Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge, like millions of other Britons, is suffering from the lingering effects of the Great War. He's haunted by the memory of his dead comrade, Hamish--two years after the armistice, he can still hear Hamish's running commentary in his mind. Then a man walks into Scotland Yard claiming his name is Wyatt Russell, and that he murdered his cousin Justin Fowler during the war. Rutledge is intrigued and drives down to the small Essex village, Furham, where the two men came from. He discovers an isolated, unfriendly place, whose people are in a hurry to get rid of strangers, prompting Hamish to observe that they seem to be hiding a guilty secret.
Then, a few days later, Wyatt Russell is found floating in the Thames--except he wasn't really Wyatt Russell, but rather Ben Willet, who also grew up in Furnham. Rutledge is bewildered: Why would Willet impersonate Russell to make a confession? Did Willet know the truth about a murder? Is Justin Fowler actually dead? And why are the people of Furnham so opposed to Rutledge's presence?
The Confession demonstrates the confusion of life in postwar England, as everyone struggles to come to terms with how drastically their lives have changed. Charles Todd carefully delves into the nature of survival and how people cope under the duress of both war and murder. --Jessica Howard, blogger at Quirky Bookworm