Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge is back for his 15th adventure which involves an apparent hit-and-run fatality. The suspicious accident occurs in a quiet part of Chelsea, a part of London, and the corpse has no identification.
With only an expensive watch found in the victim’s vest, Rutledge launches an investigation that leads the inspector to a famous firm that produces and sells Madeira wine. The head of the firm, Lewis French, is missing, so it appears that Rutledge has hit pay dirt. Digging a little deeper, it appears that the missing man’s jilted former lover, his present fiancée, his sister or even his cousin might be implicated in the man’s disappearance.
It is a complicated case with plenty of circumstantial evidence but no clear proof of guilt that points to any single person. As Rutledge keeps digging he finds himself at odds with the new, acting chief superintendent who wants a quick resolution of the case and is determined to pin the blame on one of the women in French’s life.
Set in the 1920s, this period suspense story is filled with sibling rivalries and bitter family struggles over the ownership of the company. Refusing to jump to the wrong conclusion, Inspector Rutledge is determined to see justice done even if it means a drawn out investigation which may well jeopardize both his career and his very life.
If you have followed this atmospheric series, you’ll not want to miss this case. It is one of the most interesting and challenging Rutledge has thus far faced. It’s a stunner from start to finish!
Scotland Yard's Ian Rutledge must contend with two dangerous enemies in this latest complex mystery in the New York Times bestselling series
London, summer 1920. An unidentified body appears to have been run down by a motorcar and Ian Rutledge is leading the investigation to uncover what happened. While the signs point to murder, vital questions remain: Who is the victim? And where, exactly, was he killed?
One small clue leads Rutledge to a firm built by two families, famous for producing and selling the world's best Madeira wine. Lewis French, the current head of the English enterprise, is missing. But is he the dead man? And does either his fiancée or his jilted former lover have anything to do with his disappearance—or possible death? What about his sister? Or the London office clerk? Is Matthew Traynor, French's cousin and partner who heads the Madeira office, somehow involved?
The experienced Rutledge knows that suspicion and circumstantial evidence are not proof of guilt, and he's going to keep digging for answers. But that perseverance will pit him against his supervisor, the new acting chief superintendent. When Rutledge discovers a link to an incident in the French family's past, the superintendent dismisses it, claiming the information isn't vital. He's determined to place the blame on one of French's women despite Rutledge's objections. Alone in a no-man's-land rife with mystery and danger, Rutledge must tread very carefully, for someone has decided that he, too, must die so that cruel justice can take its course.