In this absorbing new entry in the acclaimed New York Times bestselling series, Scotland Yard’s Ian Rutledge is caught up in a twisted web of vengeance and murder.
On the north coast of Cornwall, an apparent act of mercy is repaid by an arrest for murder. Four young women have been accused of the crime. A shocked father calls in a favor at the Home Office. Scotland Yard is asked to review the case.
However, Inspector Ian Rutledge is not the first Inspector to reach the village. Following in the shoes of a dead man, he is told the case is all but closed. Even as it takes an unexpected personal turn, Rutledge will require all his skill to deal with the incensed families of the accused, the grieving parents of the victim, and local police eager to see these four women sent to the infamous Bodmin Gaol. Then why hasn’t the killing stopped?
With no shred of evidence to clear the accused, Rutledge must plunge deep into the darkest secrets of a wild, beautiful and dangerous place if he is to find a killer who may—or may not—hold the key to their fate.
Were four young women trying to rescue a drowning man on a Cornish river in 1920 or to kill him? That's the intriguing puzzle bestseller Todd (the mother-son writing team of Caroline and Charles Todd) sets for Rutledge in the inspector's solid 18th outing (following 2015's A Fine Summer's Day). According to the women one of whom, Kate Gordon, was almost Rutledge's relative by marriage they spotted Harry Saunders in a sinking boat and tried to get him to safety. But they weren't up to the task, and Saunders would have drowned but for the intervention of a farmer, Bradford Trevose, who insists to the police that he saw the women trying to murder Saunders. Evidence of a blow to Saunders's head, which left him unconscious, supports Trevose's version of events. As Rutledge strives to reconcile the conflicting testimonies, he must also resolve some clear-cut crimes of violence. Atmospheric scenes of suspense, set in the lonely Cornish countryside, are a plus.