Book Review: Rutledge’s Dilemma

A Divided Loyalty is a recent addition to the series of mystery novels featuring Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge written by Charles Todd.

Inspector Rutledge has been working cases for the Yard since he returned from fighting in the trenches during the First World War. He returned from battle with a voice in his head belonging to a comrade he had executed for disobeying orders. He has managed to solve several murder cases in spite of his condition. The voice of Hamish MacLeod has at times managed to provide some insight or bring out something from Rutledge’s subconscious that keeps him nearing to a solution.

In this particular entry, Rutledge has been given the task of following up on a murder investigation that was begun by a colleague. A mysterious young woman has been found dead near a stone circle. Rutledge has some trouble finding the identity of the victim, but when he does, the clues keep him coming back to his home base.

Some of Rutledge’s colleagues have become aware of his psychological situation, which does add further tension to his already precarious situation. Rutledge continues to remain one of crime fiction’s more intriguing and admirable protagonists.

This novel actually turns out to be one of the better ones in the series. There is a pretty good head fake in the solution to this particular crime. Todd once again does a capable job capturing the likely mood of Britain in the aftermath of World War I. I tend to look forward to each novel in this series, and I found this one to be particularly intriguing. When I say this is one of the better ones, that is not to mean the others are bad.

So I still recommend this particular series, and this novel is not one of to be overlooked.

Next up, I will make an uncommon foray into the world of non-fiction with a book I have been wanting to read for some time. Douglas Murray has quite a bit to say about The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race, and Identity, and I want to read it.

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