A Lonely Death
by Charles Todd
(Wm Morrow, HarperCollins 2011)
Have you ever wanted to seek revenge for long ago traumas? Do you hear a voice in your head at crucial times?
Ian Rutledge is an investigator for Scotland Yard just after the end of World War II. In a small town in the Sussex countryside, a series of murders occurs disturbing the tranquility of the community. There is no apparent connection between the deaths of the young men, gruesomely dispatched with a garrote while alone and helpless. There is also a longstanding mystery concerning a death at Stonehedge during a Druid ceremony.
Rutledge must sort through the lives of the deceased, each of whom had served for the Brits in the trenches of France during the war. There are a collage of relationships and possibilities. Old romances, family secrets, family members who had disappeared, potential romance, and threats galore keep the pages turning of this the 13th Ian Rutledge mystery.
Charles Todd develops the characters with patience and skill. So vibrant is the explanation, that the reading of the well crafted words felt like watching the mystery unfold in front of me. The voice in Ian’s head is a charming element of the story. Each time it spoke, I imagined the voices I hear sometimes, usually with a cautionary message. If you have not become a fan of these fine stories, put one on your list.