Reviewed by Caleb Shadis
Hunting Shadows is the 16th book in the Inspector Ian Rutledge series. The book is written by a mother-and-son team under the pseudonym Charles Todd. They are responsible for the Bess Crawford series as well; I really enjoy reading both.
Someone with a grudge to settle kills an Army Captain on his way to a wedding. No witnesses, no clues, and no one could even guess where the shot was fired from. A little more than a week later, another man is shot at a political rally where he was going to give his speech declaring why he should be the one elected and sent to parliament.
With no real clues left behind, the local police feel obliged to call in Scotland Yard. This is where Rutledge is brought in. When he is sent on his way, the interim commander once again implies that a speedy conviction is the most important part of his job–much to Ian’s irritation.
As Ian travels to Ely, the fog rolls in; it’s so thick that he cannot see past the end of the bonnet and ends up in Wriston, the other town he needs to visit. With the help of a stranger that doesn’t bother to introduce himself, Ian is led to a little cabin. Later he finds out how close he came to falling into an old burned building. Lots of things are hidden in the fens, and not just by the fog.
Ian has a slow start to his investigation since the shooter was so thorough in covering his tracks. The local constables help where they can but there just isn’t much to go on. The hardest part is finding some kind of connection between the victims. When a third almost joins the ranks of the deceased, the pressure really is on.
I really enjoy the Ian Rutledge books–they bring to life England in the 1920s, just after the war. People are still adjusting, both those left behind and those who returned, some whole and others not so much. Ian hides his problem and is better off than most. It also highlights how people with PTSD (then known as Shell Shock) were treated.
Hunting Shadows has a great mystery and a couple false leads that really led me astray. I think this is one of the best I’ve read in the series and I highly recommend it–even if you haven’t read any of the previous books.
Part-time fiction writer, Alisha Churbe lives in Portland, Oregon. In the rare instances when you can pry her away from books, Alisha can be found travelling in foreign countries, cooking, or hiking with her husband Michael and dog Euro.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by HarperCollins Publishers. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.