New York Times bestselling author and one of the most acclaimed novelists in America today, Laura Lippman, presents The Best Mystery & Thriller eBooks. The perfect download to break in your new device, this free sampler is a curated volume of excerpts from new and upcoming titles from the best Mystery & Thriller authors in the genre. It also includes an excerpt from Laura Lippman's latest novel And When She Was Good and the three bonus short stories that inspired this novel, as well as some insight into the world of Laura Lippman.The Best Mystery & Thriller eBooks includes:An Introduction from Laura LippmanAnd excerpts from:Watching the Dark by Peter RobinsonProof of Guilt by Charles ToddThe Sound of Broken Glass by Deborah CrombieThe Riptide Ultra-Glide by Tim DorseyThe Carrion Birds by Urban WaiteThere Was An Old Woman by Hallie EphronThe One I Left Behind by Jennifer McMahonThe Guilty One by Lisa BallantyneAnd When She Was Good by Laura LippmanThree Shorts Stories: Scratch a Woman; One True Love; Form 95 by Laura Lippman
Trying to help a woman in distress, World War I nurse and accidental sleuth Bess Crawford learns that no good deed goes unpunished When battlefield nurse Bess Crawford returns from France for a well-earned Christmas leave, she finds a bruised and shivering woman huddled in the doorway of her London residence. The woman has nowhere to turn, and propelled by a firm sense of duty, Bess takes her in. Once inside Bess's flat, the woman reveals that a quarrel with her husband erupted into violence, yet she wants to return home-if Bess will go with her to Sussex. Realizing that the woman is suffering from a concussion, Bess gives up a few precious days of leave to travel with her. But she soon discovers that this is a good deed with unforeseeable consequences. What Bess finds at Vixen Hill is a house of mourning. The woman's family has gathered for a memorial service for the elder son, who died of war wounds. Her husband, home on compassionate leave, is tense, tormented by jealousy and his own guilty conscience. Then, when a troubled houseguest is found dead, Bess herself becomes a prime suspect in the case. This murder will lead her to a dangerous quest in war-torn France, an unexpected ally, and a startling revelation that puts her in jeopardy before a vicious killer can be exposed.
It's 1915, and the Great War is barely six months old. Lieutenant Ian Rutledge has left behind his career at Scotland Yard and is now serving in France. He's temporarily with the sappers--men digging underground tunnels toward the German lines to set off explosions under the enemy trenches. In his sector, Rutledge and his men set their charges and get out of the tunnel as fast as possible. But the charges don't go off. It's madness to go back down and find out why, but Rutledge and Private Williams volunteer. They barely make it back before the tunnel blows up. Rutledge suspects that two Welsh miners cut the fuse too long, even though they deny it.Then Williams confides to Rutledge that these same men, half brothers Taffy Jones and Aaron Lloyd, have tried before this to kill him. And they're determined enough to risk other men's lives as well. Rutledge discovers in the midst of a raging battle that murder has made its way to France, and he must find a way to prove it.
Charles Todd returns to the world of Scotland Yard's Inspector Ian Rutledge in a series that theNew York Times Book Reviewcalled "harrowing psychological drama" and theWashington Post Book Worldhailed as "among the most intelligent and affecting being written these days. " This time the embattled Inspector has met his match hunting a brutal killer across a frozen hell and the one witness who may have survived a crime of... A COLD TREACHERY "You'll hang for this-see if you don't! That's my revenge! And you'll think about that when the rope goes around your neck and the black hood comes down.... " Called out by Scotland Yard into the teeth of a violent blizzard, Inspector Ian Rutledge finds himself confronted with one of the most savage murders he has ever encountered. Rutledge might have expected such unspeakable carnage on the World War I battlefields, where he'd lost much of his soul-and his sanity-but not in an otherwise peaceful farm kitchen in remote Urskdale. Someone has murdered the Elcott family at their table without the least sign of struggle. Was the killer someone the young family knew and trusted? When the victims are tallied the local police are in for another shock: One of the Elcotts' children, a boy named Josh, is missing. Now the Inspector must race to uncover a murderer and to save a child before he's silenced by the merciless elements-or the even colder hands of a killer. Haunted and goaded by the soldier-ghost of his own tortured war past, Rutledge will discover the tragedy of war that splintered one marriage-and pulled together another. Love, jealousy, greed, revenge-or was it some twisted combination of all of them? Any one could lead a man or woman to murder. What had the Elcotts done to ignite their killer's rage? With time running out, Rutledge knows all too well that such a cold-blooded murderer could be hiding somewhere in the blinding snow... preparing to strike again.
Scotland Yard's best detective, Inspector Ian Rutledge, must solve a dangerous case that reaches far into the past in this superb mystery in the acclaimed series Declaring he needs to clear his conscience, a dying man walks into Scotland Yard and confesses that he killed his cousin five years earlier during the Great War. When Inspector Ian Rutledge presses for details, the man evades his questions, revealing only that he hails from a village east of London. With little information and no body to open an official inquiry, Rutledge begins to look into the case on his own. Less than two weeks later, the alleged killer's body is found floating in the Thames, a bullet in the back of his head. Searching for answers, Rutledge discovers that the dead man was not who he claimed to be. What was his real name-and who put a bullet in his head? Were the "confession" and his own death related? Or was there something else in the victim's past that led to his murder? The inspector's only clue is a gold locket, found around the dead man's neck, that leads back to Essex and an insular village whose occupants will do anything to protect themselves from notoriety. For notoriety brings the curious, and with the curious come change and an unwelcome spotlight on a centuries-old act of evil that even now can damn them all.
From the brilliantly imaginative New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd comes an unforgettable new character in an exceptional new series England, 1916. Independent-minded Bess Crawford's upbringing is far different from that of the usual upper-middle-class British gentlewoman. Growing up in India, she learned the importance of responsibility, honor, and duty from her officer father. At the outbreak of World War I, she followed in his footsteps and volunteered for the nursing corps, serving from the battlefields of France to the doomed hospital ship Britannic. On one voyage, Bess grows fond of the young, gravely wounded Lieutenant Arthur Graham. Something rests heavily on his conscience, and to give him a little peace as he dies, she promises to deliver a message to his brother. It is some months before she can carry out this duty, and when she's next in England, she herself is recovering from a wound. When Bess arrives at the Graham house in Kent, Jonathan Graham listens to his brother's last wishes with surprising indifference. Neither his mother nor his brother Timothy seems to think it has any significance. Unsettled by this, Bess is about to take her leave when sudden tragedy envelops her. She quickly discovers that fulfilling this duty to the dead has thrust her into a maelstrom of intrigue and murder that will endanger her own life and test her courage as not even war has.
Unhealed scars of the Great War still torment Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge, and he carries with him the presence of the soldier he was forced to execute in the midst of battle. A haunted, damaged shell of a man, he has been sent to the small coastal town of Hampton Regis to solve a violent crime and to confront his own tragic past.An officer who served with Rutledge in the trenches of France before being sent back to England under suspicious circumstances has now been accused of savagely beating the husband of the woman he still loves. The suspect has taken the wife hostage, threatening to kill her and her maid unless Rutledge is put in charge of the investigation. Although the case painfully mirrors Rutledge's own past and the love he lost to another man, he cannot refuse it. When the unconscious brutalized victim vanishes without a trace, it's clear that this peaceful little town hides a vicious murderer . . . and secrets powerful enough to kill for.
Bestselling author Charles Todd has earned a special place among mystery's elite writers with his acclaimed series featuring Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge, a former soldier seeking to lay to rest the demons of his past in the aftermath of World War I. But that past bleeds into the present in a complex murder case that calls into question his own honor. . . and the crimes committed in the name of God, country, and righteous vengeance. A Fearsome Doubt In 1912 Ian Rutledge watched as a man was condemned to hang for the murders of elderly women. Rutledge helped gather the evidence that sent Ben Shaw to the gallows. And when justice was done, Rutledge closed the door on the case. But Shaw was not easily forgotten. Now, seven years later, that grim trial returns in the form of Ben Shaw's widow Nell, bringing Rutledge evidence she is convinced will prove her husband's innocence. It's a belief fraught with peril, threatening both Rutledge's professional stature and his faith in his judgment. But there is a darker reason for Rutledge's reluctance. Murder brings him back to Kent where, days earlier, he'd glimpsed an all-too-familiar face beyond the leaping flames of a bonfire. Soon an unexpected encounter revives the end of his own war, as the country prepares for a somber commemoration on the anniversary of the Armistice. To battle the unsettled past and the haunted present at the same time is an appalling mandate. And the people around him? among them the attractive widow of a friend, a remarkable woman who survived the Great Indian Mutiny; a bitter, dying barrister; and a man whose name he never knew--unwittingly compete with the grieving Nell Shaw. They'll demand more than Rutledge can give, unaware that he is already carrying the burden of shell shock? and the voice of Hamish MacLeod, the soldier he was forced to execute in the war. The killer in Marling is surprisingly adept at escaping detection. And Ben Shaw's past is a tangle of unsettling secrets that may or may not be true. Rutledge must walk a tortuous line between two murderers. . . one reaching out to ruin him, the other driven to destroy him. From the Hardcover edition.
On a fine summer's day in June 1914, Ian Rutledge is planning to propose to a woman he deeply loves, despite hints from his family and friends that she may not be the most suitable choice for a policeman's wife. To the north, another man in love--a Scottish Highlander named Hamish MacLeod--asks his own sweetheart to marry him.Back in England, a son grieves for his mother, dredging up a dark injustice that will trigger a series of murders that Rutledge must solve. The victims are all upstanding and well-liked. The local police have their suspicions about the culprits and are less than cooperative with the London detective.As clouds of war gather on the horizon, Rutledge digs deeper, finding similarities and patterns between the murders. With every moment at stake, he sets out to right a terrible wrong--an odyssey that will eventually force him to choose between the Yard and his country, between love and duty, and between honor and truth. stake, Rutledge sets out to right a wrong--an odyssey that will eventually force him to choose between the Yard and his country, between love and duty, and between honor and truth.
In the latest mystery from New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd, Inspector Ian Rutledge is summoned to the quiet, isolated Fen country to solve a series of seemingly unconnected murders before the killer strikes again August 1920. A society wedding at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire becomes a crime scene when a guest is shot just as the bride arrives. Two weeks later, after a fruitless search for clues, the local police are forced to call in Scotland Yard. But not before there is another shooting in a village close by. This second murder has a witness; the only problem is that her description of the killer is so horrific it's unbelievable. Badgered by the police, she quickly recants her story. Despite his experience, Inspector Ian Rutledge can find no connection between the two deaths. One victim was an Army officer, the other a solicitor standing for Parliament; their paths have never crossed. What links these two murders? Is it something from the past? Or is it only in the mind of a clever killer?Then the case reminds Rutledge of a legendary assassin whispered about during the war. His own dark memories come back to haunt him as he hunts for the missing connection--and yet, when he finds it, it isn't as simple as he'd expected. He must put his trust in the devil in order to find the elusive and shocking answer.
Get four mystery novels from New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd's Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries series in one e-book, including: A Test of Wills, A Long Shadow, A False Mirror, and A Pale Horse. Set in England in 1919, each story features war-damaged Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge in mysteries brilliantly evoking post-World War I Great Britain and introduces readers to one of crime fiction's most compelling protagonists.A Test of Wills--It is 1919, and the War to End All Wars has been won. But for Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge, recently returned from the battlefields of France, there is no peace. Suffering from shell shock, Rutledge plunges into his work to save his sanity. But his first assignment is a case certain to spell both personal and professional disaster.A Long Shadow--A story that immerses readers in the sights and sounds of post-war Great Britain, as the damaged policeman pursues answers to a constable's slaying and the three-year-old mystery of a young girl's disappearance in a tiny Northamptonshire village.A False Mirror--A love triangle turned deadly sends Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge to a small town simmering with secrets.A Pale Horse--A body found in the ruins of an ancient abbey sends Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge off to find a killer, in another superb atmospheric mystery by Charles Todd.
World War I nurse Bess Crawford, introduced in A Duty to the Dead, returns in an exciting new mystery in which a murder draws her inexorably into the sights of a cunning killer It is the early summer of 1917. Bess Crawford has returned to England from the trenches of France with a convoy of severely wounded men. One of her patients is a young pilot who has been burned beyond recognition, and who clings to life and the photo of his wife that is pinned to his tunic. While passing through a London train station, Bess notices a woman bidding an emotional farewell to an officer, her grief heart-wrenching. And then Bess realizes that she seems familiar. In fact, she's the woman in the pilot's photo, but the man she is seeing off is not her husband. Back on duty in France, Bess discovers a newspaper with a drawing of the woman's face on the front page. Accompanying the drawing is a plea from Scotland Yard seeking information from anyone who has seen her. For it appears that the woman was murdered on the very day Bess encountered her at the station. Granted leave to speak with Scotland Yard, Bess becomes entangled in the case. Though an arrest is made, she must delve into the depths of her very soul to decide if the police will hang an innocent man or a vicious killer. Exposing the truth is dangerous-and will put her own life on the line.
In an original short story by New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd, Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge must put all his detecting skills to use to solve a baffling case. A man and his young daughter were returning home from a dinner party when three men appeared from out of nowhere and grabbed the girl. Rutledge has to act quickly to find the child and bring the surprising culprits to justice. The Kidnapping also includes excerpts from three other Ian Rutledge mysteries: A Lonely Death, The Red Door, and A Pale Horse.
The weathered remains found on a Scottish mountainside may be those of Eleanor Gray, but the imperious Lady Maude Gray, Eleanor's mother, will have to be handled delicately. This is not the only ground that Inspector Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard must tread carefully, for the case will soon lead him to Scotland, where many of Rutledge's ghosts rest uneasily. But it is an unexpected encounter that will hold the most peril.For in Scotland Rutledge will find that the young mother accused of killing Eleanor Gray is a woman to whom he owes a terrible debt. And his harrowing journey to find the truth will lead him back through the fires of his past, into secrets that still have the power to kill.From the Paperback edition.
Scotland Yard detective Ian Rutledge returns to solve his most exciting and shocking case yet in this latest entry in the bestselling series hailed as "outstanding" by the New York Times Book ReviewA breathtaking blend of psychological complexity, haunting atmosphere, compelling twists, and impressive detail, the novels in the Ian Rutledge mystery series have garnered their author widespread acclaim and numerous honors and awards. At the heart of the series is the compelling Scotland Yard detective inspector Ian Rutledge, a veteran of the Great War who understands all too well the darkness that lies within men's souls. Now three men have been murdered in a Sussex village, and Scotland Yard has been called in. It's a baffling case. The victims are soldiers who survived the horrors of World War I only to meet a ghastly end in the quiet English countryside two years later. Each had been garroted, with small ID discs left in their mouths. But even Scotland Yard's presence doesn't deter this vicious and clever killer. Shortly after Inspector Ian Rutledge arrives, a fourth soldier is found dead. With few clues to go on and the pressure building, Rutledge must gamble everything--his job, his reputation, and even his life--to find answers.
Scotland Yard detective Ian Rutledge returns to solve his most exciting and shocking case yet in this latest entry in the bestselling series hailed as "outstanding" by the New York Times Book Review A breathtaking blend of psychological complexity, haunting atmosphere, compelling twists, and impressive detail, the novels in the Ian Rutledge mystery series have garnered their author widespread acclaim and numerous honors and awards. At the heart of the series is the compelling Scotland Yard detective inspector Ian Rutledge, a veteran of the Great War who understands all too well the darkness that lies within men's souls. Now three men have been murdered in a Sussex village, and Scotland Yard has been called in. It's a baffling case. The victims are soldiers who survived the horrors of World War I only to meet a ghastly end in the quiet English countryside two years later. Each had been garroted, with small ID discs left in their mouths. But even Scotland Yard's presence doesn't deter this vicious and clever killer. Shortly after Inspector Ian Rutledge arrives, a fourth soldier is found dead. With few clues to go on and the pressure building, Rutledge must gamble everything-his job, his reputation, and even his life-to find answers.
It's New Year's Eve, 1919. Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge has accompanied his sister to the home of mutual friends for dinner but gets a call from the office and has to leave. On the steps outside, he sees a brass cartridge casing, like countless others he's seen during the war. But this one has an engraving in the metal. Curious, he pockets it. Soon after, Rutledge is on the southern coast of England helping the local police capture a murderer. Work done, on a whim he drives along the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic and takes a walk out on the headland. Returning to his car, he finds another engraved cartridge casing on the driver's seat. He's been followed. The cartridge casing seems to point to the war and unfinished business there. To stay alive in the face of an unknown and unseen adversary, Rutledge is pressed to the limits of his skills. He's the prey. But who is the hunter?
Living with her family in India, young Bess Crawford's curiosity about this exotic country sometimes leads her into trouble.One day she slips away from the cantonment to visit the famous seer in a nearby village. Before this woman can finish telling her fortune, Bess is summoned back for an afternoon tea with the Maharani, a close friend of her parents'. The seer's last words are a warning about forthcoming danger that Bess takes as the usual patter. But this visit by the Maharani has ominous overtones that mark it as more than a social call. Her husband has political enemies, and she has come to ask Bess's father, Major Crawford, for help.As the Maharani is leaving, Bess notices that there is something amiss with the royal entourage. Major Crawford must set out after them--but will he be in time?And what will happen to Bess, and the household left behind, when a vicious assassin circles back to take hostages?Here is an extraordinary glimpse into the childhood of the Bess Crawford we know from her service in the Great War.
The superb new entry in the historical series the New York Times Book Review hails as "outstanding" and the Cleveland Plain Dealer calls "superb" At the turn of the century, in a war taking place far from England, two soldiers chance upon an opportunity that will change their lives forever. To take advantage of it, they will be required to do the unthinkable, and then to put the past behind them. But not all memories are so short. Twenty years later, a successful London busi-nessman is found savagely and bizarrely murdered in a medieval tithe barn on his estate in Somerset. Called upon to investigate, Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge soon discovers that the victim was universally despised. Even the man's wife-who appears to be his wife in name only-and the town's police inspector are suspect. But who, among the many, hated him enough to kill? Rutledge tenaciously follows a well-concealed trail reaching back to an act so barbarous and with consequences so devastating that even the innocent are enveloped by the murderous tide of events. As he summons all his skills to break through a wall of silence in time to stem this tide, others are eager to twist the truth for their own ends. When justice takes a malevolent turn, can Rutledge's own career survive?
Charles Todd's critically acclaimed novels featuring Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge have been hailed by The Washington Post Book World as "one of the best historical series being written today. " The New York Times Book Review calls Todd's mysteries "meticulously wrought. . . harrowing psychological drama. " Now he stakes out new territory in this mesmerizing stand-alone novel of one woman's dark journey through family obsession, wartime secrets, and a chilling legacy. ... The Murder Stone The Great War is still raging in the autumn of 1916, when Francesca Hatton's beloved grandfather dies on the family estate in England's isolated Exe Valley. Grieving for the man who raised her, Francesca is stunned to find an unsigned letter among his effects, cursing the Hattons and their descendants. Now a stranger has shown up on her doorstep, accusing her grandfather of being a murderer. Ex-soldier Richard Leighton blames Francis Hatton for the death of his mother, who vanished nearly a quarter of a century earlier. Her body was never found, only a shawl stained with her blood. And Leighton is not the only one with a claim on Francesca's grandfather. On the day of his funeral, unexpected visitors arrive with the mourners, and Francesca is besieged by charges of Hatton's vicious dealings. Yet there is also a shy young woman who praises his secret generosity. At the center of the intrigue is an unusual white stone that lies hidden in a secluded garden where Francesca once played with her five male cousins, all of them dead now on the battlefields of France. According to the terms of Hatton's will, the Murder Stone must be dug up and transported to Scotland, where it is to be buried forever. But before Francesca can begin the journey, a series of ominous "accidents" occur, culminating in the discovery of a bleeding body on the Murder Stone itself. Was Hatton the loving, caring protector his granddaughter always believed him to be? Or a vindictive, secretive man who cultivated dangerous enemies? Francesca sets out in pursuit of the truth--and into the sights of someone determined to exact a revenge long overdue. From the Hardcover edition.
In the ruins of Yorkshire's Fountains Abbey lies the body of a man wrapped in a cloak, the face covered by a gas mask. Next to him is a book on alchemy, which belongs to the schoolmaster, a conscientious objector in the Great War. Who is this man, and is the investigation into his death being manipulated by a thirst for revenge? Meanwhile, the British War Office is searching for a missing man of their own, someone whose war work was so secret that even Rutledge isn't told his real name or what he did. The search takes Rutledge to Berkshire, where cottages once built to house lepers stand in the shadow of a great white horse cut into the chalk hillside. The current inhabitants of the cottages are outcasts, too, hiding from their own pasts. Who among them is telling the truth about their neighbors and who is twisting it? Here is a puzzle requiring all of Rutledge's daring and skill, for there are layers of lies and deception, while a ruthless killer is determined to hold on to freedom at any cost. And the pale horse looming overhead serves as a reminder that death is never finished with anyone, least of all the men who fought in the trenches of France.
Bess Crawford must keep a deadly pattern of lies from destroying an innocent family in this compelling and atmospheric mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of A Question of Honor and An Unwilling AccompliceIn 1916, at the height of the war, an explosion and fire at an armament factory in Kent killed more than a hundred men. With Ashton Powder Mill situated so close to the coast--within reach of German saboteurs--the Army investigated, eventually ruling the event an appalling tragedy. Now, two years later, suspicion, gossip, and rumor have raised the specter of murder--and fingers point to the owner, Philip Ashton, whose son is battlefield nurse Bess Crawford's friend and former patient.While visiting the Ashtons, Bess finds herself caught up in a venomous show of hostility that doesn't stop with Philip Ashton's arrest. Indeed, someone is out for blood, and the household is all but under siege. The police are hostile--the Inspector's brother died in the mill explosion--and refuse to consult either the Army or Scotland Yard. Why, after two years, has the village turned against Ashton?In France, Bess searches for the only known witness to the explosion, now serving at the Front, and tries to convince him to give evidence about that terrible Sunday morning, only to find herself and the witness hunted by someone intent on preventing anyone from discovering what--or who--is behind this web of vicious lies. Uncertain whom to trust, she can rely only on her own wits and courage, but how can she stop a killer whose face she has never seen?Philip Ashton is urged to throw himself on the mercy of the court--where he will surely find none. Time is running out. And Bess, at the point of a gun, has only one choice left: to risk her life to save the Ashtons.
Scotland Yard's Ian Rutledge must contend with two dangerous enemies in this latest complex mystery in the New York Times bestselling series An unidentified body appears to have been run down by a motorcar and Ian Rutledge is leading the investigation to uncover what happened. While signs point to murder, vital questions remain. Who is the victim? And where, exactly, was he killed? A clue leads Rutledge to a firm, built by two families, famous for producing and selling the world's best Madeira wine. There he discovers the current head of the English enterprise is missing. But is he the dead man? And do either his fiancée or his jilted former lover have anything to do with his disappearance? With a growing list of suspects Rutledge knows that suspicion and circumstantial evidence is nothing without proof of guilt. But his new acting chief superintendent doesn't agree and wants Rutledge to stop digging and settle on the tidy answer. Rutledge must tread very carefully, for it seems that someone has decided that he, too, must die so that cruel justice can take its course.
In the latest mystery from New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd, World War I nurse and amateur sleuth Bess Crawford investigates an old murder that occurred during her childhood in India, a search for the truth that will transform her and leave her pondering a troubling question: How can facts lie?Bess Crawford enjoyed a wondrous childhood in India, where her father, a colonel in the British Army, was stationed on the Northwest Frontier. But an unforgettable incident darkened that happy time. In 1908, Colonel Crawfords regiment discovered that it had a murderer in its ranks, an officer who killed five people in India and England yet was never brought to trial. In the eyes of many of these soldiers, men defined by honor and duty, the crime was a stain on the regiments reputation and on the good name of Besss father, the Colonel Sahib, who had trained the killer. A decade later, tending to the wounded on the battlefields of France during World War I, Bess learns from a dying Indian sergeant that the supposed murderer, Lieutenant Wade, is alive--and serving at the Front. Bess cannot believe the shocking news. According to reliable reports, Wades body had been seen deep in the Khyber Pass, where he had died trying to reach Afghanistan. Soon, though, her mind is racing. How had he escaped from India? What had driven a good man to murder in cold blood?Wanting answers, she uses her leave to investigate. In the village where the first three killings took place, she discovers that the locals are certain that the British soldier was innocent. Yet the present owner of the house where the crime was committed believes otherwise, and is convinced that Besss father helped Wade flee. To settle the matter once and for all, Bess sets out to find Wade and let the courts decide. But when she stumbles on the horrific truth, something that even the famous writer Rudyard Kipling had kept secret all his life, she is shaken to her very core. The facts will damn Wade even as they reveal a brutal reality, a reality that could have been her own fate.
New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd brings back Scotland Yard detective Ian Rutledge in another riveting mystery set in post-World War I England Lancashire, England, June 1920. In a house with a red door lies the body of a woman who has been bludgeoned to death. Rumor has it that two years earlier, she'd painted that door to welcome her husband back from the Front. Only he never came home.Meanwhile, in London, a man suffering from a mysterious illness first goes missing and then just as suddenly reappears. He is unable to explain his recovery. His family, supposedly searching for him, give conflicting accounts of where they were and why. What is the secret that nearly drove one man mad and turned his brothers and sister against one another with such unexpected savagery?Inspector Ian Rutledge, drawn into both cases and facing a wall of silence, must solve two mysteries before he can bring a ruthless killer to justice: Who was the woman who lived and died behind the red door? Who was the man who never came home from the Great War, for the simple reason that he might never have gone? And what have they to do with a man who cannot break the seal of his own guilt without damning those he loves most?
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