Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hunting Shadows by Charles Todd

First Sentence: He’d tried to put the war behind him.

A sniper killer at Ely Cathedral causes Inspector Ian Rutledge to travel to Cambridgeshire. A separate shooting in a different village does have a witness, but her testimony makes no real sense. The biggest barrier to Rutledge’s investigation is the apparent lack of motive in either case and lack of connection between the two victims. With the third shooting, and a target who survives, Rutledge starts looking to the past for both the motive, and for the killer.

The opening chapter is rather different and unusual, but completely engrossing. Todd’s descriptions are wonderfully atmospheric.

It’s very nice that an accounting of Hamish is offered that both explains him to new readers yet doesn’t interrupt the flow for recurring readers. Much focus is given to Rutledge, yet it’s not boring or repetitive. He is a fascinating character about whom we want to know more. His relapse into a flashback of the war is very effective and painful without being overly description. The understanding of the rector made the scene all that more powerful for its subtly. His dealing with his shell shock/PTSD is a tragic thread which connects the series and other characters of whom there are many who’ve suffered the effects of war.

Sometimes, it is the little things that matter. It’s nice that, with all the driving to-and-fro Rutledge does, we finally having him stopping for petrol occasionally.

Hunting Shadows” is a good read. While one appreciates the doggedness of Rutledge’s investigation and the way he puts the information together in order to identify the killer, I didn’t feel a particularly strong connection to any character other than Rutledge, and wishing I had.


HUNTING SHADOWS (Hist Mys-Insp. Ian Rutledge-England-1920) – Good
Todd, Charles – 16th in series
William Morrow, 2014

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