Friday, April 15, 2011

Search the Dark by Charles Todd

Search the Dark (Inspector Ian Rutledge Novels)Mystery

Set in England after World War I Search the Dark has two main characters.  At first glance Inspector Ian Rutledge is the main character but we soon meet Hamish, a character who lives only in Ian’s mind.  Hamish and Ian both fought in World War I and Hamish moved in with Ian after he was shot for refusing to obey an order.  Ian was the one ordered to shot and kill Hamish.   The two make an unusual pair of protagonists. 

Trouble starts in Search the Dark when Mowbray, a mentally unhinged veteran, believes he sees his wife and children on a railway platform in a small Dorset town.  His wife and children were believed to have been killed in a London bombing raid during the war but when a woman is found murdered with her face destroyed Ian is called in from Scotland Yard. 

The local inspector in charge believes he has an open and shut case but Ian does not agree.   Ian and many of the characters in Search the Dark are trying to deal with the after effects of the war.  As Ian investigates he uncovers facts and events that do not match.  Did Mowbray really see his wife and children?  Who is the murdered woman?  Where are the children?  Then the body of another woman is discovered.  Is there a connection between the two murders?  All of this while Ian tries to deal with the presence of Hamish. 

The conservations between Ian and Hamish are very real.  Both are powerful characters that lend additional conflict to the story.  World War I had a long lasting and devastating effect on the people of Britain and that is reflected in Search the Dark.  Charles Todd uses the history and background of this time to add depth to the story.

Search The Dark is part of a series but is not the first book.  I had no trouble keeping up with the action but will go back and read the two previous books.

I checked out Search the Dark from the Rogers, AR Public Library.

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