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The Confession
Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery, No 14
Charles Todd

William Morrow
January 3, 2012 / ISBN: 9780062015662
Historical Mystery /British Police Procedural

Reviewed by Bob Walch

It was just one of those days, so when Wyatt Russell walked into Inspector Ian Rutledge's office at Scotland Yard and confessed to killing his cousin, Justin Fowler, over five years ago, the inspector took the information with a grain of salt.

Since Russell is reluctant to provide any meaningful details and can't even come up with a motive for the alleged crime, Rutledge realizes there's something more going on here. With no corpse and little to act upon, the confessed killer isn't locked up. Then, two weeks later, he is found floating in the Thames with a bullet in his head.

Now it is time to launch a homicide investigation. The first thing Rutledge discovers is that the dead man gave him a false name. Using a locket found around the dead man's neck, the inspector traces the victim to a remote village in Essex.

The case load expands with additional deaths, and the inhabitants of the village are less than forthcoming, which suggests perhaps there are some interesting skeletons hidden away in this little hamlet. Of course, Rutledge will keep digging until the truth is revealed, even though it may shatter the tranquility of the area.

Set in the 1920s, this is the 14th installment of this long running and popular series. As with its predecessors, the appeal of this novel is not just the plot but also the central character. The terrors of combat in World War I still haunt the inspector and he continues to grapple with the demons it unleashed.

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]
Hunting Shadows, 16 [review]

Reviewed 2012