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A Long Shadow
Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery, No. 8

by Charles Todd

        Inspector Ian Rutledge is recovering from the terrors of trench warfare in France in World War I. He is haunted by the ghost of Hamish, one of his soldiers he was forced to execute for refusing to fight. Hamish's ghost is Rutledge’s constant companion.

Rutledge travels to the remote village of Dudlington when the town constable, Hensley, has been shot in the back with a bow and arrow. The constable has been shot in the local forest, which is shunned by the local populace. The forest is believed to be haunted. Hensley had been frequenting the forest, where he believed he would find traces of the young girl who had been missing for three years.

Rutledge is being stalked by an unknown who leaves an engraved cartridge to torment him. Rutledge must fight the villagers' superstitions while trying to find the constable's attacker and must discover if there is a connection between the attack and his unknown stalker.

This is an absorbing plot with many twists and turns. The author gives an excellent representation of the post World War I era in England. The characters are well drawn with depth especially in Rutledge’s struggle to come to terms with his war experience and adapting to his work.

Reviews of other titles in this series

A Test of Wills, 1   [reviews]
A False Mirror, No 7   [review]
A Long Shadow, 8   [review]
A Pale Horse, 10   [review]
A Matter of Justice, 11  [review 1] [review 2]
The Confession, 14   [review 1] [review 2]

The Book

Jan 2007
Historical Mystery /British Police Procedural
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The Reviewer

Barbara Buhrer
Reviewed 2007
© 2006