Thursday, 21 February 2013

Watchers of Time

Charles Todd has a winning series with the Inspector Rutlegde books, which follow the work of a battle-scarred policeman in the years immediately after World War One. Little does Scotland Yard know that Rutledge is accompanied wherever he goes by the ghost of a fellow soldier, Hamish McLeod, who offers his own personal insight on the cases they handle.

In Watchers of Time, the town of Osterley is in shock when its beloved Catholic priest, Father James, is bludgeoned to death. The culprit is assumed to be a travelling fairground strongman, and the motive robbery. Ian Rutlegde is not so sure. And what can the connection be to the strange deathbed scene of Herbert Baker, shortly before the killing?

Digging a little deeper drags up a missing wife from the family of the local gentry, and a mysterious woman who is holidaying in Osterley but who has a secret connection with Father James. There are plenty more eccentric characters, as well as red herrings, making this a classic whodunnit. Thrown into the mix are observations on the horrors of the war Britain is still reeling from, and plenty of evocative description that conjures up the town of Osterley and surrounding countryside.   Posted by JAM

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