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A Test of Wills
on 6 October 2013
This is the first in the Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery series. When the highly respected Colonel Harris is shot at point blank range, the local Warwickshire force turn to Scotland Yard for help. Superintendent Bowles sends Rutledge - damaged by his time in the trenches, to investigate. The most likely suspect for killing Harris is local war hero, Captain Mark Wilton, a man who is personal friends with the Prince of Wales and has been decorated with the Victoria Cross. However, as Wilton was shortly to be marrying Lettice Wood, a young ward of Harris, and the two men were seen having a violent argument both the night before and the morning of the murder, he seems the obvious choice. Fearing fallout over the possible arrest, Bowles hopes that the case will end Rutledge's career before it has a chance to restart.
Rutledge is an interesting character; a man who suffered claustophobia and shell shock and who is plagued by the voices of a dead comrade. Now he realises that he must unearth the murderer among the good folks of Upper Streetham, who have their fair share of secrets to hide. Everyone is determined to believe Wilton innocent and to hide the truth from the man from London, but Rutledge knows he must suceed, both to solve the crime and save himself. Good start to a long running series.