Title: A Lonely Death (Inspector Ian Rutledge #13)
Author: Charles Todd
Publisher: William Morrow
Inspector Ian Rutledge is once again called out to a town away from London to investigate three murders of men who served together in the same company during WWI. There are six remaining members of this company who are living in the town and Ian fears that they will slowly be picked off by this clever killer if they don’t watch their backs. At first the men don’t take Ian seriously, but soon a fourth murder is committed and they realize there is a killer in their midst. Ian is forced to deal with an uncooperative woman, who lodges a complaint with the Yard that results in him being removed from the case. His replacement is an inspector who he has had the misfortune of working with before and one whom he doesn’t like at all.
Meanwhile, he encounters Meredith Channing again. He fears his growing feelings for her and can’t see a future for them with his shell shock and mental relationship with Hamish MacLeod. He knows if she finds out about Hamish she will reject him and think him crazy. On the other hand, he can’t seem to let her go out of his life either. Their relationship has not gone beyond friendship as they both are reluctant to act on what they feel. Ian also is dealing with the suicide of a friend, Max and the animosity of this friend’s widow. Max’s cousin is also a friend of Ian’s and is facing impending death due to breathing deadly gas from a German attack during the war. So Ian is face with death all around him as the pressure mounts to solve the case. How will he respond?
While I enjoyed this book, there was just a little something missing in this story for me. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there it is. The plot was good and carried out with the usual deftness of the Charles Todd writing team. Ian struggles more so in this book with his temper at the injustices he endures from his superior at the Yard as well as a couple of fellow inspectors and has thoughts put into action of suicide after a development in a relationship with a recurring character who has appeared in the last few books. He decides not to end his life in the place where so much loss of life occurred, but keeps his service revolver primed and ready in case he needs it. He is ever-vigilant in his search to ferret out the killer. He is adamant that justice be served for the sake of the victims and their families. The next book, The Confession, is anxiously anticipated by this reviewer, so stay tuned for more.
My rating is 4 stars.