“Ye’ll not triumph over me!” Hamish said. “I’m a scar on your bludy soul.”
“That may be,” Rutledge told him harshly. “But I’ll find out before It’s finished what we’re both made of.”
Charles Todd fills A Test of Wills with tragic (and maybe sometimes hopeful) stories.
Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge remembers his bitter decision that caused Hamish MacLeod to be forever in Rutledge’s mind.
A little girl loses her doll and witnesses a murder.
Some people remember a tragic automobile accident years ago.
A well-known artist continues to mourn the death of her German prisoner of war lover.
A young woman lives with a tragic hidden love.
Several characters struggle with terrible shell shock from the recent war, WWI.
And the final climax of the book reveals a violent on-going tragedy which almost takes another life.
Inspector Rutledge’s superior Superintendent Bowles sends Rutledge to Warwickshire knowing Rutledge will fail. Bowles hates Rutledge because Rutledge is upper class. Bowles is from the working class.
And Rutledge does almost fail. Hamish’s inner voice and Rutledge’s shellshock rob Rutledge of his intuition, the insight which made him a brilliant detective before the war.
But Rutledge is as persistent as always. He continues to pursue thread after thread of all the tragic stories, not knowing where any of them are leading him. And when he succeeds, Bowles gets the credit.
This is the first-written book in a wonderfully written and well-known series. For me, the joy is that I have so many left to read.
I very much enjoy reading the history and police procedure in the Ian Rutledge books.