- Published: 01 January 2016 01 January 2016
Scotland Yard’s Inspector Ian Rutledge is caught up in a twisted web of vengeance, old grievances, past secrets, and a shocking accusation of murder involving four unlikely suspects in this absorbing entry in the acclaimed New York Times bestselling series.
On the north coast of Cornwall, on a warm autumn day, an apparent act of mercy is repaid with an arrest. Four young women of good family, out boating on the River Camel, see a young man alone in another boat that appears to be sinking. In the commotion of the rescue, Harry Saunders, the local banker’s son, is gravely injured. A witness to the event, an upstanding local farmer, accuses the women of attempted murder. Taken into custody, they are placed under house arrest. A shocked father calls in a favor at the Home Office, asking Scotland Yard to review the case. When the original inspector suffers a heart attack, a very reluctant Ian Rutledge is sent to Padstow—too near the scene of another case whose tragic end still haunts him.
Unable to find his dead predecessor’s notes, Rutledge is informed that the investigation is all but closed. With the victim in a coma, there is no one to refute the accusations of the witness. Though Rutledge agrees that circumstances look bad for the young women, he still must determine whether they harmed the young man—and what may have motivated them. His inquiry takes an unexpected personal turn when he discovers that one of the accused is none other than the attractive, levelheaded cousin of the woman he intended to marry in 1914.
To find not just the truth but proof of it, Rutledge will require all his skill to deal with the very powerful and very angry families of the accused, the grieving parents of the victim, local police eager to see these four privileged women sent to the infamous Bodmin Gaol, and his own painful memories. And then another person is savagely attacked—but with the suspects in custody, why hasn’t the killing stopped? The only clue leads nowhere.
With no shred of evidence to clear the young women, Rutledge must delve deep into the darkest secrets of a wild, beautiful, and dangerous place if he is to find a killer who may—or may not—hold the key to their fate.