Wings of Fire by Charles Todd (1998)

Pages: 294

ISBN: 9780312965686

Description: In Cornwall, England, three members of the same family have suddenly died. Among the dead is Olivia, the reclusive writer whose war poetry gave Ian Rutledge a handhold on sanity while he fought in the trenches of France. Although no evidence indicates foul play, a concerned and influential relative suspects that the deaths are actually murders, and she convinces Scotland Yard to send someone for a thorough investigation. Rutledge’s rival, Bowles, sees the Cornwall incident as an opportunity to get the shell-shocked World War I veteran away from London, where a recent Ripper-style killing spree promises celebrity for the detective who can crack the case.

Accompanying the Inspector to Cornwall is Rutledge’s constant “companion” Hamish, the young Scot whom he unwillingly had to execute on the battlefield and whose tormenting voice sounds in Rutledge’s head, forcing him to face unpleasant truths.

Review: Inspector Ian Rutledge returns to London still fighting his own demons. Scotland Yard is on an all out manhunt for a Ripper copycat. In order to get the glory for himself, Bowles sends Rutledge out on the case in Cornwall to keep Rutledge out of the way in London. When Rutledge arrives to Cornwall, the case seems pretty straight forward. A double suicide and an accident. What really shocks him is that one of the suicides happens to be the author of the poems that got him through the war. As he makes more inquiry’s, Rutledge discovers there is more to this case than meets the eye. Will the town recover from the revelations made and will Rutledge ruin the one person that helped get him through the horrible war?

This was a more emotional book that I had anticipated. I was able to connect to the characters as a large part of the book dwells on people returning and changing from war. Although I myself have not been to war, I am a military spouse and have sent my husband to war. There are changes that people go through and I felt that Todd really captured those feelings. Another big part of the book was how appearances (especially in the family) are deceiving and how families deal with their secrets. I couldn’t put the book down as it completely captivated me. The characters are beautifully written and very much believable. I cannot wait to get the next book in the series. A must read.

Score: 4.5 out of 5

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About Michelle

I'm a Midwest girl who has landed herself on the east coast. I spend my days in libraryland. My passion/specialty is graphic novels, manga, and anime. For a few weekends of the year you will find me at an anime convention somewhere on the east coast.

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