The Reckoning

The Reckoning Inspector John Madden who debuted in River of Darkness returns in a gripping post World War II murder mystery On a quiet afternoon in retired bank manager Oswald Gibson is shot in the head while

  • Title: The Reckoning
  • Author: Rennie Airth
  • ISBN: 9780670785681
  • Page: 496
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Inspector John Madden who debuted in River of Darkness returns in a gripping post World War II murder mystery On a quiet afternoon in 1947, retired bank manager Oswald Gibson is shot in the head while fishing In Scotland, a respectable family doctor is killed in the same manner and with the same gun What is the connection Scotland Yard s Detective Inspector Billy StylesInspector John Madden who debuted in River of Darkness returns in a gripping post World War II murder mystery On a quiet afternoon in 1947, retired bank manager Oswald Gibson is shot in the head while fishing In Scotland, a respectable family doctor is killed in the same manner and with the same gun What is the connection Scotland Yard s Detective Inspector Billy Styles and local detective Vic Chivers are baffled until a letter from Gibson is discovered that might shed some light on the case a letter concerning former Scotland Yard detective John Madden Despite Madden s legendary memory, he has no recollection of meeting Gibson or any idea of what their relationship might have been Madden is happily retired from police work, but agrees to help his former prot g Styles and the clues they uncover only deepen the mystery When a third man is killed in a similar fashion, Madden and Styles find themselves in a race against time to find the killer before another man ends up dead A smart, intricately plotted mystery, this is the fourth title in the critically acclaimed and much loved John Madden series.

    One thought on “The Reckoning”

    1. 3.5 starsRetiree Oswald Gibson is shot and killed in Sussex, England while he's out fishing. The killing is similar to the recent murder of an elderly doctor in Scotland. Investigation reveals that shortly before his death Oswald wrote - but didn't send - a letter inquring about John Madden, a former Scotland Yard detective. As more elderly men are killed Detective Inspector Billy Styles of Scotland Yard asks his retired supervisor John Madden to help with the investigation. It's soon discovered [...]

    2. There is something about many British mystery series that most American series have not quite mastered (in my opinion). And that is the combination of character and plott only the character of the primary persons but the characters that surround them and support them, including the victims. Rennie Airth writes thinking persons mysteries. His are low on action and high on thought. This fourth in the John Madden series also is a fitting story to read in the year 2014 as it deals with the legacy of [...]

    3. This the fourth mystery featuring former Scotland Yard Inspector John Madden. The initial book in the trilogy began with River of Darkness, set in 1921. The second novel, The Blood Dimmed Tide, took place during 1932, while the third, The Dead of Winter, is set during the latter days of world war two. The Reckoning begins just after world war two and takes us into the early fifties, although, like the earlier novels, the real core of the book has its heart in wartime. I enjoyed meeting up with f [...]

    4. First Sentence: As he was fitting a new fly to his hook, Oswald Gibson looked up and saw two figures on the ridge above, both of them carrying what looked like fishing gear over their shoulders, long, cylindrical cases of the kind that you could fit two sections of a rod in. A bank manager is shot execution-style while fishing. A family doctor is murdered in the same with the same gun. DI Billy Styles, former protégé of his now-retired boss John Madden, receives a letter from the second victim [...]

    5. The fourth in the Madden series. I enjoyed the story but it tended to be slow and fluffy. The first book in the series was so good that the last two pale by comparison. It is a police procedural and the author has taken the protagonist of the story, Madden, and aged him throughout the series. The first book takes place after WWI and the series progresses and all the characters age. The setting for this book is 1947 and involves events that took place during WWI and lead to a series of gruesome m [...]

    6. The Reckoning – Stylish & BrilliantTypical of me to find an excellent detective series when it comes to the fourth book, now I will have to somehow get hold of the first three books. The Reckoning by Rennie Airth is an atmospheric and evocative crime novel a proper old school whodunit written with panache and style. It would be easy to say this book was written in another era as it has all the reminders of the Queen of whodunits Agatha Christie herself.Rennie Airth in The Reckoning has bro [...]

    7. A TERRIFIC POLICE PROCEDURALEvery five years now the former South African journalist Rennie Airth brings out another novel about John Madden, an English police detective whose life spans the two World Wars. In The Reckoning, Airth’s fourth book, Madden has long since retired to his farm in the south of England with Helen, his devoted physician wife. It’s 1947, with much of London still in ruins from the Blitz, rationing of food and gasoline remaining in place, and the new Labour government p [...]

    8. The Reckoning is the 4th and, at the moment, final book in the John Madden mystery series. Madden is a police inspector with Scotland Yard and in the later books has retired to the country south of London. However he is often called in to assist with investigations, either because of his own involvement with the suspects/ cases, or because the cases occur in his home county. In this book, a man is murdered and it comes to light that he had written a letter asking for contact information for Madd [...]

    9. The crimes that are at the heart of "The Reckoning" are similar but unconnected at first glance. Two men (later more) are executed at close range by a man using a 9mm pistol. Though the men live some distance apart, and seemingly are unknown to each other, the bullets used to kill the men are ballistically identical, One of the men had thought to contact John Madden, now a long-retired police inspector, about something that had troubled him, but had never mailed the note. So Madden is brought in [...]

    10. Excellent entry in the John Madden series. This tale of wartime injustice and revenge is well-written with fleshed-out characters and a plot that keeps you interested from beginning to end. My only quibble is with the ending, which felt a bit rushed and could have spent more time playing out the expected confrontation between Madden and the antagonist after such a strong build-up. Nevertheless, this a solid mystery from Airth, and fans of the series should not be disappointed. Highly recommended [...]

    11. This series, which began just after World War One, has now made its way to the period just after World War Two. But something that happened during the earlier war may be at the root of a series of murders.And John Madden is drawn in when an unfinished letter from one of the victims is found to be asking Scotland Yard how to get in touch with Madden.Working with his former protege, Billy Styles, and newcomer Lily Poole, Madden and the Scotland Yard detectives race to find the connection among the [...]

    12. I really enjoy a good police procedural and this novel is another of this type. Recomnended to those who like Ann Granger.

    13. Airth is an interesting author. He has now published four John Madden books over the last fifteen years. He published the first novel in 1999 at the age of 64. The first novel was based in 1921 and Madden was still suffering from his time in the trenches during the “Great War”. The second book in 2004 was based in 1932 and Madden was now an Inspector, and the third in 2009 during 1944 as a Chief Inspector.This fourth book (published when Airth is 79) finds Madden retired to the life of a far [...]

    14. *Thank you to the author and publisher for the review copy**Another John Madden mystery (I am a huge fan of these) and yet another atmospheric, beautifully set and terrifically written "old school" mystery from Rennie Airth.This time it appears as if there is a mad gunman on the loose - despite repeated attempts to discover a link between the victims, the waters are murky. Enter almost by accident, John Madden, who may unwittingly hold the key to the motive for the crimebut can it be discovered [...]

    15. Several men are shot suddenly and without warning or clues. All are shot by the same gun. Yet there seems to be nothing linking the men. John Madden, formerly of Scotland Yard, is mentioned in a letter one of the dead men had been writing, but even Madden's famous memory can't recall ever meeting any of them. Then a cryptic comment in a dead man's diary makes Madden realize why he's forgotten--because he didn't want to remember the miscarriage of justice that brought the men together. Unusual 19 [...]

    16. Definitely a Force to be Reckoned WithThe Reckoning was a gripping mystery set in London and involving Scotland Yard. A series of execution style murders too similar in nature to not be connected baffles the Yard. A retired detective becomes involved when his name is found on an unfinished letter penned by one of the murder victims. This was a great read with some unexpected twists and has the makings of a good movie. The Reckoning did NOT disappoint.

    17. Sigh. I'm so sad. The Reckoning is the last (so far) book in an excellent mystery series. Full of tension and suspense, I put them all in the same category as Charles Todd's Inspector Ian Rutledge books. But now I've read them all and have to go looking for another series that's as good. Good luck with that.

    18. I was pleasantly surprised that another John Madden historical mystery had been published and was glad that this book met the high standards of the previous books in the series.

    19. This is a thoroughly enjoyable series with likable and well-written characters. The hero is John Madden, a World War I veteran and former Scotland Yard standout. Madden is an endearing man, very much in the mode of Gamache of the Three Pines series by Louise Penny. He's wise, thoughtful, kind, intuitive, and with a bone deep integrity that shines through every book of the series. He's retired to a farm with his still working beloved wife, a physician, has two children who are now on their own, a [...]

    20. This is the fourth in the John Madden series. Retired from Scotland Yard at the end of WWII and living on his farm, Madden is drawn into a murder investigation by his old c0-workers who often seek his help. It soon turns out that Madden actually has a connection to a murdered man which goes back to his time as a young Army officer in WWI. As seemingly unconnected murders continue, they begin to look like executions by one perpetratorbut how are these victims' lives relatedwhat is the common thre [...]

    21. The Reckoning disappointed me for a few reasons. Namely the plot. I didn’t feel compelled to read chapter after chapter, as there was little suspense. John Madden’s participation in the investigation felt forced. As with Airth’s last novel, Madden’s involvement was limited. The murder scenes didn’t get my heart racing and they didn’t comprise of much of the plot. Perhaps I have read too many murder mysteries back to back, making them more predictable, and less action packed to me. I [...]

    22. I love the way good British (well in this case South African) writers can marry plot and character. Delighted to have discovered Rennie Airth and his investigator, John Madden, having come to the end of the Ian Rutledge books. I’ve read the first and the fourth in the series because they are the ones available from my library ebook program. Will now buy the other two. My British Uncle was killed in World War II and my great uncle in World War I so these have a special resonance for me. War goe [...]

    23. Just finished this novel (#4 in the series) and enjoyed it immensely! It is the first John Madden mystery I've read and I'm all set to go back to the first and begin the series. The plot was interesting and believable, plus the characters are well developed and realistic. It has some politics in it (all these mysteries seem to have a boss who has political motives) and I get tired of that stuff (give me the mystery and forget the politics of police work.) In this book it was not as bad as many I [...]

    24. I love this series. The characters are more fully developed with each book, and it's good to see that while John Madden has retired from Scotland Yard, his protege, Billy Styles, has become an inspector in his own right and is ably assisted by the intrepid Lily Poole. A serial killer is executing people in various locations, with no apparent connection. Styles seeks Madden's advice, which stirs up John's memories of WWI, and that turns out to be the connection, with Madden another possible targe [...]

    25. Have finished all 5 in the series, this is # 4, the best, hoping very strongly there will be a # 6 and more.Based on an incident in Madden's past in WW1, his mysterious personality comes thru more clearly, more a part of the story, not so much as a former cop.

    26. Aftermath of warWhen a retired banker is shot while fishing, it seems to be a bafflingly motiveless crime. The man was a respectable, self-effacing type with no known enemies. Even more bafflingly, elements of the crime mirrored an earlier murder that had taken place hundreds of miles away in Aberdeenshire. Because of these similarities, Billy Styles, now a Scotland Yard inspector, is asked to investigate possible links. And when it is discovered that the second victim had been trying to get an [...]

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