Legacy of the Dead

An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery
Narrated by: Samuel Gillies
Length: 11 hrs and 14 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (464 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The weathered remains of Eleanor Gray are found on a Scottish mountainside, and her mother, the domineering Lady Maude Gray, requires delicate treatment. This is a case that will lead Inspector Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard to Scotland, where his harrowing journey to find the truth will drag him back through the fires of his past into secrets that still have the power to kill.

©2000 Charles Todd (P)2002 W. F. Howes

What listeners say about Legacy of the Dead

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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 them 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.

37 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Denouement any one?

Holy cow. I had read other reviews mentioning a "cliff hanger" ending. They weren't kidding. I am not sure I would call it a cliff-hanger. I think there is just absolutely no denouement here. He/she (Charles Todd is actually two people), just solves the mystery and ends the danged book. So many of the peripheral threads are just left dangling. That actually did reduce my enjoyment of the book.

Aside from that rather large issue, the rest of the book was pretty good. It is well into the series, so if you like the previous books you are likely to like this one. It is generally a well plotted mystery, with the requisite red herrings and clues sprinkled through out.

The one other thing that bothered me was the whole "the copper handling the case is a complete jerk who won't listen to logic if it doesn't agree with his opinion" trope is getting a bit old. Honestly, Rutledge can't be the only semi-intelligent officer in the country.

Wow, that turned into more of a vent than I thought it would. I didn't actually hate the book, but as a fan of the series to date, this one didn't quite stack up. I hope the next one is better.

6 people found this helpful

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AN ADDICTIVE SERIES!

Somehow I started with just one of the books in the series but soon bought all of them back to back. FYI: This is the 4th in the series. Simon Prebble, as always, is a superb narrator - much better than Samuel Gillies, who narrates like he's performing "Hansel and Gretel" to 6 year olds!

No matter how hard you try, you will never guess who will be murdered and by whom. There are so many twists and turns and red herrings that the reader is always kept guessing. The Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge is a tortured soul but a great detective. He suffers from World War I "shell shock" which is what we now recognize as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that is manifested by a dead "imaginary friend" named Hamish McCloud. This adds an interesting component into how this detective acts and reacts. Hamish is to Rutledge what cocaine is to Sherlock Holmes - a dangerous nemesis that both helps and hampers. All of the books are pretty much the same plot but just different enough in locations, people, class distinctions, and twists to make each worth reading. My suggestion is to go on Google or Wikipedia to learn the order of the series and start with the first one. Each book fills in the gaps if you start somewhere in the middle but the continuity really helps. It would be nice if Audible.com would assign chronological order to books which contain a series or prequels and sequels. )I will post this same comment on all of the Ian Rutledge books that I've read.)

8 people found this helpful

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A very complex mystery - excellent narrator

If you could sum up Legacy of the Dead in three words, what would they be?

That is impossible - even after listening to the book the second time I had a hard time putting it all together - not that it wasn't well plotted by the author, but it was quite complicated.

What did you like best about this story?

The narration is perfect for this very intriguing story - Mr. Gillies conveys the nuance of the dialogue effectively. He is a true expert!

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

Of course Ian Rutledge, and Hamish along with him. Rutledge is unstoppable as a police inspector in spite of his residual psychological damage from the war.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The complex confrontation at the end was intense and thrilling.

Any additional comments?

I am re-listening to the entire series and find the books do not lose any of their power the second time through. The author sets up the mystery so the reader is very anxious to know what the solution is, but I can never figure it out before I finish.

1 person found this helpful

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good story good performance

The author once again weaves the tail worth reading and/or listening to. This is a great writing partnership. plenty of twists and turns to keep you interested and the typical false leads with ending up with some surprises.

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Couldn't get through this one

The whole premise of Rutledge's imagined(?) communication with his dead friend is compelling, but making his fiance the subject of the investigation was just too implausible for me. I just kept thinking, no way this could happen. It was just too distracting.

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Best one yet!

I've been snacking my way through these mysteries and like this one best so far!!

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Compelling double mystery

I enjoyed the plotting in this Ian Rutledge story very much as well as dipping into Ian’s relationship with his godfather, which makes a nice foil for his war trauma. Despite the religious tone more fitting the American south than the Scottish Borders, the compulsion of a village to go with the flow of gossip rather than stand up for what is right is again used as a pervasive theme. I couldn’t help but wish this was explored with a bit more nuance. So, too, the feminist theme introducing a lawyer who doesn’t listen to women and a priest who projects his own issues with sexuality onto single women could have been more thoroughly fleshed out. Everyone insisting that nasty letters were clearly a woman’s crime got a bit tedious after a while. That being said, the cast of characters is interesting and the links in their backstories are plausible. I wish there had been one more chapter to savor the resolution, as it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, but I hope the next novel will pick up where this one left off. There were a few holes in the authors’ geographic research in that one doesn’t simply nip down to Winchester from the Borders overnight, particularly in that era (arduous journey!) and I’m pretty sure hay is not a viable crop in Glencoe, nor are sheep traffic jams likely in that stretch of the glen that is so open and gorgeously barren. I also laughed at the notion of it being hot climbing up the side of the mountain (remotely possible perhaps, but unlikely, particularly in the context of severely cold and rainy weeks). But these errors don’t mar the story telling and as ever the visual descriptions are vivid and lush. Gilles’ performance is solid, though I know other reviewers dislike his reading style. My one complaint there is given Rutledge’s sister’s social status and that he went to a boarding school, and given the class tension with Boyles, I would have thought Rutledge’s accent would be a bit more posh? It doesn’t really matter to me as a reader but it doesn’t align with the class tension with his boss nor with the fact Rutledge is so often the one sent to sooth rich people.

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struggled to finish. too complicated ;abrupt end

this was my least favorite of Todd's mysteries.the plot was confusing and it ended without resolution

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Good except having to get used to narrator

Simon Preeble is my favorite narrator for this series but after I got used to this narrator, I found this to be one of my favorite of the series. A woman up for murder charges with a young son not her own and the town against her — make for an almost impossible tangle Ian Rutledge has to untangle. Add to that the dead Hamish who haunts Rutledge — it is his fiancée who is charged with murder. Gripping story right up to the end.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • The Curator
  • 02-12-20

A bit of a muddle and one huge howler

I like this series, I really do but this one, set in Scotland and just happening to feature Angus’ fiancée is a bit of a dogs dinner. Even worse, and I can only guess how this got through, at one point the author talks about a body lying in the open being at risk from coyotes and crows. WTF? If the body had been left at Edinburgh zoo I could understand it but I can assure the author and editors that there are no coyotes in Britain!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rogayah
  • 03-23-16

Too much love and too much pain

Rutledge has to try to save Hamish's fiancee, Fiona, from being tried for murder. The many impediments from all quarters in the small Scottish Border town, and Hamish, all make it hard for Rutledge to get to bottom of this case. His dectective meanderings seem to be a trail of red herrings, but eventually, his terrier-tenacity pays off, but not without danger to Rutledge's life and his mental well-being. He has to search the past - the war, and its repercussions to see the entire picture.

The narrator, this time, seems to be less off the mark in his narration.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-07-20

Too complicated

I enjoyed the storyline and writing day by day but the final connections of the 2 storylines and characters was too complex.

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  • tinyNorman
  • 01-21-15

Gripping tale, exquisite reading

This story is so skillfully written that you never know until the very end the whole picture. The narrator's reading is masterful, adding so much colour and life to all the different voices. This tale is one that I will enjoy revisiting several times more, to savour the subtler points and twists.