Inspector Rutledge is summoned in the night to attend to a murder scene in rural Somerset. He arrives and is taken to a barn where he finds that the victim obviously posed by his killer after death. Rutledge immediately realizes this killing must be personal because no spur of the moment criminal would take the time or trouble to place his victim as he did. This knowledge unfortunately does little to help Rutledge since to know the victim was to despise him. Now Rutledge has to figure out who would hate this man enough to kill him.
I couldn’t tell you why, but I had a hard time getting into this book. It’s possible that I was just distracted with other matters, but I think it might have been that Todd starts off with events long past which reveal some of the solution to the reader which Rutledge isn’t privy to. That seemed a bit unfair to me and somehow took a bit of the fun out. One way or the other, it took me a while to really focus on the story. Once I got there though, it turned into quite a good tale with a rather interesting solution. It’s certainly not one I foresaw, even having been given inside information from the outset.
Although I wasn’t overwhelmed by the book and this has done nothing to change my opinion that Todd is a good, but not great writer, it’s still a good, cosy murder mystery. One of those you can curl up to on a cold Sunday without overtaxing your brain. I’ll read more of Todd, but he doesn’t quite make it to my favourites list. Rating: 4 out of 5 for being a relaxing read.