I am honestly shocked at how much I loved this book.
I am very much not a fan of war-related fiction, especially concerning World Wars 1 & 2. Book clubs absolutely love reading things, but gosh, I feel like I’ve read enough to last me the rest of my life at this point. However, with the pandemic still being an issue, we can only discuss books readily available on Hoopla for book clubs, so this was one of the few that seemed promising. My mom loved the series, so I figured I’d give it a shot, and I am so pleased that I did!
Ian Rutledge is an inspector for Scotland Yard who is getting back into the groove of his position since he’s returned from the war. He lives with what we would now call PTSD, which affects every aspect of his daily life, from dealing with people who have terrible views of veterans to his PTSD manifesting into him hearing the voice of a man he had to kill in his head as his conscious.
In this first installment of the series, Ian is sent to a small town to figure out why a Colonel was murdered and who committed the crime. There are many suspects, all with brilliant motives for why Colonel Harris ended up dead and a multitude of red herrings to throw the reader off the scent. The writing is excellent, the characters are fun and different enough to keep you entertained, and the final resolution is surprising and well-built.
All around, this was an excellent introduction to a character many have grown to love. His relationship with Hamish, the voice in his head, and his reasons for why Hamish serves as his moral compass are fascinating and resonating, and you want to read more about them both as the book goes on. I totally would recommend this to anyone who loves historical mysteries or serial mysteries in general. I will probably read the following few books as soon as I can get them, as my book club attendees already beat me to check them out!
Title: A Test of Wills
Author: Charles Todd
Three Descriptors: Atmostpheric, Dark, Compelling
The Return of Captain John Emmett by Elizabeth Speller
A Gentleman’s Murder by Christopher Huang
A High Mortality of Doves by Kate Ellis
This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber
Still Life by Louise Penny