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By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
Topic - Charles Todd
The question of whether a British officer serving in India in the early 20th century killed his parents and then disappeared is the pivot around which this mystery evolves.
There is no Christmas cheer in a British garrison in India in 1857. In the wake of the massacre of Cawnpore in which men, women and children were slaughtered, there is only despair. The atmosphere of the not-exactly-festive "A Christmas Garland" is made even darker by the killing of a guard and the escape of an Indian prisoner because the culprit is suspected to be John Tallis, a British medical orderly with no history of problems or violence.
This is murder in the midst of the trench warfare of World War I, exacerbated by a lethal Spanish influenza that took millions of victims in an era otherwise predominated by military and civilian death.
Perhaps the saddest truth of war is that it corrodes all it touches. In "Bitter Truth," Charles Todd's theme is war, and as is the case in his earlier novels, plot is sublimated to historic events, in this case those of World War I.
Charles Todd's "An Impartial Witness" is haunted by the horror of World War I as it affected those who fought it and tried to forget it, if they lived through it.
There is a Dickensian sweep to this account of how a chance encounter in a restaurant plunges Adam Kindred, a mild-mannered British climatologist into the terrifying world of the urban hunted.
In Reginald Hill's "Midnight Fugue," the Fat Man is back in a melee of crime and political corruption that would have demolished anyone else still recuperating from being blown up by a bomb.