New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd brings back Scotland Yard detective Ian Rutledge in another riveting mystery set in post-World War I England Lancashire, England, June 1920. 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?
Set in 1920, bestseller Todd's 12th mystery to feature the shell-shocked WWI veteran and Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge (after 2008's A Matter of Justice) is one of the strongest entries yet in a series that shows no sign of losing steam. Rutledge first looks into the disappearance of missionary Walter Teller, who suddenly fell ill in London and later apparently walked out of the clinic where he was being treated. Rutledge questions members of Teller's immediate family, including his brothers, Peter and Edwin. After the resolution of the case of the missing missionary, Rutledge investigates the bludgeoning death of Florence Teller, apparently the wife of another Peter Teller, in Lancashire. Once again Todd (the pseudonym of a mother-son writing team) perfectly balance incisive portraits of all the characters, not just the complex and original lead, with a tricky puzzle in which the killer is hidden in plain sight for the discerning reader to discover. (Jan.)
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December 28, 2009
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