''I love series that follow particular characters over time and through their experiences, so I automatically read the latest installments from ... Charles Todd.'' --Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Times Book Review
''Inspector Rutledge shares the pantheon with Morse, Rebus, and even Sherlock Holmes -- a fascinating, complex, and heartbreaking hero we admire, respect, and cannot forget. Charles Todd's brilliantly evocative and historically revealing mysteries are top shelf, top drawer, and top of my list.'' --Hank Phillippi Ryan, award-winning author
From the Back Cover
Scotland Yard’s Inspector Ian Rutledge finds himself caught in a twisted web of vengeance, old grievances, and secrets that lead back to the war that still haunts him
In late june 1916, on the eve of the bloody Battle of the Somme, a group of English officers have a last drink before returning to the Front. Strangers until the war, they discover that before the
fighting began, they had all lived within a hundred miles of one another along the southern coast of England. They also had one other thing in common: a passion for motorcars.
Daring fate, they make a promise to the future. If they survive the battle ahead—and all those to come—they will meet in Paris a year after the war ends. They will celebrate their good fortune by racing motorcars they own, beg, or borrow from Paris to Nice.
In November 1919, the officers meet as planned, and though their automobiles are not designed for racing, they set out for Nice. But a pair of serious mishaps mar the reunion. In the mountains just north of their destination, one vehicle is nearly run off the twisting, fog-shrouded road and another crashes, badly injuring the driver. No one knows—or will admit to recognizing—who was behind the wheel of the rogue motorcar.
Back in England one year later, during a heavy rainstorm, a local rector driving along the Sussex coastline loses control of his motorcar and is killed. Was it an accident due to the hazardous conditions? Another set of tire tracks raises suspicions of something far darker, especially since the rector was driving a car he surreptitiously borrowed from a neighbor, a captain in the Great War.
Is the crash connected in some way to the unfortunate events in the mountains above Nice the year before? While the unfortunate clergyman, another veteran of that terrible war, wasn’t in France then, the car’s owner was. If it was foul play, was it a case of mistaken identity? Or was the dead man the intended victim after all?
Called in to investigate this perplexing case, Scotland Yard’s Inspector Ian Rutledge—a man who carries his own ghosts from the battlefields of France—discovers that the truth is elusive. The stony villagers are adept at keeping secrets, frustrating his search for a faceless killer hiding in the shadows—a cold-blooded murderer willing to strike again. This time, the victim he chooses is a child, and it will take all of Rutledge’s skill to stop him before an innocent young life is taken.