I owed this book and read it May 2020. It was a great sorry line and the only think I can think of is that Ian should find a new girlfriend that supports him for who he is. The mystery behind the murders and characters keep you reading. The ending of the book was not what I had expected and an wondering what happens to him if he comes home again.
A satisfying read in the Sgt. Rutledge saga. It's a prequel to the other books so doesn't have to be read in any specific order; plus it doesn't have the annoying Hamish talking inside Ian's head.
I enjoyed this book a lot although there were a lot of different characters to keep track of. I look forward to reading more of Charles Todd's books.
In a book that's the backstory for all the Ian Rutledge mysteries, we're in the summer of 1914 when the Archduke is killed in Sarajevo and Rutledge is investigating a series of deaths that appear almost suicidal. It a glimpse of his life before the Great War, before he meets Hamish McLeod who will be such a presence in life after that bloodbath.
Rutledge must do his sleuthing best in this one when multiple deaths begin to have similar circumstances. All the while he's also navigating his own hopes for marriage and cares about his younger sister. Chief Inspector Bowles is none too happy with his psychological approach to his work or his independence with his new motorcar. Another good mystery and a way for the authors to look at the Great War in its 100th anniversary year with characters we've come to know in its aftermath. Good effort.
I have enjoyed this series very much, and this poignant prequel is a great addition. Someone who had not read the prior books in the series could read and enjoy this book on its own, but it is so richer for those of us who know what is coming, not only for England in general but for these specific characters. The criminal investigation and plot are intricate and intriguing, but my favorite part was seeing what the characters were like before WWI caused so much damage and trauma to so many lives.
Horribly contrived ending stretching credibility spoils this for me. Good to be able to fill in Rutledge's past.
This is a delight, going back to the beginnings of WWI. Charles Todd, as always, has the atmosphere just right and has filled in the background of Rutledge, his family and his friends, giving a detailed view of the British attitudes to the war through a memorable police investigation.
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