Friday, December 16, 2011

The Confession-Charles Todd

The Confession

Charles Todd

Morrow Jan 23 2012, $25.99

ISBN: 9780062015662

In 1920 at Scotland Yard, Wyatt Russell confesses to killing his cousin Justin Fowler. Inspector Ian Rutledge has some concerns with the confession as the alleged culprit refuses to provide him with a motive as to why he murdered his relative five years ago. To learn more Ian meets Wyatt, dying of cancer, for lunch, but the latter adds nothing of value to his insistence he committed a homicide in the remote Essex marches.

Following up on the limited leads Russell provided him, Rutledge travels from London to the alleged locale of the murder, but the insular locals refuse to speak with the outsider. Meanwhile Russell’s body is found floating on the Thames; someone shot him in the back of the head, but the now hot case spins further into the illogical zone when Rutledge learns the dead confessor was not Wyatt Russell.

The latest Rutledge post WWI police procedural (see The Red Door and A Lonely Death) is a great investigation as the case keeps twisting out of control with every major find the inspector obtains. Rutledge remains shell shocked by his execution of Hamish MacLeod for refusing a direct order on the French battlefield; the latter “speaks” to the former accentuating Rutledge’s fears especially of being caught by his superiors as mentally damaged. This is a great entry in a strong historical series.

Harriet Klausner

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