by Charles Todd takes place in 1921, shortly after the end
of WW1. Fans of historical fiction surrounding WW1 should
rely on these books. The authors’ writing allows readers
to take a journey with the character, Inspector Ian Rutledge.
The book begins with a colleague of Rutledge’s Chief
Inspector Brian Leslie, sent to Avebury, a village not far
from Stonehenge. But when Leslie cannot find the name of the
victim or the murderer, Rutledge is dispatched to take a second
look. He is trying to find who would dispose of a woman’s
body in the prehistoric stone circle. Having the case reassigned
to him puts Rutledge in an awkward position, since he must
review Leslie’s report and question his choices.
“We wanted to add the conflict of Rutledge struggling
with his bosses. Scotland Yard is in flux. They could find
fingerprints but had no way of comparing them across different
regions. They also had microscopes but could not compare different
bullet markings. The Old Guard were slowly being replaced
by younger and more educated men. This created tension between
the two groups. Rutledge’s first boss could not accept
that this young detective, freshly out of college, was being
fast-tracked and felt threatened. His current boss likes everything
cut and dry and is not fond of Rutledge doing his own thing.
He is also not pleased that Rutledge received a lot of attention
for solving the hard cases.”
As with all the books, Rutledge must combat his own demons.
Although well-educated, intelligent, hard-working, compassionate,
and caring, he has PTSD and must control his inner thoughts
in the name of Hamish. In this book, readers can get a glimpse
of his personal life, including past and possibly future relationships.
“We try to be as realistic as possible about the issues
with PTSD. Those fighting were reluctant to tell their loved
ones what was really happening. We put in this quote, ‘For
many of us, the war did not end when the guns stopped firing…
We saw too much. Things that can’t be shared. Things
we can’t forget.’”
Tenison is built up as the story progresses. It is a poignant
and engrossing story.