Larraine's Reviews > Legacy of the Dead

Legacy of the Dead by Charles Todd
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's review
Apr 24, 2012

really liked it
Read on April 24, 2012

The Inspector Rutledge series is one of the few "historical mystery" series that I follow pretty closely. As happens too often, I came in at the middle. I've had a lot of time to read lately so I was able to finish this one up quickly. This is actually the fourth in the series, and it answers a lot of questions about the character that I had reading the later ones.

It is 1919. The Great War is over, but Rutledge is still suffering some of the effects of war. He hears the voice of a dead soldier in his head - one that he ordered shot for insubordination. He had no choice, but is haunted by it. He was a detective before the war and is now back at Scotland Yard. However, his superior does not like him, he has lost his fiance, so all he wants to do is work so he doesn't have time to think. A woman in a small town in Scotland is arrested for murder. A body has been found that may be that of Eleanor Gray, daughter of Lady Maude Gray who is both wealthy and well-connected. He soon learns that the accused murderer is a woman to whom he owes more than he can ever repay and there are many buried secrets that could be exposed. This one was interesting although the ending was a little overly melodramatic.

Charles Todd is actually a pseudonym for a mother/son writing team. It's obvious they've done their homework. Reading their books is a real pleasure for me because they are so well-written and thoughtful. The writers know how to convey the emotion and darkness of the Great War and it's incredible aftermath. It is said that Great Britain lost an entire generation. Those who returned often continued to suffer. It's a lesson that we never seem to learn for very long.


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