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Unusual detective novel (3.5 stars)
on 21 April 2009
The first Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery featuring a detective recently returned from the battlefields of WW1 and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress, not that this was recognised in those days.
Written by an American pair of authors (mother and son I think) it is surprising how well they capture England in the period just after the first World War. The formality and pace of life is well defined as is a complex lead character that you don't necessarily 'like' but you admire his approach as he deals with the murder he is assigned to, and his own demons. The murder is that of a respected ex-officer and the prime suspect is a hero of the war, a potentially embarrassing outcome in the post war period. As Rutledge gently peels away the life and relationships in a small English village the outcome is hard to guess and is satisfying when it comes.
The pace may be too slow for some, but this is thoughtful and engaging stuff.