- this edition published William Morrow 2019
- ISBN 978-0-06-267874-4
- 342 pages
- source: my local library
- #21 in the Inspector Rutledge series
Scotland Yard’s Ian Rutledge seeks a killer who has eluded Scotland Yard for years.
An astonishing tip from a grateful ex-convict seems implausible—but Inspector Ian Rutledge is intrigued and brings it to his superior at Scotland Yard. Alan Barrington, who has evaded capture for ten years, is the suspect in an appalling murder during Black Ascot, the famous 1910 royal horserace honoring the late King Edward VII. His disappearance began a manhunt that consumed Britain for a decade. Now it appears that Barrington has returned to England, giving the Yard a last chance to retrieve its reputation and see justice done. Rutledge is put in charge of a quiet search under cover of a routine review of a cold case.
Meticulously retracing the original inquiry, Rutledge begins to know Alan Barrington well, delving into relationships and secrets that hadn’t surfaced in 1910. But is he too close to finding his man? His sanity is suddenly brought into question by a shocking turn of events. His sister Frances, Melinda Crawford, and Dr. Fleming stand by him, but there is no greater shame than shell shock. Questioning himself, he realizes that he cannot look back. The only way to save his career—much less his sanity—is to find Alan Barrington and bring him to justice. But is this elusive murderer still in England?
It is January 1921, and Eddie Wade has come to a small village in Gloucestershire looking for his wife at an address that doesn't exist. Desperate, he climbs the church roof and threatens to throw himself and the Vicar's daughter off unless someone finds his wife for him.
Rutledge is travelling back to London when he is stopped outside the village and helps get Eddie Wade down from the roof. He manages to reunite Wade with his wife and in return Wade tells him a story he's heard in prison. The man in the cell next door saw a man alight from the ferry from Ireland and swore that he had recognised the man thought to be responsible for the death of a woman on the road after Black Ascot.
Rutledge decides to pass on the story to his superior officer at the Yard, and is assigned the role of seeing if he can find Barrington, the man who was going to be brought to trial in 1910.
Rutledge gets close to the killer and is shot himself. The strange thing is that it looks as if he might have turned the gun on to himself.
There are characters in this series who provide threads between the books, and so I think it is series that works best for the reader if you have read some of the series before. I enjoy them for their historical flavour and for the well constructed mysteries. Readers of the series will not be disappointed with this one.
My rating: 4.5
I've also read
A TEST OF WILLS -#1
SEARCH THE DARK -#3
4.8, A FEARSOME DOUBT -#6
A PALE HORSE -#10
4.5, A DUTY TO THE DEAD - Bess Crawford series
4.7, A LONELY DEATH -#13
4.6, THE CONFESSION - #14
4.7, HUNTING SHADOWS - #16
4.7, NO SHRED OF EVIDENCE - #18
4.7, RACING THE DEVIL - #19
4.7, THE GATEKEEPER - #20