Inspector Rutledge returns to his position at Scotland Yard after long and horrendous combat service as an officer in World War I. He has been damaged..Show More » in soul and psyche, and in ways that make him one of the most fascinating detectives in the genre. This first book in the series is truly special, well written, compelling, and different.
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend listening to this narration. Even though I've read the book (albeit a number of years ago), I found myself totally confused almost from the beginning as to which character was speaking. We become so used to narrators who handle multiple-character dialog well (even if they don't always sound like we think a beloved character should) that it's a shock to listen to someone with this little skill at voice differentiation. In scenes where Rutledge is conducting interviews, it's almost impossible to follow the flow of questions and answers and the vital information (the plot is fairly complicated) that emerges from these interviews.
There's nothing "wrong" with Giles's voice, he just doesn't use it well. Read the book, skip this audio.
Todd writes the tale of a detective, back from the First World War and struggling with his own demons. As a "Who Dun It", this book stands on its own..Show More ». Without throwing out unnecessary Red Herrings, Todd keeps the question of the perpetrator (if there really is one) up in the air until very close to the end.
Even better, he paints a, presumably, accurate picture of rural English life between the wars. I've spent much time studying that period, but only as a historian. I, more or less, understand the economic forces that drove events. The personalities that dominated the country are part of my every day vocabulary. To read about the lives and attitudes of those who lived there and then, how they looked at those returning from the war, how they lived with a changing world and where they would look for leadership.
Inspector Ian Rutledge is presented with a mystery that could result in an innocent man's death by hanging if he doesn't find out the true story. A c..Show More »asualty of WWI, the man thinks he spies his wife and children on a railway platform and sets about to find them. The woman turns up dead and all assume that he is the guilty party. But where are the children? Where is the other man that was with the woman? Rutledge sees a man haunted by his experience in WWI, much as Rutledge himself is. He'll set about to find the truth and, in doing so, unearths a more complicated mystery. His superiors throw roadblocks in his way, but Rutledge is tenacious at the least. What I love most about Rutledge is his tenacity. He never gives up, always going one more time to this witness, or one more time to that witness. He is a wonderful exercise in analysis. Of course, he has some help from his ghostly nemesis, Hamish, who at times harangues him to the point of near insanity and at other times provides him with the direction he needs. I missed Simon Prebble's narration in this installment. Samuel Gillies was quite good, and I would enjoy his narration again. But Prebble is the absolute best.
What's up, Audible??? Why would you do this to us?
I've listened to all the Inspector Ian Rutledge books leading up to this one and several later ones before I realized it was a series. I enjoyed the..Show More »m very much. The problem is, this is the first one that ends on a cliffhanger, so I hopped on here to get the next one right away, only to find that Audible skips over the next 5 books. I'm so angry right now I could spit! Just be warned before you listen to this one. You're gonna be left hanging.
#5 RECENTLY RELEASED..HANG IN & GROW WITH RUTLEDGE
I don't know why Audible.com repeatedly asks this question in its Guided Review. It's rather presumptive to assume, as much as books cost today - esp..Show More »ecially audiobooks - that most readers/listeners would buy both formats. Of the close to 2,000 audiobooks I own and 10,000 print books that I've read in my lifetime, I only have doubles on, maybe 5, works. This is not one of them.
I've read all the Ian Rutledge and the Bess Crawford series (by Charles Tood, mother/son team). Just finished a Bess Crawford book, so was pleased to ..Show More »find this Rutledge one just released.
Rutledge is a Scotland Yard detective, struggling to rebuild his life after the Great War, from which he was sent home wounded in body and soul. It's important to understand that as a result of shell shock and events that have left him emotionally depleted as a result of the war, he carries with him an inner reminder of a moral dilemma he was forced to face. He had to issue the command to execute a soldier who refused (also on moral grounds) to lead his troops into certain death. Rutledge now hears the voice of Hamish MacBeth wherever he goes, as a constant reminder of the unthinkable choices and decisions he had been forced to make. The voice of Hamish can be wise or tormenting, but it is ever present.
In this story, Rutledge is confronted with new evidence, strongly suggesting that a man he helped bring to the gallows some years ago might have been innocent. At the same time, he is sent away to investigate the murders of men who have returned from the war seriously wounded. He must discover who is doing this, even while trying to heal his own soul from the war, and come to terms with the possibility that he not only had to have a good and decent man executed in wartime, but might have contributed to the death of an innocent man through the judicial system before the war.
There is lightweight entertainment, then there is writing that moves to deeper levels. All of this series, but especially the earlier episodes, force the reader to examine deeper moral issues, and especially this book. Yes, this is a good police procedural, and the writing is superb as they create this conflicted, lonely man who struggles with his war past while taking on his duties at Scotland Yard.
But Chales Todd here pushes the reader (listener) to examine what it means to kill. There are the issues of criminals who murder for personal reasons. But this is contrasted with legal killing--the judicial system, where people might be wrongly executed, and war, where atrocities occur that exceed the mind's ability to handle.
This book is a simple book at one level--Scotland Yard doing their job. At a different level, this writing brings us into the time just after WWI in England, providing descriptive details that evoke the atmosphere of a country that made enormous sacrifices and was almost brought to it's knees, as it tries to regain life and strength to go on. The book does an excellent job of bringing to the reader the moral dilemmas of killing, murder, legal execution or war, through Rutledge's eyes as he struggles to make sense of the two cases he has been presented with.
This is a good book, and one where the writing flows well, and has very good narration by Samuel Gillies. I could never call this "light" reading, even though it is still remains a police procedural. The Bess Crawford series, while excellent and also always thought provoking, is lighter in presentation than the Rutledge series. I have read them all, and I find that they stay with me because these earlier books, especially, leave quite a lot to ponder. They are all among my very favorite series books. Highly recommend!
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..Show More » 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.
I love the Inspector Ian Rutledge series but sometimes Charles Todd drops the ball. That's the case here. Nothing about this story makes any sense. ..Show More » Why would Scotland Yard waste valuable resources by sending one of its best detectives to a small country village at the demand of some guy holding two women hostage? Especially since he's unlikely to hurt one of them because he publicly professes a great love for the married woman? While the book has the usual Todd unexpected plot twists, the whole thing just goes on too long. Rutledge is allowed entry into the house several times, yet he never makes a move to overcome the kidnapper. He even allows food to be delivered after several days instead of starving them out. IF anyone can deal with this improbable story, the book should be abridged since so much of it adds nothing to plot line. Also, narrator Samuel Gilles is no where near as good as Simon Prebble who has done most of the Charles Todd works that I've enjoyed. Gilles' Scottish burr for Rutledge's nemesis, Hamish, is so over the top that half of the time I couldn't understand him, Plus Gilles does nothing with the other characters - they all meld together, sounding alike, making the dialogue hard to follow. Definitely not worth the price of admission.
In A Pale House, Inspector Ian Rutledge is challenged by seemingly disparate mysteries: the finding of a dead man in an abbey ruin, the disappearance..Show More » of another man, and, confounding his efforts to solve the first two events, a series of murders and attempted murders that ride the reader to an almost breathless ending. The twists and turns of Todd's Inspector Rutledge series never ceases to amaze me, and I appreciate that Rutledge, like the reader, spends a fair amount of time getting it wrong before he gets it right; although, Rutledge is rarely too far from the truth. This particular installment also brings to light in all its horrifying clarity, that which is Hamish. Readers familiar with this series already know about Hamish, but if you haven't read/listened to this novel, then, finally, you can learn about the whole sad, tragic story, at length, not just in snippets.
I give this novel only 4 stars because I do feel the mysteries were wrapped up a little too easily at the end. But the getting there was very satisfying. As always, Simon Prebble's narration was a joy.
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 o..Show More »f 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
This is one of my favorite mystery series. Its protagonist is unique and, in most of the books (this one is an exception), the physical and (especiall..Show More »y) the psychological setting of post-WWI England are engrossing. Simon Prebble's narrations are excellent.
That said, this entry is disappointing. After a promising and intriguing start (maybe the first 1/3 of the book), the story loses focus. Inspector Rutledge is constantly crank-starting his motor car as he travels back and forth across southern England multiple times following the threads of three cases. He gets exhausted and so did I. I'm all for unexpected twists in a whodunnit, but in this one the twists tangle into a Gordian knot that is totally frustrating (to say nothing of unbelievable).
If you have never tried this series, you should read the first one ("A Test of Wills") first; a superb book, it lays groundwork for the main character(s) that is essential. After that may be helpful to read the series in sequence, but I haven't and have still enjoyed them. And I'd advise skipping this particular entry.
Inspector Ian Rutledge races against time to solve a series of murders, the victims all being men who had fought together in the Great War. This kill..Show More »er is particularly sinister, much more sinister than any one that Rutledge had yet come up against. Clues left by the killer send Rutledge on wild-goose chases across the English countryside. Meanwhile, his own experience in the Great War continues to haunt him and come between him and his love for a woman who understands him too well. Margaret has her own ghosts to deal with and the reader's heart aches for them both. For me, this was a particularly sad novel, not just because of the deaths, but because of the lives that try to go on in spite of the deaths, because of the post-war weariness, the sense that it will be years before lives can be normal again, and the idea that for some, life will never be normal again.
But the mystery abides and once Rutledge figures out who the killer really is, there's no turning back; only a relentless struggle to stop him from killing again. For me, this installment is the best in the series. The characters are fully fleshed out now, and Todd's writing is often at times poetic, making me wish I had the book so I could underline some of the passages. I hope I don't have to wait too long for another installment.
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...Show More »r/> 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.
It's hard to say much more about Charles Todd (and character Ian Rutledge from Scotland Yard) than has already been said. At this point, I can happily..Show More » say that this whole series is one of my great favorites, and this new book completely lives up to my expectations.
It involves Rutledge going to the Fen country to help the local constabulary work two murders that would seem to be related, but for which there are no obvious connections that they can figure out. This is a well-laid out mystery--with lots of twists and turns.It seems to have more characters than most of the books which gives it interest, though a little hard to keep sorted in the beginning.
The only thing that left me a bit puzzled is that in all the others, Hamish (a voice from a dead soldier that Rutledge always hears in his head, as a result of shellshock) in greatly minimized. In past books, Hamish has had a greater prominence--something I rather enjoyed because it gave insight into other dimensions of Rutledge. Perhaps this is a sign that Rutledge is progressing away from his shellshock, but I found myself hoping it was not because they (Charles Todd--mother and son team) are planning to write him out eventually.
This is a very good mystery, with well drawn out characters--lots of interest, and even some history about the Fen country and WWI put in as well. And Simon Prebble is a perfect narrator! Highly recommend!