In this outing, Inspector Rutledge is still suffering from PTSD, brought on by the horrors of WWI, in the form of auditory hallucinations and nightmares. Because of the death of his best friend, the son of his godfather, Rutledge is having difficulty moving on. Nevertheless, he continues to do his job to the best of his excellent abilities, and while searching for a missing person, one Walter Teller, Rutledge himself is knifed by a mugger on Westminster Bridge. When a war widow living alone in Lancashire is murdered, he’s surprised to learn her identity, Mrs. Peter Teller, because the brother of the missing man is also named Peter. But he has a wife in London.
The Red Door has an intricate plot that is hard to describe without dropping inadvertent spoilers. Suffice it to say that there is no shortage of persons of interest in this case, which continues to surprise the reader up to the final chapter. In addition to discovering the identities of Rutledge’s assailant and more than one murderer, and the whereabouts of Walter Teller, author Todd drops a pretty clear hint about why Rankin obsesses about the friend lost in the war. It’s a compelling mystery in the Russian doll style, with one set of questions contained within others. I read an advanced reader copy, at times experienced bits of confusion over several of the sentences in this book; they were grammatically correct, but I couldn’t quite puzzle out the meaning. Here’s hoping the final published version takes care of that shortcoming.
ARC provided via Amazon.com.