In 1912 Ian Rutledge watched as a man was condemned to hang for the murders of elderly women. Rutledge helped gather the evidence that sent Ben Shaw to the gallows. And when justice was done, Rutledge closed the door on the case. But Shaw was not easily forgotten. Now, seven years later, that grim trial returns in the form of Ben Shaw's widow Nell, bringing Rutledge evidence she is convinced will prove her husband's innocence. It's a belief fraught with peril, threatening both Rutledge's professional stature and his faith in his judgment. But there is a darker reason for Rutledge's reluctance. Murder brings him back to Kent where, days earlier, he'd glimpsed an all-too-familiar face beyond the leaping flames of a bonfire. Soon an unexpected encounter revives the end of his own war, as the country prepares for a somber commemoration on the anniversary of the Armistice. To battle the unsettled past and the haunted present at the same time is an appalling mandate.
And the people around him - Among them the attractive widow of a friend, a remarkable woman who survived the Great Indian Mutiny; a bitter, dying barrister; and a man whose name he never knew - unwittingly compete with the grieving Nell Shaw. They'll demand more than Rutledge can give, unaware that he is already carrying the burden of shell shock, and the voice of Hamish MacLeod, the soldier he was forced to execute in the war. The killer in Marling is surprisingly adept at escaping detection. And Ben Shaw's past is a tangle of unsettling secrets that may or may not be true. Rutledge must walk a tortuous line between two murderers...one reaching out to ruin him, the other driven to destroy him.
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Outstanding in every way!
- Kathi "Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy."
Does Ian Rutledge Ever Get a Grip?
I've listened to several, and after this one I'm done. Ian Rutledge is an emotional mess, not particularly brilliant as a detective, and the relentless misery he carries around with him is getting old. I get that he's suffering from shell shock and I don't want to seem heartless in my assessment of the character, but there's simply no change in him, from book to book. He isn't a satisfying character.
Probably not. In addition to my irritation with the Ian Rutledge character, I'm annoyed at the number of loose ends at the finish of each book. Things do not wrap up, and while that might seem like a creative approach, it's not what I look for in mysteries.
He's wonderful. I would listen to him reading the phone book. I hope to hear more of his performances.He is a true professional.
Not as written, no.