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Charles Todd, HUNTING SHADOWS

Before discussing the book for this time, I wanted to respond to those readers wondering why I never write a harsh criticism of a book.  My reason is quite simple: if I find myself completely dismissing a book, I am humble enough to believe that it is possible I have missed the author’s point.  And another reader might see the book differently and enjoy it. Just because I didn’t like a book is not proof that the book is bad; it is simply evidence that the book did not appeal to me.  I don’t think I should try to deprive the reader of what may turn out to be a valuable experience because I couldn’t share in it.  So I simply will not review it.

Charles Todd is the name of a mother-and-son team, which is probably best known for the Ian Rutledge Mysteries.  Inspector Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard came back from the trenches of World War I with a severe case of what we would today call post traumatic stress. Not only does he periodically relive those experiences, but he also visualizes and hears Hamish, a soldier whom he executed for refusing to obey an order.

In this story two people are killed by a sniper, and there seems to be no connection between the two deaths.  Rutledge, sometimes going down false trails, eventually reveals the connection between them and is so doing unmasks the murderer.

This is the sixteenth book in the Rutledge series, and there may be some loss of novelty in the main character’s trials and tribulations, but the plot is well structured sand the sense of time and place is convincingly established.  It is well worth reading as are all the earlier ones in the series.  But I believe that I would start with the first in the series.

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