06 December 2015

A Fine Summer's Day by Charles Todd (Inspector Ian Rutledge #17)

Summary from Goodreads:
New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd takes readers into Scotland Yard Detective Ian Rutledge's past-to his perplexing final case before the outbreak of World War I.

On a fine summer's day in June, 1914, Ian Rutledge pays little notice to the assassination of an archduke in Sarajevo. An Inspector at Scotland Yard, he is planning to propose to the woman whom he deeply loves, despite intimations from friends and family that she may not be the wisest choice. To the north, on this warm and gentle day, another man in love-a Scottish Highlander-shows his own dear girl the house he will build for her in September. While back in England, a son awaits the undertaker in the wake of his widowed mother's death.

This death will set off a series of murders across England, seemingly unconnected, that Rutledge will race to solve in the weeks before the fateful declaration in August that will forever transform his world. As the clouds of war gather on the horizon, all of Britain wonders and waits. With every moment at 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.

This is a good way to jump into an established mystery series - with a prequel! A Fine Summer's Day has a good serial killer plot, but perhaps too neat a bow on the end. I hadn't read any of the Ian Rutledge novels before (and will be rectifying that shortly with A Test of Wills) but I do know the basics of Rutledge's issues. There are two short scenes that could have been dispensed with completely - one coming in what is basically the Prologue and one in the Epilogue (and only slightly related to that bow I alluded to). Since the character in question makes no appearance of any sort in the book between those two scenes he/it is completely unnecessary.

Dear FTC: I received a hardcover review copy from the publisher - sorry I didn't get it read/reviewed until now.

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