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A Fearsome Doubt Book Review Summary

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Fearsome Doubt



Bantam, Oct 2002, 24.95, 304 pp.
ISBN 0553801805

Seven years ago, Ian Rutledge was the policeman responsible for sending Ben Shaw to the hangman for killing three elderly, bedridden women. Ian left police work to fight in France during World War I, but what he saw in the trenches almost destroyed him. He came back shell-shocked, guilt ridden and broken with his only grip on sanity being his work at Scotland Yard.

His belief in himself as a good police officer is shattered when Ben Shaw's widow comes into his office with evidence that she claims will exonerate her husband. She wants Rutledge to reopen the case but before he can come to any decisions he is sent to Marling in Kent. Three veterans of the war, all with one leg amputated have been murdered and the local police don't have a clue about who is responsible. During his investigation, Mrs. Shaw hounds Rutledge yet he is able to carry on with both cases.

The protagonist of this novel acts normal but he carries on in his head a dialogue with a soldier he ordered killed before a firing squad in France for failing to obey a direct order. At times the reader isn't sure if Rutledge actually believes Hamish is dead but there is ample evidence he is able to conduct an inquiry and make brilliant investigations from evidence he gathers. A FEARSOME DOUBT is a great mystery as well as a haunting human drama.

Harriet Klausner
The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner








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Chapter Analysis of A Fearsome Doubt

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 60%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings of fear/loss/inadequacy Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American

Setting

Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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