Title: A False Mirror (Inspector Ian Rutledge #9)
Author: Charles Todd
Publisher: William Morrow
Inspector Rutledge travels to the small town of Hampton Regis in this ninth story in the series. He is pulled off of an active case at the request of a former soldier Rutledge served with during WWI. This soldier is now in a spot of trouble, having taken his former fiancée hostage. He will only talk to Inspector Rutledge with his demands. Inspector Rutledge races to town to prevent any further trouble only to find himself face-to-face with a soldier who Ian feels let his fellow soldiers down. Ian has never particularly liked Stephen Mallory, but won’t convict him of a crime without proof. Mallory demands Rutledge find the evidence to prove him innocent before he will let Felicity go. Felicity is now married to someone else, but Mallory has moved to Hampton Regis to be near her. He has been known to watch her house, even though he thinks he is doing this discreetly.
Ian begins to look for evidence of who could have attacked Felicity’s husband, Matthew Hamilton, and left him for dead. Most of the town thinks Mallory is guilty, including the local police inspector. He prods Ian to find Mallory guilty and not protect him just because they served in the war together. Ian refuses to be bullied into making a false accusation. Then, Matthew goes missing and no one can find him. Did someone take him from the doctor’s clinic while he was too weak to protest? Did he leave on his own, but with a confused mind? Where would he go? Who would harbor him? The same day he is discovered missing, a dead body is discovered. Also, Felicity and her maid are still being kept hostage while Ian investigates. Soon another body is discovered and things look worse for Mallory, but Ian refuses to bow to public opinion and continues to search for the truth.
This is another fine mystery that kept me guessing until the last few pages. I had it narrowed down to two suspects, but once again I chose the wrong one! I admire Ian’s doggedness in searching for the truth. He keeps digging and digging at the most remote piece of evidence or keeps going back over the same ground until something new comes to light. Readers should know that there are some swear words in this book. I thought the hostage situation involving Stephen Mallory, Felicity Hamilton and Nan Weekes went on so long it became unbelievable. I still enjoyed the story and look forward to reading what mystery Ian is out to solve in book #10.
My rating is 4 stars.