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A dangerous case with ties leading back to the battlefields of World War I dredges up dark memories for Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge in Hunting Shadows a gripping and atmospheric historical mystery set in 1920s England from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Charles ToddA society wedding at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire becomes a crime scene when a man is murdered After another body is found the baffled local constabulary turns to Scotland Yard Though the second crime had a witness her description of the killer is so strange its unbelievableDespite his experience Inspector Ian Rutledge has few answers of his own The victims are so different that there is no rhyme or reason to their deaths Nothing logically seems to connect them—except the killer As the investigation widens a clear suspect emerges But for Rutledge the facts still don’t add up leaving him to uestion his own judgmentIn going over the details of the case Rutledge is reminded of a dark episode he witnessed in the war While the memory could lead him to the truth it also raises a prickly dilemma To stop a murderer will the ethical detective choose to follow the letter—or the spirit—of the law?


10 thoughts on “Hunting Shadows

  1. says:

    I may be a little biased but I just gotta tell you Detective Ian Rutledge is THE BEST DETECTIVE OF ALL TIME In my heart that isThere aren't enough words for how much I love this literally and figuratively haunted emotionally scarred war veteran He's got class He's got common sense He's got a tremendous amount of empathy as well as the ability to take a step back and observe the situationI could go on write a subjective review but there's really no point I simply have no complaints Every single book has been a dream I love the mystery and how it unfolds I love the realism and the twists and I love how every book feel so accurate to the post WWI era in Great BritainThe characterization is the most brilliant thing about this series Charles Todd the duo mother and son author of this series are absolutely tremendous at making each character feel real from a random stranger in the street to the twisted mind of a suspect there is no shortage of skill when it comes to making each character feel like someone we know someone we could recognize in the streetsLove them or hate them every single character is intensely well portrayedI need the next book Now


  2. says:

    I found this mystery well constructed and pleasantly tricky and the setting reminiscent of Dorothy Sellers' Nine Taylors well done However the cover though getting the suggestion of fog right suggests a pea souper in London rather than the actual rural and small town setting that makes up the majority of the book Not that the author has any control over covers 99 times out of a hundred


  3. says:

    An extremely well drawn mystery with an exceptional main protagonist Inspector Ian RutledgeRutledge is commanding Dealing with issues stemming from war he carries himself with poise A professional with intelligence methodical and pragmatic His human side isn’t ignored in the line of duty as he exercises compassion along with never failing to lose sight of his observations his keen eye engagedThe mystery factor is full of clever twists and turns unfolding slowly in a rather smart manner adding to the reading adventure Rich in atmospheric details you sense the aftermath and ruin of WWI in Great BritainCharacterization is exceptional three dimensional a motley crew adding plausibility and texture to a stellar narrative Todd excels in rendering all the characters with uninhibited depthA mystery any reader will find engaging as well as astute with an outstanding protagonist Inspector Ian Rutledge claiming his leading role with flying colors


  4. says:

    45 stars rounded upThis is an intelligently and sensitively written mystery which is strongly character driven While the book is set in 1920 the writing is modern and engrossing Todd cleverly uses misdirection as he leads us to the surprising solution Highly enjoyable


  5. says:

    The latest in the Ian Rutledge series doesn't disappoint It's 1920 and there's a funeral for a soldier who has spent the last two years in the hospital dying from gangrene One of the people there stands in the shadows and is angry when he sees an army captain among the mourners He's angry because he doesn't see any reason for him to be there other than to further his own ambitions Shortly thereafter the same captain Hutchinson is a guest at a society wedding Everyone is shocked when he is killed by a single bullet to his heart Shortly thereafter an aspiring politician Swift is also shot There doesn't seem to be any connection between the two When the local constabulary can't solve the case they call in Scotland Yard Rutledge is sent and instructed to wrap things up uickly Of course the case turns out to be complicated than anyone can imagine As always there are so many fascinating twists and turns to the story although there IS a generous hint woven within Rutledge is such a fascinating character He wrestles with his own demons from WWI is haunted by his Sgt who he was forced to condemn to death because he disobeyed orders He also keeps a gun at his home for the time when he can no longer bear the nightmares and guilt Every time I read one of these I marvel at how an American writing team in this case a motherson can capture this period so well They write like British authors which for me anyway is high praise


  6. says:

    Contrary to many reviewers here the I read of this book the stars I took away It had a terrific start but it didn't take long for the cast of characters to keep growing and growing I found keeping the names and towns straight annoying since only the prime suspect was developed enough for me to be interested in him I finished the book because nearing the end there were switchbacks on almost every other page I was determined to carry on even though my own version of Hamish kept whispering tedious in my ear In fairness to the many devoted fans of this series I promise I will not read anything by Charles Todd again


  7. says:

    In Hunting Shadows Ian Rutledge is tasked with solving two murders which occur in the Fens district in and near Ely He is both literally and figuratively beset by blinding fogs which endanger his investigation and possibly his life He also continues beset by the terrors that have plagued him since the war He can hold these at bay most of the time but occasionally they are too strong As always Hamish the presence whichwho has been with him since the war continues to speak to him offering opinions on the case as it progressesHere there are two murders one which demonstrated excellent marksmanship But how are these two victims connected? After the second killing Scotland Yard is called in and Rutledge is sent to Ely with the charge to wrap the case up expeditiously The case is much too complex for that and makes for interesting reading as we follow the twisting trail of evidence and cluesAnother recommended book in the series I do suggest that those new to this series read at least one or two of the early books to learn of Rutledge’s back story his experience in the war the story of Hamish etc


  8. says:

    This is the first Ian Rutledge mystery that I have read but it certainly won't be the last It is hard to write an authentic historical book but Todd has accomplished it It has the feel for the times right after WWI He captures the incredible loss of the population in a very concise moving manner First there are the men who come back changed with horrific memories He paints the stories of women who will never marry or have families because so many of the male population had been killed It is a time of people trying to put their lives back together after a horrific war Rutledge is a survivor of the War and works for Scotland Yard He is assigned a case of two murdered men in an area called the Fens in England I have never heard of this area but it is dominated by horizons that go on forever and water everywhere you look In previous times men had used to use stilts to get around I found this fascinating and Todd has created a place that really comes alive for the reader The story moves slowly but accurately shows just how painstaking police work really is There are no clues that fall in Rutledge's lap and he works methodically to solve the crime As he goes he finds layer after layer of the stories of the two men and how they are connected The supporting cast are vibrant characters who are interesting unto themselves The time is beautifully portrayed There is talk of the ironmonger the hurdle maker the cooper and the scissor grinder There are few cars on the road and Rutledge must crank his It's hard to get to a phone Sometimes it's in several towns away I have not seen this conveyed as well except in the Maisie Dobbs series The solution is wonderful and it's impossible to see it coming If you like historical mysteries you can't do better than this


  9. says:

    This is a murder mystery that just goes on and on Inspector Rutledge of Scotland Yard is called in to help the locals solve two murders We are painstakingly taken through interview after interview as he seeks to put the puzzle pieces together Men who have returned from war are still haunted by their experiences and Inspector Rutledge is no exception Helping him in his endeavor to solve the crime he carries the voice of a fallen comrade The ghost of Hamish puts in his two cents now and then However it is not enough to give the story the added umph that it needs In the end the secrets of the past carefully hidden away come to light I can't say I didn't like this book It was interesting enough to keep me going but not a page turner to be sure It felt like an episode on one of thoseEnglish TV shows Foyles War comes to mind Also an inspector solving crimes in a wartime backdrop setting


  10. says:

    Sixteenth in the Inspector Ian Rutledge historical mystery series and revolving around a WWI veteran suffering from PTSD as he solves crimes for Scotland Yard The date is August 1920My TakeI find I much prefer the contemporary method of choosing a husband and not worrying too much about what people think Oh we do still worry about that but not as obsessively as the people of the 1920s and earlier did When you look at how much went wrong The loves lost the lives lost I criedSo much that went wrong due to greed and that previously mentioned fear of what people think It's such a fascinating look at the time period The expectations the s the worries and concerns Some aspects I could wish we still paid heed to the courtesy the knowing of the people around you Then there's the worries about keeping up with the Joneses so to speak The concerns about appearances and what is considered acceptable I know we still try to keep up with the Joneses but it's not as important as life defining as it was here When you realize how important appearances were in this you'll be so grateful that society has lightened up It's just sad to realize how terribly it affected people in the past The waste of itAs the series revolves around a traumatized soldier there is always a background theme of war and its effects on men on society It's particularly absorbing as this was the first war that so violently changed society and Todd gives us an inside view on how it affects individuals In particular an officer with intelligence and a conscience And how terrifying that Ian's heroism in battle was a plea for deathInteresting that it's mostly the women who see what Hutchinson was really like It's also interesting to read about people gathering to watch people coming for an event It didn't matter that it was a wedding for someone no one knew It was something happening in their daily lives Something different When you think about it these people didn't have television the Internet radios or CDs Nothing to entertain them at home So it made sense that they'd gather for events that were out of the ordinary A funeral A wedding Politicians speaking It's made me think about our own lives now and how insulated we are from physical contact with others News comes over the Internet on television or in newspapers so there isn't the need to gather in public Entertainment is easy to find for a single individual so there isn't the need to gather in the pub on the village green or cluster together on the neighbors' porches No Twitter or Facebook Not even a telephone to casually contact othersI do enjoy the historical perspective that Todd includes on the foreign influences on the Fens and how it changed local architecture The need for land that impels the scientific experiments to improve the fields for farming The politics that are involved The various professions the characters have that are no longer regular jobs in our time tickle my imagination washerwoman scissors grinder hurdle maker maids ironmongers ratcatchers and Todd has included layers of conflict as well The background conflict is the insecure Markham the new broom come to sweep the department clean which has its own tension Appearances are also a conflict with witnesses reluctant to denigrate the public reputation of the dead with some refusing to aid the police and others believing that the dead would want them to help find their killers It does show how important even the least bit of gossip can be in ferreting out reasons and whysTodd keeps going back and forth trying to find a connection between the dead men Why does he never raise the uestion of there being a connection within the military?I never knew this That sharpshooters in World War I were shunned It makes a kind of sense as World War I was that bridge between the gentlemanly war of individual swords lances pikes and guns and a brutal one of trench warfare and mustard gas We don't see snipers today as men who have gone beyond the pale and it's a cultural change that makes me curious What sea change occurred that we no longer see a sharpshooter as someone to avoid?In other ways we're better off today at least with the level of medical care Sure it's expensive today but it does exist When you read of what's available back then Hoo boy Makes ya gratefulI can't blame Alice Worth for not wanting to help Scotland Yard find Hutchinson's killer I'd say she's gotten the justice she wanted I think it's too bad that the justice was so swiftThe damage that war does to men those unlucky enough to come back from it who have to deal with the traumas of what they had to do the memories they cannot avoid It's not an experience that anyone who has not gone to war can understand and this shows so well in Hunting Shadows Governments expect soldiers to do as they're told to endure what they must to achieve a government's ambition When they're done when the war is finished or paused those same soldiers who struggled through so much for another's aims are abandoned It's so much easier to read an historical novel that deals with men missing limbs who are left to beg on the street who struggle to deal with their memories and the injuries inflicted by battle who battle at home for a job to regain the lives they had to abandon and we vent against a government who no longer cares about them To think it's so much better in our day And it's not Today's soldiers have the same problems of an uncaring government of having to pick up the threads of their lives such as they are of struggling with medical issues caused by war At least thank god today's soldiers don't have to deal with the invective that those returning from Vietnam had to deal withThat letter from Meredith How can she not know if the man is her missing husband? I don't get thatThat box from Africainsisting on being buried in Buryit's too sad and I can't help crying for how stupid it all wasDamn the red herrings in this It's gossip that truly solves this case providing the leads that drill down to the truth The horrifying awful truth of a psychopathic personalityWhat's amazing is how Todd ties it all together at the end The if onlys it raises will make you weepThe StoryMajor Clayton had saved his life Now the least he could do was pay his respects Respects that became an impossibility when he saw the one man who had blighted so many livesIt's anger that causes a society wedding at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire to become a crime scene when a man is murdered After another body is found the baffled local constabulary turns to Scotland Yard Though the second crime had a witness her description of the killer is so strange it's unbelievableDespite his experience Inspector Ian Rutledge has few answers of his own The victims are so different that there is no rhyme or reason to their deaths Nothing logically seems to connect them — except the killer As the investigation widens a clear suspect emerges But for Rutledge the facts still don’t add up leaving him to uestion his own judgmentThe CharactersInspector Ian Rutledge dives into work into investigating to uiet his own ghosts Corporal Hamish MacLeod is the most prevalent ghost One who has followed Ian from the battlefield where Ian shot him as an example Jean is the fiancée who wouldn't cope Meredith Channing is another who left Ian The newly engaged Frances is Ian's worried sister Molly is her maid Melinda Crawford is an old friend of the familyMr Belford is likely to be with Military Intelligence and not a man to whom Ian wishes to be beholdenScotland YardActing Chief Superintendent Markham he's replaced Chief Superintendent Bowles after his heart attack hates Rutledge Sergeant Gibson is Rutledge's contact and will suss out information for himConstable Lark is based in WickenWriston in the FensMarcella Trowbridge lives in the cottage out by the windmill the Bower House Clarissa is her wayward cat The lonely Miss Priscilla Bartram runs The Dutchman Inn which has its own colorful history Mr Banner is the butcher Mrs Percy an elderly seamstress is being ridiculed for telling the truth I'd like to smack that constable and the inspector around Martin Ross is the ironmonger whose dormer window was usedHerbert Swift a solicitor is a popular Tory candidate who is seeking escape from the loss in his life Eileen was his wife; Susan Tompkins had been her maid before she went to work for the insightful and compassionate rector Andrew March The other legitimate brother kept the farm Anson Swift was the angry bastard son who left His rival is the Liberal candidate who is interested in the free beer Constable McBride is based here Burrows is a farmer who has a close call; his daughter Meg is worried Bill Waters has a dog they'll borrow Hector Sam Turner has a ghastly encounter Mrs Prescott had her own selfish reasons to uestion Herbert Swift Ben Montgomery had been a rival with Swift over the same girl Helena She became engaged to Dr James Trowbridge Randolph Abbot is the husband of one of the Montgomery daughters who now runs the farm Mrs Abbot's older sister married a horse trainer Ted Angus is the man who took care of the windmill after he took it over from Mr Sherborne Dr Harris treats Burrows' infection Seems Mrs Harris has some useful gossip for Ian from her cousin Alice Worth who was Mary Hutchinson's friendCorporal Peter Jenkins a cobbler before the war drifted through some weeks ago Jeremiah Brenner is the ratcatcherThe wedding at ElyCaptain Gordon Hutchinson is an opportunistic butt kisser uick to seize the advantage Mary is the wife he drove to suicide The Honorable Reginald Sedley and his wife Eugenia were Hutchinson's hosts Major Alexander Lowell a close friend to the bride's father was an artillery man who took charge; Colonel Rollins left him to it Dr Bradley holds by his statement Jason Fallowfield was the bridegroom and Hutchinson's cousin Barbara was the bride Mr Hurley is the rector at St Mary's Mr Harvey loves windmills Mrs Boggs is a washerwoman and a good witness as is the deaf Teddy Mathews who came to see what the fuss was about Sadie is the sister who cares for himInspector Warren is based in ElyIslehamLieutenant Kimber Thornton is sick of war of society Tom Hendricks has a little dogSohamThe hurdle maker whom Ruskin went after with an ax is a Lovat Paul Ruskin is a cooperThe funeral at BurwellMajror Clayton had died and it's most likely a blessing His sister Vera will inherit everything Mrs FitzPatrick is the woman with whom Miss Clayton stayed while in Burwell Colonel Nelson came up from London for the funeralLondonMiss Hutchinson is a cold woman who doesn't seem too interested in finding her brother's killer Of course she's not interested in anyone but herself anyway Miss Newland was Mrs Mary Hutchinson's maid who got pensioned off Mrs Cookson is the careful housekeeper Thaddeus Whiting was Mary's uncle and guardian Catriona Beaton was the young Scots maid taken on MacLaren at Trahir House was Catriona's grandfather and was with the Lovat Scouts in the warNewmarket was forthe races that military men and Whiting came for Constable Henry is based here Michael Flannery is one of the trainers Baron is a barrister Others in the story visited NewmarketMary Whiting is the woman he lovedBlack Shuck is a harbinger in the FensThe Cover and TitleThe cover carries a feel of smoggy London with its hazy mustard yellow background The perspective is from the ground up looking up at a solid black iron street lamp with its gassy bright yellow glow and the fuzzy buildings lurking in the backgroundThe title is almost a giving up Inspector Warren's frustration at Hunting Shadows