In 1912 Ian Rutledge watched as a man was condemned to hang for the
murders of elderly women. Rutledge helped gather the evidence that
sent Ben Shaw to the gallows. And when justice was done, Rutledge
closed the door on the case. But Shaw was not easily forgotten.
Now, seven years later, that grim trial returns in the form of Ben
Shaws widow Nell, bringing Rutledge evidence she is convinced will
prove her husbands innocence. Its a belief fraught with peril,
threatening both Rutledges professional stature and his faith in
his judgment. But there is a darker reason for Rutledges
reluctance. Murder brings him back to Kent where, days earlier, hed
glimpsed an all-too-familiar face beyond the leaping flames of a
bonfire. Soon an unexpected encounter revives the end of his own
war, as the country prepares for a somber commemoration on the
anniversary of the Armistice. To battle the unsettled past and the
haunted present at the same time is an appalling mandate. And the
people around him? among them the attractive widow of a friend, a
remarkable woman who survived the Great Indian Mutiny; a bitter,
dying barrister; and a man whose name he never knewunwittingly
compete with the grieving Nell Shaw. Theyll demand more than
Rutledge can give, unaware that he is already carrying the burden
of shell shock? and the voice of Hamish MacLeod, the soldier he was
forced to execute in the war. The killer in Marling is surprisingly
adept at escaping detection. And Ben Shaws past is a tangle of
unsettling secrets that may or may not be true. Rutledge must walk
a tortuous line between two murderers...one reaching out to ruin
him, the other driven to destroy him.
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