Scotland Yard’s Inspector Ian Rutledge brought the Great War home with him, and its horrors haunt him still. On New Year’s Eve 1919, he finds a brass cartridge casing, similar to countless others he’d seen on the battlefield, on the steps of a friend’s house. Soon there are more, purposely placed where he is sure to discover them. Unexpectedly drawn away from London to a small Northamptonshire village, he investigates the strange case of a local constable shot with a bow and arrow in an allegedly spirit-infested wood. Here among the taciturn townsfolk, embroiled in a three-year-old mystery of a vanished young girl, Rutledge hopes to keep his own ghosts at bay. But his stalker has followed him. And now the emotionally shattered policeman walking the razor’s edge of sanity must somehow keep his balance long enough to discover who is tracking him...and why.
©2006 Charles Todd (P)2014 Recorded Books
The plot was not quite believable IMO but that didn't keep me from enjoying the book. Inspector Rutledge darts all over the place in his motor car, finding mysterious cartridges left for him. It's an intriguing plot, which kept me listening one whole weekend as I did my weekend chores etc. I am very fond of Rutledge and Hammish and how they interact with each other.
Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.
I noticed that only one person has rated this book before now, and appears not to have liked it at all. If that listener was unfamiliar with the whole series, it would be easy to understand how difficult it might have been to make sense out of this story. I love this series, and I loved this book. But it is perhaps one that most depends upon knowing and understanding the character of Ian Rutledge up till this point, to allow the book to be interesting and meaningful.
Ian Rutledge is a veteran returned from WWI, injured in body, mind and soul. He feels cautious of other people, has been rejected by the woman he had been engaged to before the war, and has come back to work at Scotland Yard, where he seems to be something of a loner, a man who works best by following his own intuititions. Indeed, he is not exactly "alone," because he suffers from Shell Shock (what we would call PTSD today), and carries within him, the haunting voice of an executed war comrade, along with torturous guilt and memories.
This book possibly is the strongest one in the series, in terms of directly and indirectly alluding to the internal ghosts he is struggling with. The book begins on New Year's Eve, where a woman is doing a seance-like sitting, trying to evoke the dead--which so unnerves him that he has to leave early. He finds shell casings there (and other places) which provoke anxious memories for him. And then his job takes him north, to a spirit-ridden area, where tight-lipped people won't go into the woods, nor reveal why to him because of something that occurred in their past.
The writing of this whole series and especially this book is just word-perfect. I never want one to end. I have read each one in paper, and I'm now coming back to listen--which is a very satisfying experience, as I hear details and grasp more of the psychological aspects of this time in history, and the narration is quite good as well. But even though I recommend this book with as many stars as one could give it, I fully believe this is one book best read only after getting a better sense of what the series/character is about. Otherwise, I can easily understand how disappointing it might have been to listen to--might not have made as much sense in many ways. However, I found it as good as when I first read it, and if one follows the series, this book will most likely be greatly enjoyed at many levels--historical, psychological, good mystery and very unique main character.
Story complex but not mesmerizing. Kind of long. One of the weaker books in a fine series. It's OK but others are much better. As usual: great reader.
love the whole series. his character is so well written. the effects of war and the aftermath it leaves on the soldiers soul. i enjoy how you really get that sense that times are changing. .women their roles but yet the old times are not easily given up.
The narration just isn't for me. So many of these titles have the same narrator and though I generally like the plots and story, I won't get another one with the same narrator.
Didn't finish it.
The narration just isn't for me. So many of these titles by Todd have the same narrator and though I generally like the plots and story, I won't get another one with the same narrator.
Yes, I would recommend all of Charles Todd's Inspector Rutledge books to everyone.
Yes, it flows nicely and leaves subtle clues. It is difficult to decide who the murderer is before the end and that is how I believe a mystery should be.
I do not see Samuel Gillies as Inspector Rutledge. His voice is good for the other parts, but not Rutledge. I prefer a different reader.
Not to be missed
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