from the Front. Only he never came home.
Meanwhile, in London, a man suffering from a mysterious illness first goes missing and then just as suddenly reappears. He is unable to explain his recovery. His family, supposedly searching for him, give conflicting accounts of where they were and why. What is the secret that nearly drove one man mad and turned his brothers and sister against one another with such unexpected savagery?
Inspector Ian Rutledge, drawn into both cases and facing a wall of silence, must solve two mysteries before he can bring a ruthless killer to justice: Who was the woman who lived and died behind the red door? Who was the man who never came home from the Great War, for the simple reason that he might never have gone? And what have they to do with a man who cannot break the seal of his own guilt without damning those he loves most?
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"Starred Review. Once again Todd perfectly balance incisive portraits of all the characters...with a tricky puzzle..." - Publishers Weekly
"Recommended for Anglophiles who love cozy, historical mysteries with a detective who is bent but never completely broken." - Library Journal
"Departing from Rutledge's earlier cases, the caprices of fatherhood take precedence over the iniquities of war this time, with a subdued Hamish and an emotionally reawakening Rutledge along for the ride." - Kirkus Reviews
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Charles Todd is the author of nine 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. They live somewhere along America's mid-Atlantic coastline. Some
biographies show Charles living in Greenville Delaware, but that simply
refers to a P.O. box they maintain.
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