book cover of Wings of Fire
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Wings of Fire

(1998)
(The second book in the Inspector Ian Rutledge series)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
1999 CWA Historical Dagger (shortlist)
1999 Dilys Award for Best Book (nominee)

The New York Times Book Review named Charles Todd's spectacular debut, A Test of Wills, one of its Notable Books of the Year for 1996, and it received an Edgar nomination for Best First Mystery. Now Inspector Rutledge makes his greatly anticipated second appearance, in a book with the kind of richly developed characters, layered plot, and luminous British village scenes that distinguished its predecessor.

In Cornwall, England, three members of the same family have suddenly died. Among the dead is Olivia, the reclusive writer whose war poetry gave Ian Rutledge a handhold on sanity while he fought in the trenches of France. Although no evidence indicates foul play, a concerned and influential relative suspects that the deaths are actually murders, and she convinces Scotland Yard to send someone for a thorough investigation. Rutledge's rival, Bowles, sees the Cornwall incident as an opportunity to get the shell-shocked World War I veteran away from London, where a recent Ripper-style killing spree promises celebrity for the detective who can crack the case.

Accompanying the Inspector to Cornwall is Rutledge's constant "companion" Hamish, the young Scot whom he unwillingly had to execute on the battlefield and whose tormenting voice sounds in Rutledge's head, forcing him to face unpleasant truths.

In this wonderfully atmospheric novel, Charles Todd examines the complexities of British family life and the unique artistry of a talented poet. Wings of Fire will fascinate readers with its beautifully drawn characters and unerring period detail.


Genre: Historical Mystery

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