Hunting Shadows by Charles Todd
Paperback, 352 pages
Published December 30th, 2014 by William Morrow Paperbacks (Originally published January 21st, 2014)
$18.50 (List Price in CAD)
It’s 1920. The war may be over, but the scars it left behind are far from healed. Memories of horror are brought back in the Fens when a hidden shooter begins killing people. Armed with what can only be a military issued riffle, the killer is what the one witness can only describe as a monster.
As the police scramble with very little evidence, they are forced to call in Scotland Yard to investigate. Inspector Rutledge finds himself in Fen Country, an eery, small-town part of England. Fen Country is a marshland dotted with several small towns, and Rutledge finds the inquiry taking him back and forth between them. Throughout the inquiry, the police seem to be grasping at straws as they search for evidence. Who could have a riffle? Where could s/he have hidden? What is the connection between the murders? Is there a connection?
This book though.
I loved it. It was everything I like a mystery to be. It was perfectly paced with compelling, three dimensional characters and a mystery that was far from predictable. Not only that, but I loved the setting. It sounds like a charming place to visit in the day, but a creepy place to see at night—especially when the fog sets in.
This is the first Charles Todd novel that I have read. It’s pretty far into the Ian Rutledge series, book sixteen or something like that, but I found it didn’t really matter. I’m sure I would have had a greater understanding of the Inspector had I read any of the previous novels, but it wasn’t necessary to enjoy or understand the story.
This book surprised me in many ways. Mostly, I hadn’t expected to like it as much as I did. Not that it didn’t sound interesting, but I generally find mysteries (of the non-thriller variety) enjoyable but mostly just okay overall. Hunting Shadows on the other hand was just a great book in general. I found myself immediately drawn in by the beautiful setting and the quirky characters.
I only had one issue with Hunting Shadows, and it lay in the conclusion. There were two layers to this conclusion, and one of them served no real purpose—it only unnecessarily convoluted an already fine ending.
However, overall I did really like this book. I would recommend it to readers who like mysteries, or just books with a mystery element to them.
Charles Todd is the author of the Bess Crawford mysteries, the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother and son writing team, they live in Delaware and North Carolina, respectively. Visit their website at Charlestodd.com and like CharlesToddNovels on Facebook.
Friday, January 2nd: Kritters Ramblings
Tuesday, January 6th: Dwell in Possibility
Wednesday, January 7th: 5 Minutes For Books
Monday, January 19th: Broken Teepee
Thursday, February 5th: Luxury Reading
Friday, February 6th: Bibliotica
Monday, February 9th: Jorie Loves a Story
Wednesday, February 11th: A Bookworm’s World
Wednesday, February 18th: The Discerning Reader
Beth is the founder and editor of Fuelled by Fiction. She is a twenty-something east coast Canadian girl who loves writing about books and feminism.