Legacy of the Dead by Charles Todd

Title:  Legacy of the Dead (Inspector Rutledge #4)
Author:  Charles Todd
Pages:  308
Year:  2000
Publisher:  Bantam Books
For this entry in the Inspector Rutledge series, Inspector Ian Rutledge is sent to soothe the ruffled feathers of Lady Maude Gray whose daughter has not been seen for three years.  The local inspector visited Lady Maude to tell her of the discovery of some bones in Scotland and that they might belong to her daughter, Eleanor Gray, but that the police needed more information to confirm this.  Lady Maude didn’t like the manner in which this was handled, so Scotland Yard sends Inspector Rutledge to see if he can pacify her.  She surprisingly requests Inspector Rutledge lead the investigation into her daughter’s disappearance.
Ian Rutledge would rather do anything than go to Scotland.  He had too many men from Scotland die under his command during World War I.  It will bring back many painful memories.  After all, Hamish MacLeod, the man Ian had executed, was from Scotland.  Hamish still haunts Ian in his mind.  Right now it is the only way Ian can cope with the guilt, shame and horror of what happened during the war.  He and Hamish have conversations in his head about whatever investigation he is working on.  Ian is ordered to Scotland where his investigation meets barrier after barrier.  The woman charged with killing Lady Maude’s daughter, even though there is only circumstantial evidence and no hard proof, is none other than Hamish’s fiancée, Fiona.  What are the chances of that happening?  Ian feels bound to prove her innocence, but find that difficult to do as she won’t trust him with the truth.  She is protecting someone and will go to the gallows in order to maintain her promise.  Can Ian discover the truth despite Fiona’s refusal to cooperate?  Who started the ugly rumors against Fiona, putting her in the crosshairs of the local police force?  Why does everyone so readily believe them?  Fiona has denied ever meeting Eleanor Gray, but is she telling him the truth?
This is another great British mystery taking place in 1919.  I just so enjoy the depth of Ian’s character and get more and more involved in his emotions and feelings with new case he takes on.  The interaction between Ian and Hamish is antagonistic, but also in an odd sort of way comforting.  At various times, Ian has thought about ways to rid himself of Hamish, but the only way to really do that is to end his own life and Ian has fought too hard and been through too much pain to take that route yet.  He does struggle each day with the process of living, but at the end of each day he seems a little bit stronger, having survived another day.  I plan on reading and reviewing the next book in the series, Watchers of Time, on this blog soon.
My rating is 5 stars.

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