Hunting Shadows-Charles Todd

Hunting Shadows
Charles Todd
Morrow, Jan 21 2013, $25.99
ISBN 9780062237187

In 1920 in East Anglia, someone, shooting from a distance, murders Captain Hutchinson as he enters Ely Cathedral to attend the fashionable wedding of his cousin, and soon after kills Tory Parliament candidate Herbert Swift as he began a campaign speech. Two weeks after the Hutchinson murder, the local police make no progress on the homicides so ask Scotland Yard to investigate.

Inspector Ian Rutledge takes over the inquiry with little substantiated information and the case somewhat cold. He knows that most likely the same sniper killed both men and a woman insists she witnessed the Swift killing by what she strongly claims is a monster. As Rutledge ties the killings to the Great War, he fears his own combat issues will explode his brains if the adversary does not do it first.

Team Todd has written one of the best Inspector Rutledge historical police procedurals in the strong long running series (see Proof of Guilt). The protagonist struggles with PTSD, customized to his combat experiences (with Hamish) and his overall demeanor, while working a case that accentuates his inner demons. Readers will appreciate this taut whodunit that brings to life the still timely (with present day veteran and military suicide rate much greater than the rest of the public) unintended consequences of war on the soldiers after the hostilities between nations end; but never for those who served at the front.

Harriet Klausner

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