[Review] Hunting Shadows by Charles Todd

Title: Hunting Shadows
Author: Charles Todd
Publisher: William Morrow January 21, 2014
Genre: Fiction, English Mystery, Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery, Post World War I
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 336
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Free copy from William Morrow in exchange for a review. 

Link for book at William Morrow. 
Link for authors Charles Todd, a mother and son writing team.

Sixteen books have been written thus far in the Ian Rutledge Mysteries.
Five books have been written in the Bess Crawford Mysteries
I discovered the mother/son writing team two years ago, and have been reading my way through their books. There are two other fiction stand alone books: The Murder Stone and The Walnut Tree. I reviewed The Walnut Tree last November.
Further reviews of the Charles Todd books:
An Impartial Witness, Bess Crawford Mystery
Search The Dark, Ian Rutledge Mystery 
A Test of Wills, Ian Rutledge Mystery
The Confessions, Ian Rutledge Mystery
A Bitter Truth, Bess Crawford Mystery
A Duty to the Dead, Bess Crawford Mystery
 I have Wings of Fire in my TBR stack. 

Late summer 1920, a wedding in Ely, Cambridgeshire, England, began with a murder. The carefully planned execution shocks the small village, and is torturous to the bride and groom. On a day that should have been a memorable day of a new beginning; instead, brings about death. The police in Ely are not able to find any clues, and Scotland Yard send Inspector Ian Rutledge to solve the wedding day murder. Meanwhile another person is murdered and Rutledge is puzzled as to if the two deaths are related. Rutledge's post trauma from the Great War burden him, he fights the demons of his past, amongst the hardship of solving the crimes.

Pros:
1. All the Charles Todd books I have loved, some more than others. They are not stories that are gruesome, nor fast paced. They are stories taking me through methods used in solving a crime. The main method is asking questions of those who witnessed, or were close to the victim. Further, during the interview, the detective must be acutely observant to body language, facial expressions, certain words used or not used. Knowledge and wisdom from previous crimes solved are advantageous. A gut feeling, a raw feeling deep inside that a person being interviewed is not telling the truth; however, evidence and a confession are the goal.
Each of these methods were utilized in the telling of Hunting Shadows.

2. I love Ian Rutledge's humanity. He is imperfect, slightly eccentric, but a great detective.

3. The stories in the Rutledge series are not bogged down by "any" damsel in distress, nor by a love interest. The focus, and it feels good to have comfort in this, is the solving of a mystery. 

4. Hunting Shadows, tested my empathy for the guilty. Empathy does not negate murder.

5. Character development. Hunting Shadows, covers the interviewing of a small village and farms, a variety of personality types are described. I love strong characters in a story, most of the people want nothing to do with being interviewed, they want to go on with their life as before, but a death changes everything. Not all the characters were at "face value" some hid their evil. While reading the mystery I had fun trying to decide who was the murderer, or who was guilty of past crimes, or who was hiding information about their life they didn't want anyone to know.

Cons:
1. We hear the thoughts of the murderer at the beginning of the story, I would have liked this to continue. I'm aware Inspector Rutledge is the main character, but it would have peeked my interest a bit more to "hear" and follow along with the murderer. 

2. The ending drags on a little to long, I was anxious for the revealing of who the murderer was.




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