NO SHRED OF EVIDENCE, the 18th installment in the Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries, by New York Times bestselling author, Charles Todd, transports the reader to 1920 Cornwall, England to unravel a 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.
Ian is recovering from “shellshock,” or, as we know it today, PTSD. He is haunted by the things he saw—and did—in the trenches of France during World War I.
Hamish was a young Scottish Corporal under Ian’s command who, after witnessing years of utter devastation, death and despair, refuses to follow an order. Ian is forced to inflict the harshest punishment—death—to keep the order. Hamish now haunts Ian every day, but also works as his sub-conscience.
Plunging into solving crimes for Scotland Yard is the only thing keeping Ian from falling deeper and deeper into despair and going back to a place he may never return.
It is Autumn of 1920 and Ian is called in to find a killer. With absolutely no shred of evidence and an acquaintance’s life hanging in the balance, he is determined to find the truth—even if it means prison for a woman he has high regard for.
Readers of Ian Rutledge with recognize Kate Gordon as the cousin of Ian’s former fiancee, and one I’ve been “shipping” with Ian since her debut in A FINE SUMMER’S DAY. But will Ian allow Kate into his haunted life and allow himself some happiness? Could there be romance in the future for Ian after all?
Part police procedural, forensics and history, the Todd’s write a masterful tale of revenge, guilt, societal status, deceit, duplicity and more. Vivid details and crisp writing keep the reader engaged and invested while we walk with Ian to find a killer.
My only complaint is that I would love to have a little more resolution in the end. While most loose ends are wrapped up, there are a few I would have liked to have had answers for.
Overall, this was another spectacular addition to the Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries and I am counting down the days for the next installment.