Love this book! This is a more recent tale in the series, but it is the first one I came across and got me hooked immediately. The rest are just as great, and I don't say that carelessly. If you like Anne Perry, you will love the Ian Rutledge series by Charles Todd.
I was scratching my head at the conclusion -- plus I had grown tired of Hamish way before this entry in the series. But I had to give it three stars because I actually finished it (I sometimes give up after a few chapters on books that aren't well written or interesting.) If you haven't read the previous book you won't understand the references to the woman in Westmoreland, although that's not a deal breaker. The motive for the killings is pretty silly and the sub-plot about the casings is a stretch, and leaves some questions. Again, the details about life in the village brings it to life (more maps, please, as in Cold Treachery.)
Ian Rutledge is an awesome character who brings all the emotion from WWI and its horrors with him into his post war job. He has returned to his position at Scotland Yard where he investigates murders. The impact of the war comes across throughout the novel in the voice of Hamish McCleod, a friend and soldier, lost in the war, helping him investigate.
In this particular story there are two mysteries to solve. First, who is stalking Rutledge? Second, what happened to a missing teenager who disappeared? The locals believe that she is buried in Firth's Woods, a dense, depressingly thick and dark area that people avoid because of tales about ghost hauntings. In reality, the Inspector has been sent to investigate an attack on another policeman who is critically injured in the woods. Somehow though, he feels, the cold case about the missing girl may be part of it. Thus, Rutledge needs to discover not just who tried to kill the policeman but also what happened to the missing girl and who is stalking him. In essense, Rutledge finds himself in a most complex situation that unfolds layer by layer as his investigation proceeds.
It's been a while since I checked in with Ian and Hamish. I found that I am finally getting used to Hamish chiming into the Ian's thoughts and musings. I have decided he is not a ghost attached to Ian, but a part of Ian that haunts him and advises him. This was a complicated mystery and I had some idea of the murderer closer to the end. I usually skip through a lot of extra text, but this one kept my attention. Recommend!