I'm a big fan of the Ian Rutledge series but I'll try to avoid gushing in this review. From the very first I was hooked as the murders are very puzzling. As the book goes on, much detail is revealed about various characters and families in the region so by the end I felt like I actually knew them. Going into so much depth with even the minor characters makes the story so much more significant than many mystery novels. That's one thing that keeps me reading this series.
As usual with this series there is a secondary mystery going on that's at least as puzzling as the main story line. It is complicated and the solution was discovered in ways I felt were too far-fetched. A years old unsolved murder is finally cleared up by several accidental discoveries, one involving an old acquaintance of Rutledge who reveals the truth on his death bed. I'm not sure I like the inclusion of these sub plots as there just isn't time in one novel to lay the groundwork and develop the clues for two such complicated mysteries. Too much last minute explanation is required.
Hamish, the persona living in Rutledge's head due to trauma suffered in the war, plays a larger role in this book than in most of the others. He warns Rutledge of danger and gives him advice which is more substantial than usual and Rutledge actually seems to appreciate the help, which is also different.
I highly recommend this audiobook as a dependably satisfying post World War I murder mystery read by a superb narrator.
As one I would listen to again.
Engaging enough to encourage me to order another Charles Todd title so long as it was narrated by Simon Prebble.
He is consistently excellent.
Not quite. But an excellent gardening companion.
I wish there were remakes of other Charles Todd redone with Simon Prebble narrating.
If you are a fan of PD James, you will probably like Charles Todd. His Ian Rutledge stories leave me with much the same feelings--the detective got his man, but that isn't the whole story. Rutledge and his characters are struggling to find a new normalcy after World War I's ugly, senseless carnage. Against that backdrop, there is someone waging his own private war on the town's former soldiers. They are being garroted--one by one--as Rutledge struggles to identify and stop the killer. Hamish, his relentless internal companion keeps up a steady stream of comments often seeming to be more of a partner in detection than the nemesis he has vowed to be.
This was my first Charles Todd book. I know I jumped in the middle, but it was on sale and I like British dectectives. The writing and preformance were wonderful, but the story just left me sad. I know that is not always a bad thing, but I ended up feeling sorry for all of the characters. I would like to see how the main character progresses and might read more from this point. I won't go back and download the first ones as I feel this gave me most of the background I needed.
To anyone who has an intervoice living in their head this book is a tonic! Sometimes Ian Rutledge talks to him outloud which I love. The intervoice is the result of shell shock and the aftermath of World War 1-I just always have had mind The mysteries are involved so this is not an easy listen but it is great!
The twists through the mystery are quick and surprising with tons of clues to help you solve the murders on your own. Totally enjoyable!
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
I really wanted to like this one better than I did. The central mystery was intriguing and the lineup of potential perpetrators interesting. Unfortunately the story bogged down in unseemly police department politics in which Rutledge was being persecuted or obstructed by every inspector and beat cop in three different towns. This became a device to disrupt the investigation sufficiently for more mayhem to occur, ostensibly to heighten the tension, but too often just added frustration. Development of several potentially interesting characters was sacrificed to this feud. And the injection of a cold case on the side served as a distraction that did not further the central story.
On the positive side, followers of the series learn more about Rutledge’s ordeal in WW1 France, and about the mysterious Meredith Channing. That was fine, but I wanted more mystery than soap opera. Simon Prebble, as always, was spot on with the reading.
I think I will take a break from Rutledge for a while. I still enjoy him as a character very much, but I’m sensing too much of a formula to the series at this point that has made the thoughtfulness of the mysteries go a bit stale.
The narrator has a decent reading voice but it is hidden by the lack of tonal variation between characters, time frame of incidents and places events occurred. I would not recommend the audio version to a friend.
No comparable book at this time.
The story began on what I thought was a promising note. The voice of the narrator echoed visions of Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot-like detecting. As the story progresses, the narrator fails miserably at differentiating all of the characters. I found myself losing my place in the story because I could not tell which character was speaking or where the conversations took place. I've heard stories read in audio formats far less polished than the current mass produced audio. Those versions had more character in the narrators voice than the polished swill being sold to audio listeners. The audio will definitely put you sleep if you tend to relax and listen like I do.
I don't know if this needs a follow up book. If a more lively and active person narrates the story then yes.
I would probably have enjoyed this story in print. Audiobook publishers should consider the quality of the reading as well as the active participation of the reader with the story being read. Scott Brick sounds exactly the same on all of the books he narrates yet he manages to bring the words alive. Listeners want to hear the changes in location and character without having to sleepwalk through an audio listen. I don't expect a full cast audio drama. I do expect the narrator to put life into the words they are reading regardless if it's fiction or non-fiction.