Blurb (as on Goodreads):
On a deserted road, late at night, Scotland Yard’s Ian Rutledge encounters a frightened woman standing over a body, launching an inquiry that leads him into the lair of a stealthy killer and the dangerous recesses of his own memories in this twentieth installment of the acclaimed New York Times bestselling series.
Hours after his sister’s wedding, a restless Ian Rutledge drives aimlessly, haunted by the past, and narrowly misses a motorcar stopped in the middle of a desolate road. Standing beside the vehicle is a woman with blood on her hands and a dead man at her feet.
She swears she didn’t kill Stephen Wentworth. A stranger stepped out in front of their motorcar, and without warning, fired a single shot before vanishing into the night. But there is no trace of him. And the shaken woman insists it all happened so quickly, she never saw the man’s face.
Although he is a witness after the fact, Rutledge persuades the Yard to give him the inquiry, since he’s on the scene. But is he seeking justice—or fleeing painful memories in London?
Wentworth was well-liked, yet his bitter family paint a malevolent portrait, calling him a murderer. But who did Wentworth kill? Is his death retribution? Or has his companion lied? Wolf Pit, his village, has a notorious history: in Medieval times, the last wolf in England was killed there. When a second suspicious death occurs, the evidence suggests that a dangerous predator is on the loose, and that death is closer than Rutledge knows.
Inspector Ian Rutledge is a smart, fierce officer of the law. But he has his own share of secrets and past. I haven’t read any other of his mysteries but a quick Goodreads survey tells me he is pretty famous and people love reading his adventures. This was one of the reasons I was looking forward to reading this book.
One fine night, Ian encounters a woman in the middle of the road. She is standing in front of a dead body, a man who has been murdered. The woman has blood on her hands and is the witness to this gruesome crime, but she hasn’t seen the face of the attacker. As Ian forces his people to make him the principal investigating officer, he is forced to face the demons of his past, especially the events in the World War.
Charles Todd gives us a murder mystery that is both gripping and compelling. The writing style makes the plot more impactful, however, it gets boring sometimes and the plot makes no progress. That is a little frustrating but one can always skim through those parts. Ian’s mental health makes him a very dangerous character but also very vulnerable, and it is easily recognizable and easy to connect.
Overall, an entertaining read, gripping and scary, but also bittersweet.
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