River of Darkness
In rural England, slowly emerging from the horrors of World War I, the peace of a small Surrey village is shattered by a murderous attack on a household that leaves five butchered bodies and no explanation for the killings. Sent by Scotland Yard to investigate is Inspector John Madden, a grave and good man who bears the emotional and physical scars of his own harrowing time in the trenches and from the tragic loss of his wife and child. The local police are inclined to see the slaughter as a robbery gone awry, but Madden and his superior, Chief Inspector Angus Sinclair, detect signs of a madman at work. With the help of Dr. Helen Blackwell, who introduces Madden to the latest developments in criminal psychology and who opens his heart again to the possibility of love, Madden sets out to unravel the mystery, even as the murderer sets his sights on his next innocent victims. Darkly stylish, suffused with tension, and rich in historical atmosphere, River of Darkness is a novel of extraordinary resonance and power.
"Airth writes with arresting authority and compassion.... a major talent."
"Rennie Airth takes what seems to be a twenties drawing-room murder mystery and transforms it into an edge-of-the-seat serial-killer thriller. Compelling stuff."