Synopses & Reviews
Scotland Yard detective Ian Rutledge is assigned one of the most baffling investigations of his career--a cold murder case with an unidentified victim and a cold trail with few clues to follow.
Chief Inspector Brian Leslie, a respected colleague of Ian Rutledge's, is sent to Avebury, a village set inside a great prehistoric stone circle not far from Stonehenge.
A young woman has been murdered next to a mysterious, hooded, figure-like stone, but no one recognizes her--or admits to it. And how did she get there? Despite a thorough investigation, it appears that her killer has simply vanished.
Rutledge, returning from the conclusion of a case involving another apparently unknown woman, is asked to take a second look at Leslie's inquiry, to see if he can identify this victim. But Rutledge is convinced Chief Superintendent Jameson only hopes to tarnish his earlier success once he also fails.
Where to begin? He too finds very little to go on in Avebury, slowly widening his search beyond the village--only to discover that unlikely--possibly even unreliable--clues are pointing him toward an impossible solution, one that will draw the wrath of the Yard down on him, and very likely see him dismissed if he pursues it. But what about the victim--what does he owe this tragic woman? Where must his loyalty lie?
"Todd's astute character studies . . . offer a fascinating cross section of postwar life. . . . A satisfying puzzle-mystery." -- The New York Times Book Review
Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge is assigned one of the most baffling investigations of his career: an unsolved murder case with an unidentified victim and a cold trail with few clues to follow
A woman has been murdered at the foot of a megalith shaped like a great shrouded figure. Chief Inspector Brian Leslie, one of the Yard's best men, is sent to investigate the site in Avebury, a village set inside a prehistoric stone circle not far from Stonehenge. In spite of his efforts, Leslie is not able to identify her, much less discover how she got to Avebury--or why she died there. Her killer has simply left no trace.
Several weeks later, when Ian Rutledge has returned from successfully concluding a similar case with an unidentified victim, he is asked to take a second look at Leslie's inquiry. But Rutledge suspects Chief Superintendent Markham simply wants him to fail.
Leslie was right--Avebury refuses to yield its secrets. But Rutledge slowly widens his search, until he discovers an unexplained clue that seems to point toward an impossible solution. If he pursues it and he is wrong, he will draw the wrath of the Yard down on his head. But even if he is right, he can't be certain what he can prove, and that will play right into Markham's game. The easy answer is to let the first verdict stand: Person or persons unknown. But what about the victim? What does Rutledge owe this tragic young woman? Where must his loyalty lie?