Sunday, January 17, 2016

No Shred of Evidence: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery by Charles Todd

Ian suspicions he won't like the task he's being sent out on when he has to report to his chief.  He was right...

William Morrow and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 16th.

This mother-son team writes very good mysteries.  I've been following this series since I found them and they put Ian in some very precarious situations.  This is another one.

He's going down to replace an inspector who died of natural causes while on the job.  It's a village he's familiar with and close to the site where he lost a woman he admired.  It's also where he freed the woman he had hoped to marry one day.  The war changed everyone, some more than others.  Some never made it back.

It seems four girls were rowing on the river when they saw a young man whose dingy was sinking.  They have some argument about going back, another girl takes the oars and when they get there, they have trouble getting him in the boat.  There's an oar offered for help that hurts the girls arms and the only thing that saves the man is another man who can swim and has come to their aid.  That was a blessing until he says they were trying to kill the young man.  The older man refuses to change his statement; he says he saw what he saw and he doesn't care if all four girls hang.

There are old grievances, the problems of social order, apathy, and a real killer in the midst of all this.  Two cases end up meeting each other in the middle.  Ian is hard put to keep tabs on all the involved people.  He has to travel, other people are being badly beaten or killed, and he's always a step behind.

The ending is complicated and not quite handled in a lawful way but it was just.  And Ian finds his interest stirred by Kate, the younger sister of the woman he almost married.  She was in love with him once.  Might she be again?

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