The Reckoning

The Reckoning

A John Madden Novel by the Author of River of Darkness

Additional Formats
  • Hardcover
  • ISBN 9780670785681
  • 368 Pages
  • Viking
  • Adult


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 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 protégé 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.


Praise for The Reckoning:

“I have been a huge fan of Rennie Airth’s novels featuring John Madden since first reading River of Darkness, and had been eagerly awaiting The Reckoning—it does not disappoint. Airth is at the top of his game, engaging the reader with dense plotting, page-turning narrative and expert characterization. I absolutely could not put it down!”—Jacqueline Winspear, author of Maisie Dobbs
“The marvelous John Madden returns in a stunning new mystery—Rennie Airth’s The Reckoning will keep you pinned to the page to the very end!”—Charles Todd, New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries and the Bess Crawford Mysteries

The Reckoning is about the comforts of redemption and forgiveness—and the impossibility of forgetting.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

“[The Reckoning] delivers all the suspense and twisty plot turns that readers have come to expect from this popular series.”—Booklist

“[John Madden] is a compatriot of such understated sleuths as…Simon Serrailler, or of Adam Dalgliesh.”—The Spectator (UK)

Praise for Rennie Airth:
“Move over, Inspectors Alleyn, Dalgliesh, and Morse, and make room for John Madden in the pantheon of great, civilized English sleuths. With THE DEAD OF WINTER, Rennie Airth now carries us through the third of Madden’s encounters with a killer sprung from a Europe at war with itself. It’s safe to say that once you’ve read it, you will start longing for Madden’s next case.” – Jane Kramer, The New Yorker
“Enter John Madden, protagonist of three fine novels…Madden is seamlessly admirable…In an era when our real-life heroes tend to have feet of thick, grubby clay, it can be bracing to spend time with a  man who is naturally but not implausibly noble.” – The Washington Post Book World
“[Airth’s] meticulously detailed procedural mysteries are beautifully written…[he] has produced three novels that are well worth reading, and rereading, whenever we’re engaged in war.” – Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times
“One of the best mysteries in years.” – The Boston Globe
“Airth writes with arresting authority and compassion…a major talent.” – Chicago Tribune
“It’s the tactics and the terrain, the morale and the characters that make the difference between an average thriller and one as good as this.” – Christopher Dickey, The New York Times Book Review
“A mystery thick with atmosphere and even psychoanalysis….Pay close attention to detail – the author did.” – Susan Hall-Balduf, Detroit Free Press
“Starts off as a genteel British whodunit but soon escalates into a suspense thriller…. However, Airth’s novel has an added psychological assurance and a tension-packed elegance. It’s up there with the works of P. D. James and Ruth Rendell. High praise indeed.” – Pauline Mayer, The Cleveland Plain Dealer
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