This historical mystery covers the same territory as the Maisie Dobbs books, taking place in the post-WWI years in England. From a modern perspective, both look at the sad results of trench warfare and the treatment (or lack thereof) of soldiers suffering what we now call PTSD. This book, written by a mother-son team, is darker than the Maisie Dobbs books. The detective, Ian Rutledge, is returning to his Scotland Yard job after the war, hoping that a sense of purpose and busy-ness will help him cope with his shell shock. Unfortunately, a jealous superior recommends him for a case (the first of his return) that involves one officer shooting another and a witness who is despised by the locals for his shell shock, which is seen as cowardice. The hope is that Rutledge will break down or fail and be sacked.
I enjoyed the historical detail and Rutledge's struggle more than the mystery. I was compelled to keep reading by my need to know if Rutledge was going to make it. I would have given it 4 stars, but the solution to the mystery was rather a rabbit out of a hat; not one you could solve yourself. In fairness, though, even Rutledge didn't figure it out. He just stumbled into it. I liked it enough to read more in the series. I've got to know how what happens to Rutledge next.