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Publisher's Summary

Charles Todd returns to the world of Scotland Yard’s Inspector Ian Rutledge in a series that the New York Times Book Review called “harrowing psychological drama” and the Washington Post Book World hailed as "among the most intelligent and affecting being written these days". This time the embattled Inspector has met his match hunting a brutal killer across a frozen hell and the one witness who may have survived a crime of…a cold treachery.

"You’ll hang for this - see if you don’t! That’s my revenge! And you’ll think about that when the rope goes around your neck and the black hood comes down..."

Called out by Scotland Yard into the teeth of a violent blizzard, Inspector Ian Rutledge finds himself confronted with one of the most savage murders he has ever encountered. Rutledge might have expected such unspeakable carnage on the World War I battlefields, where he’d lost much of his soul - and his sanity - but not in an otherwise peaceful farm kitchen in remote Urskdale. Someone has murdered the Elcott family at their table without the least sign of struggle. Was the killer someone the young family knew and trusted? When the victims are tallied the local police are in for another shock: One of the Elcotts’ children, a boy named Josh, is missing. Now the Inspector must race to uncover a murderer and to save a child before he’s silenced by the merciless elements - or the even colder hands of a killer. Haunted and goaded by the soldier-ghost of his own tortured war past, Rutledge will discover the tragedy of war that splintered one marriage - and pulled together another. Love, jealousy, greed, revenge - or was it some twisted combination of all of them? Any one could lead a man or woman to murder. What had the Elcotts done to ignite their killer’s rage? With time running out, Rutledge knows all too well that such a cold-blooded murderer could be hiding somewhere in the blinding snow.…

©2005 Charles Todd (P)2014 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • GrandmaG
  • Kinnelon, NJ, United States
  • 06-22-15

Enjoyable listening!

I am currently listening to this series, and enjoying it very much. I feel it is well-written and well-narrated. No objectionable language, no sexual situations. A nice, pleasant listening experience. This particular story was no exception. I thought I had figured out who the murderer was, but I was wrong. Moving on to the next one......

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The best Ian Rutledge mystery yet

I adore all the prior Ian Rutledge mysteries but this one is my favorite. The narration is perfect, characters well developed and diverse and great mystery.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Cold Treachery

This was an awesome book. There was no way I could tell what was going to happen or how it would end.
That's what I call a Fantastic mystery novel!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable

best of the series so far- pleasant, Rutlidge is the perfect tragic hero. well done

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A solid addition to the series

As with most series, if you have liked the previous books, it is very likely you will like this one.

It is a generally well plotted mystery with interesting characters and enough red herrings to keep the reader/listener guessing. I did have a strong suspicion who the killer was a good way into the story, but there were enough solid "clues" to keep me reading to make sure.

I did enjoy the book, but it was not without issues for me. Rutledge again goes potty over a female. It isn't that he gets attracted in almost every book, but that his good sense seems take a leave of absence when he does. It wasn't quite as egregious in this one, but it is enough of a trope in the series that it did cause eye-rolling.

The book also seemed to drag in places, which is rare for these books (at least for me).

My biggest complaint (and the reason it is 4 and not 5 starts for me) is the abrupt ending. After introducing all these interesting characters, the authors just drop them like a hot potato. The endings are "here is your murderer...the end". What happens to the boy? What was the fall-out from Bowles? You don't need war and peace, but some wrapping up of the stories you start would be nice. These abrupt endings seem to be the norm with this series and it is annoying.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anne
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • 06-04-17

Another Superb Charles Todd Novel

Te headline says it all. I really enjoyed this book. Samuel Gillies is a good narrator.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best Ian Rutledge stories

I have enjoyed reading the Ian Rutledge mysteries, and this one has been the best of the series so far. It keeps u hooked and always second guessing. I have to say I really like Simon Prebble as the narrator but as the novel progressed i really got to like Samuel Gillies' voice and expression. Well worth a credit

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  • Sarah
  • BOERNE, TX, United States
  • 05-04-16

What can I say? Another great Ian Rutledge Mystery

What made the experience of listening to A Cold Treachery the most enjoyable?

The setting and the intrigue of the mystery.

What other book might you compare A Cold Treachery to and why?

It's typical Ian Rutledge - his character is consistent throughout the series.

Which character – as performed by Samuel Gillies – was your favorite?

Inspector Rutledge, as always. Hamish plays a strong role in this book as well - more helpful, less annoying (to Rutledge) than in some of the books.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not really. But even though I was listening to it for the second time it had been long enough that I had forgotten how it ended up, so I listened as often as possible to find out who had done the murders and why.

Any additional comments?

This is my favorite series - I love the descriptions of the villages, the countryside, the villagers and the way of life in that not so distant but very different time. This combined with intricate mysteries make the Inspector Rutledge novels great, especially combined with excellent narration.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Another great book by Todd

I have listened to all of both series by Todd and they are great. This one was particularly intriguing because you really have no idea until the end who did what. Well done

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • CB
  • 10-30-14

Good book, a little too long

If you could sum up A Cold Treachery in three words, what would they be?

Seemed to go over the same suspects and same facts over and over.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The dog, Cybil.

Which character – as performed by Samuel Gillies – was your favorite?

Not really sure.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs Maureen Cate
  • 04-13-18

Superb series...

I adore these books and am slowly working my way through the series. Inspector Ian Rutledge is a complex and intriguing character who earns my respect and admiration.
All the stories I have listened to so far paint a clear picture of 1919 and how WW1 had lingering, sometimes devasting effects on many of the characters we meet in the books. Not least Rutledge himself.

There is just one thing that grates (but I am a pedant!) that has been explained by my recent discovery that the joint authors are American. In 3 of the books I have heard anachronisms. No lady in 1919 would have asked 'do you take cream in your tea?' The English would offer milk. The word 'gotten' would never be heard and hopefully still isn't. Finally, in this book, a lady's handbag would not have been referred to as a 'purse'.

Overall, however, the books I have listened to so far display a wonderful, historical picture of lives and living in 1919 England and Scotland.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Rogayah
  • 03-26-16

An appalling slaughter

Rutledge is sent by Bowles into the Fells in mid-winter to look into who had murdered a farmer and his family. The bitter weather and the taciturn locals make it difficult for him to get to the truth and to the murderer at the end of this chilling case.

This story was not as interesting as some of the others, but the need to know which of the many suspects was the killer held me to the end. The narrator's slightly soporific voice seemed to emphasize the slow-pace of this story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful