I received a free copy for my honest review.
About the Book:
• Hardcover: 336 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (January 21, 2014)
In the latest mystery from New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd, Inspector Ian Rutledge is summoned to the quiet, isolated Fen country to solve a series of seemingly unconnected murders before the killer strikes again
August 1920. A society wedding at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire becomes a crime scene when a guest is shot just as the bride arrives. Two weeks later, after a fruitless search for clues, the local police are forced to call in Scotland Yard. But not before there is another shooting in a village close by. This second murder has a witness; the only problem is that her description of the killer is so horrific it’s unbelievable. Badgered by the police, she quickly recants her story.
Despite his experience, Inspector Ian Rutledge can find no connection between the two deaths. One victim was an Army officer, the other a solicitor standing for Parliament; their paths have never crossed. What links these two murders? Is it something from the past? Or is it only in the mind of a clever killer?
Then the case reminds Rutledge of a legendary assassin whispered about during the war. His own dark memories come back to haunt him as he hunts for the missing connection—and yet, when he finds it, it isn’t as simple as he’d expected. He must put his trust in the devil in order to find the elusive and shocking answer.
About the Author:
Charles Todd is the author of the Bess Crawford mysteries, the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother and son writing team, they live in Delaware and North Carolina, respectively. Visit their website at Charlestodd.com and like CharlesToddNovels on Facebook.
This is my first Ian Rutledge novel but not my first Charles Todd novel. I’ve read several in the Bess Crawford series and enjoyed them so I thought I venture into this other series. This book opens not with our hero but rather with the soon to be murderer as he spots a man he feels is responsible for the death of someone he cared about. Not long after the first murder a second one occurs in a village not far away but there seems to be no connection between the two victims. The local police soon reach a dead end so Scotland Yard is called in to find the answers.
Ian Rutledge is barely holding himself together after the war. He is (literally) haunted by the ghost of his war buddy Hamish who invades his sleep and talks to him at odd times often providing insights into his current situation. Rutledge is heading out to visit one of the two small towns when he gets lost in the fog and this sets up the best part of the book – the scene descriptions. This mother/son writing duo really knows how to set their scenes. I felt the cold of that mist just sitting in my living room.
Rutledge spends a lot of time going back and forth between the two villages and London – always in his motorcar – finding clues and building towards the surprising ending. Where the book falls down is in its character development. As Rutledge motors about he meets a lot of people and therefore so do we as readers but it becomes difficult keeping track of them all. Very few are fleshed out beyond the basics so they don’t really leave enough of an impression to stand out.
The bits and pieces slowly come together and Ian, with Hamish’s help (or is it his subconscious?) realizes exactly what the connection is between the two men and why they were killed. He stirs up a lot of old history along the way; history that in some cases is better left in the past. All the while wresting with what we would now call PTSD from his experiences during the war.
I did enjoy the book despite the issues I mentioned above. I know many others are disappointed with this book compared to others in the series but since I’ve not read any others I have nothing to compare it to – I can only go on this one book. I would definitely read another in the series.
You can follow the Hunting Shadows Tour Schedule
You can purchase Hunting Shadows on Amazon.com