Investigating the killing, Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge discovers that the victim was universally despised in Cambury - even the victim's wife and the town's police inspector are suspect. And yet in London circles, the man was highly regarded. What triggered his death?
Rutledge doggedly follows a well-concealed trail that finally leads him to the one person who knows the whole truth. But it's too late to stop a spreading evil and a vicious settling of scores.
As the seasoned inspector comes to understand the larger picture, he realizes he may not be able to prove what he suspects. In spite of his skill, this may be the only case in which Rutledge fails to get his man.
©2009 Charles Todd; (P)2009 BBC Audiobooks America
"In the stellar 11th Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery, Todd (the pseudonym of a mother-son writing team) seamlessly combines a fair-play whodunit with a nuanced look into the heart of darkness in the human soul." (Publishers Weekly)
I initially had a hard time getting into this story, and thought I would need to go back and listen to the beginning again, but I decided to just keep listening, and it was an excellent mystery, with ties back into the past and all the things that make it fun to read detective mysteries.
This is my first listen to one of Charles Todd's mystery series. I chose it after a marathon of three of James Lee Burke's novels, needing a change of pace from Burke's contemporary and considerably more violent police procedurals. Like all good series writers, Todd brings the neophyte up with speed with his characters by moderate amounts of judiciously placed flashbacks and reflections. I enjoyed the post-WWI settings of London and surrounding villages, with side trips to St. Ann's. I enjoyed "knowing" at the outset the history of the murdered victim, and then listening to Rutledge try to piece it all together. Rutledge was a fine character, doggedly persistent in uncovering the truth when he could have easily washed his hands of the crime once a trial-worthy suspect was found. Like other mysteries I've enjoyed, I wound up listening to the last two hours late at night, unable to sleep because Rutledge was so close to revealing the oddly intertwined relationships that led to the murder. I simply couldn't wait to know how it all would play out in the end. It was difficult for me to keep track of all the characters through audio (some considerably minor but they still pop up frequently), and so I might have lost some of the character development that I usually enjoy in these well-paced novels. It was challenging to believe that the murdered victim might have actually had some redeeming qualities: I don't know if Todd just wanted to confound the reader/Rutledge in the quest to find the murderer or if the point was to highlight the strange confluence of guilt and evil. In any case, it added to the tension and kept me glued to my earbuds.
I love the narration of Simon Prebble who has an uncanny ability to modulate his voice just enough to discern the different characters without making them into caricatures. I highly recommend this particular novel in the series and hope to listen to some of Inspector Rutledge's adventures
I loved the feel of this book almost like an Agetha Christie. The twists and turns of plot kept me entertained all the way throught.
This is an engaging tale, well-presented by author and narrator, featuring a thoughtful, flawed, courageous protagonist in a cultural context with which I'm unfamiliar. It came together as the pleasant diversion I seek in this type of audio book.
Althouth the reader knows from the beginning who likely "done it", the chase is still fun. And there are enough twists to keep it interesting! It fades a little in the middle. Takes too long to get to the meat of the matter.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
This was a very clever mystery in which the reader is let in on information at the beginning that gives us an advantage over Inspector Rutledge and the others trying to figure out "who done it". Events of 20 years ago, thought to be secret have been discovered, resulting in consequences affecting people never directly involved. An abundance of possible suspects are reviewed, but Rutledge is never satisfied that he is getting the real story. I felt a sense of anticipation wondering what would bring him around to the right track, and that made it interesting to a point. But then it seemed to drag out just a bit beyond the the point of enjoyment and I began to get a little impatient for some forward movement. I'd like to give 5 stars, but the stalling of the pace makes it a 4. Once the story shifts out of second gear, the final hour takes off and (to quote another great detective) the game's afoot. Some details were predictable, but others were surprising.
I really like Ian Rutledge. He is intuitive, smart, traumatized, and determined. It's a little hard to get used to Hamish, but he serves as an interesting alter ego if not used too frequently. Simon Prebble carries the reading very well.
Love having someone read me a story. Fires in the hearth, rain on the roof, sunny days and surf. Good friends, good food and J S Bach.
I am not telling you what happens. This is post WW1.It is a murder mystery. The phone is a new toy, there are motor cars and peculiar people. Maybe. A story of revenge rage and greed. Sound familiar? Simon Prebble does read well and I am sad there is only two Audible books in this series.
I know nothing of Charles Todd, so I will be checking out inter library loans.and looking in my local library.
This it the first Ian Ruthledge story I've listened to and found the story a bit annoying in parts - the repetitive introjections by "Hamish" was just too much at times. The detective seemed too befuddled to be effective in assessing each potential clue. Maybe more reflective of reality but a drag after a while. I'm giving it 3 stars for the narration of Simon Prebble who does a good job.
I love espionage and detective thrillers but will listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
Charles Todd never disappoints. Like his other Inspector Ian Rutledge novels this one is set post WWII; however, it starts with the Boer War 20 years earlier for background.
Simon Prebble is always a pleasure to listen to.
"Good read well read"
I bought this title on the strength of the narrator (after listening to Jonathan Strange...) and was not disappointed.
Well plotted and atmospheric detective story.
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