book cover of Legacy of the Dead
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Legacy of the Dead

(The fourth book in the Inspector Ian Rutledge series)
A novel by

2001 Anthony Award for Best Novel (nominee)

In Ian Rutledge, Charles Todd has created a classic literary figure. A survivor of World War I, Rutledge is a man walking on the edge of insanity, finding both relief and more madness in his work as a Scotland Yard investigator. Now this series, praised by The New York Times Book Review for "challenging plot, complex characters, and subtle psychological insights (wrapped) in thick layers of atmosphere," takes Rutledge to the one place that most threatens the balance of his mind: his past.

Rutledge's superior dispatches him to Durham to question the mother of a missing young woman. The weathered remains found on a windswept Scottish mountainside may be those of Eleanor Gray, but the imperious Lady Maude Gray will have to be handled delicately. This is not the only ground that Rutledge must tread carefully. The case will more than likely lead him on to Scotland, where many of Rutledge's ghosts rest uneasily.

Scotland was the homeland of many of the soldiers Rutledge led into battle--and, for far too many of them, to their deaths. And of Corporal Hamish MacLeod, the Highlander he shot for breaking on the battlefield. It is Hamish's voice, caustic and accusing, that haunts his waking moments and assesses his every action. Rutledge knows that in the Scottish countryside he will hear echoes of that condemning voice everywhere he turns.

But he cannot know what else he will encounter as he follows the trail of Eleanor Grey's last movements. In the village of Duncarrick he will find a young mother who has been destroyed by a malicious campaign of gossip carried by anonymous letters. Now Fiona MacDonald stands accused of murdering the woman on that rugged mountain--and of taking the child of her victim to raise as her own. Rutledge owes this woman a terrible debt, driving him on a harrowing journey to find the truth--leading him back through the fires of his past, and into secrets that still have the power to kill.

LEGACY OF THE DEAD is a breathtaking, riveting mystery set in a fascinating landscape at the wary dawn of a new age. In Scotland, Charles Todd captures a land where war and bloodshed are part of the earth, the walls, and living memory. And where a man like Ian Rutledge is all too much at home.

Genre: Historical Mystery

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