Scotland Yard’s best detective, Inspector Ian Rutledge, must solve a dangerous case that reaches far into the past in this superb mystery in the acclaimed series.
Declaring he needs to clear his conscience, a dying man walks into Scotland Yard and confesses that he killed his cousin five years earlier during the Great War. When Inspector Ian Rutledge presses for details, the man evades his questions, revealing only that he hails from a village east of London. With little information and no body to open an official inquiry, Rutledge begins to look into the case on his own.
Less than two weeks later, the alleged killer’s body is found floating in the Thames, a bullet in the back of his head. Searching for answers, Rutledge discovers that the dead man was not who he claimed to be. What was his real name - and who put a bullet in his head? Were the “confession” and his own death related? Or was there something else in the victim’s past that led to his murder?
The inspector’s only clue is a gold locket, found around the dead man’s neck, that leads back to Essex and an insular village whose occupants will do anything to protect themselves from notoriety. For notoriety brings the curious, and with the curious come change and an unwelcome spotlight on a centuries-old act of evil that even now can damn them all.
©2012 Charles Todd (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers
This is was one of the most exciting books I have ever listened to. Simon Prebble does a perfect job of the voices and brings the whole story alive.
In many ways this is almost a gothic novel - the air of brooding and unknown evil hanging over the Essex marshes and the little village of Furnham and the house River's Edge makes the book electric with suspense. I couldn't stop listening to it. Rutledge has to trace the murders back to their beginning over 20 years before the start of the murder which attracts Rutledge's attention. From a man coming to Scotland Yard to confess to a muder he didn't commit, Rutledge must finally go back over 20 years to find the first murder committed by this serial killer. Is is amazing to watch him untangle it all.
The solution to the murders will come as a big surprise and you will have a hard time figuring out. It is amazing the way Inspector Rutledge puts his case together and all the strange twists and turns it takes. With all the driving back and forth he does, I wonder the man gets any sleep at all.
The plotting is excellent and bit by bit we uncover the history of this reclusive town on the River Hawking. Each character is well fleshed out and we can picture them in their cottages so vivid is the characterization of each villagel Inspector Rutledge meets.
I wish Audible would publish all his books in audio but I am going back and reread all the books in the series from the start.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
Overall was well read. Just a little difficulty discerning one voice from another during conversations between some characters. Also a little difficult to understand Hamish's brogue.
This was my first outing with Inspector Rutledge, and in spite of it being well into the series, The Confession stands on its own, and references to earlier installments were not confusing. The writing was good, plenty of descriptive atmosphere. I liked the complexity of the plot well enough, but felt that while Rutledge was trying to sort out how the current and past events fit together, there were some very thin assumptions that barely held water. I had figured out the murderer and motive well ahead of Rutledge, and felt that the author(s) kept Rutledge from figuring it out somewhat artificially. He should have asked the right questions long before he finally did. But I hadn't expected at least one of the big reveals, and overall it was a satisfying mystery. Just a bit short of 5 stars, but I can see downloading others in the series.
Charles Todd just gets better with age - like a fine wine he is. Begin in Audible with the first of the series (confession: I've only listed to the those narrated by Simon Prebble - he is "The Man" as far as I am concerned) and work your way through to the end; they only get better and better.
Hamish MacLeod was quiet in this novel and I admire Todd for that. The best hope in life is that, no matter what the ailment, a person gets better, survives, and that is where I felt Todd was taking Rutledge in this one. It made me want to read the next one, a new facet to Todd, a hope for his character.
To sum this up, the best Ian Rutledge story yet. I loved every page of it. Now, saying that - this was the first novel I figured out "who-done-it" (about 2/3 in) but it did not ruin the novel because I was never 100% sure I was right, Todd kept me guessing and ultimately that is what I want in every mystery.
I cannot wait for the next one.
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.
....to an engaging mystery story.
This is not the usual sort of Police Procedural presenting all the clues for us to follow the solving of a crime, nor is Rutledge a regular guy. He has a secret.
As it is set post WW1, there is the ambience of a society going through it's own changes after The Great War. Yet this is not laboured. A fishing villiage has it's own secrets it wants to keep. What those secrets are, and why a man already near death is murdered, are the questions Ian Rutledge begins to ask.
As a "Who Done It?', it does have a Butler/Driver, a femme fatal and a Major.
Addicted to Audible - I listen to at least three books a month while I'm out walking. I'm a motivational speaker based in North Carolina.
I don't like these canned questions, so I'm just going to tell you why this book was great. I didn't think I would like some old British war story. Not that it's a war story - not really, but as soon as the war was mentioned, I groaned.
I'm glad I kept listening.
I couldn't wait to find out what the heck was going to happen next. Todd did a great job of creating this air of menace and creepiness. And the twists and turns! By the time I saw it coming, it was all over. A great mystery, outstanding writing - I couldn't wait to keep listening.
Simon Prebble has read most of the audio versions of Charles Todd's, and his readings are wonderful. Very rich and painful and macabre, much like the inspector himself. This wasn't my favorite of the series, but as usual, Prebble weaves the tale like a good play. You won't want to stop listening.
I don't think the other drivers on Florida's Turnpike would appreciate me reading the print version, just to compare the two.
There's no one defining moment - it's the inter-weaving of the characters, the depth of their personalities and the story that really make this series. This is just another fine example of the genre.
What's not to like? You always know which character is speaking, he's understandable and exceptionally easy to listen to. In fact, after listening to his narration for the duration of one of my longer trips, I found myself thinking with his accent. It was a little disturbing.
The Confession - OR IS IT?
I really like this style of mystery - police procedural, interesting protagonist detective, set between the wars in England. I thought the main character was really quite well drawn. However, I found the story somewhat confusing and the mystery itself implausible and almost irrelevant. I liked all the ingredients, but for me the story itself was not interesting. Also, all of these characters who take on each others' identity. That whole thing didn't work for me, and didn't seem to have any point or plausibility.
The main character is very interesting and likeable. I was hoping for more involvement with his sister, who only appears in one scene but is also engaging. I might try number 2 in the series, eventually. An okay listen, but not as good as i had hoped. Nicely narrated, though, except for the terrible attempt at a scottish accent Xb
This British detective procedural is fair. I enjoy a bit more of a pace in my mysteries.
I just could not get pulled into this novel. Too much talk and little else.
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