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.
Charles Todd returns to the world of Scotland Yard's Inspector Ian Rutledge in a series that the New York Times Book Review called "harrowing psychological drama" and the Washington Post Book World hailed 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

Scotland Yard’s Ian Rutledge finds himself caught in a twisted web of vengeance, old grievances, and secrets that lead back to World War I in the nineteenth installment of the acclaimed bestselling series.

On the eve of the bloody Battle of the Somme, a group of English officers having a last drink before returning to the Front make a promise to each other: if they survive the battle ahead—and make it through the war—they will meet in Paris a year after the fighting ends. They will celebrate their good fortune by racing motorcars they beg, borrow, or own from Paris to Nice.

In November 1919, the officers all meet as planned, and though their motorcars are not designed for racing, they set out for Nice. But a serious mishap mars the reunion. In the mountains just north of their destination, two vehicles are nearly run off the road, and one man is badly injured. No one knows—or will admit to knowing—which driver was at the wheel of the rogue motorcar.

Back in England one year later, during a heavy rainstorm, a driver loses control on a twisting road and is killed in the crash. Was it an accident due to the hazardous conditions? Or premeditated murder? Is the crash connected in some way to the unfortunate events in the mountains above Nice the year before? The dead driver wasn’t in France—although the motorcar he drove was. If it was foul play, was it a case of mistaken identity? Or was the dead man the intended victim after all?

Investigating this perplexing case, Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge discovers that the truth is elusive—and that the villages on the South Downs, where the accident happened, are adept at keeping secrets, frustrating his search. Determined to remain in the shadows this faceless killer is willing to strike again to stop Rutledge from finding him. This time, the victim he chooses is a child, and it will take all of Rutledge’s skill to stop him before an innocent young life is sacrificed.

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