Title: A Matter of Justice (Inspector Ian Rutledge #11)
Author: Charles Todd
Publisher: William Morrow
The psychological aspect is ramped up in this novel. Inspector Ian Rutledge is called from a friend’s wedding celebration to take over an investigation of the murder of a member of the local gentry that universally was disliked. Ian has his hands full of suspects where normally his investigations take time to turn up a single suspect. Several in the town have motives to kill the cruel man found dead, hanging from the ceiling in an old barn by a contraption used during the local Christmas pageant to make the angel fly. Who would want to humiliate this man? What is the meaning of having the victim trussed up with angel wings dangling from the ceiling?
As Ian’s investigation progresses, there are two attempted suicides, an act of vandalism at the town bakery and a policeman under suspicion as a possible suspect for the murder. Ian is relentless in pursuing justice and leaves no stone unturned. He pushes himself beyond his limit physically and is involved in a car accident, but as soon as his car is back on the road, he is off to London to continue asking questions and gathering information. He also is always on guard lest someone suspect he is mentally unstable. He must guard against anyone discovering the existence of Hamish. He is often on his own, confronting suspects or reluctant witnesses. He is also often seen as the “bad guy” as he keeps asking question after question until he gets an answer in his pursuit of justice.
This particular story brought to the fore the capacity of humans to show great greed, deception, anger, manipulation, lie, cruelty and spite. Inspector Rutledge must sort through all these traits and emotions to find the truth in order to bring justice to the victim. His constant companion guilt via the manifestation of Hamish sometimes helps and sometimes hinders. The depravity of some people is depicted vividly. While sometimes distressing, it made for a realistic and riveting story. Just when I thought the mystery was over, there was another twist. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!
My rating is 5 stars.