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Publisher's Summary

Dorset is the latest setting for the talents of Inspector Ian Rutledge, a veteran of the First World War still haunted, literally, by his actions. Indeed, his personal ghost only serves to complicate things as his inner doubts blend into the trauma of the case. The disappearance of two children, the murder of a woman supposed to be their mother, and an unstable suspect who may or may not be guilty form the bones of Todd's latest psychological thriller, augmented by the in-depth and impressive character analysis that distinguishes his novels.
©2000 Charles Todd; (P)1999 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall
  • Marie
  • Tallahassee, FL, United States
  • 01-31-11

Tenacity wins the day!

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 casualty 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.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 01-28-13

Yeah, It's Dark, Scary, and Perfectly Plotted

Okay... I didn't guess who dunnit. Todd creates so many perfect suspects and so many red herrings. I love this schizzo inspector. It's very British here in its plotting but not so British as to exclude us from chewing along with Ian Rutledge on the clues swirling around like the tiny bugs in a mid-summer swarm. On occasion I sort of wish that Samuel Gillies's characters were just a tad more different to avoid a bit of confusion, but on the whole he's competent.

There's a dark anti-war shadow over this post WWI period when Britain stood between imperial greatness and modern-age coping. And Todd explores that cultural crack wonderfully in this series. So well, I've just downloaded another Ian Rutledge mystery.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Annalisa
  • savannah, GA, United States
  • 03-11-12

If you like historical mysteries, you'll like this

I liked Samuel Gillies performance very much in this (and all the other) Inspector Ian Rutledge novel. It's very descriptive of the period, and the someone-else-in-my-head aspect of the character is fascinating. I wish Audible would get the whole series.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Keith
  • Redlands, CA, United States
  • 02-13-11

Search The Dark

Had this been the first title I read it might well have been the last. Fortunately I had just completed listening to A Lonely Death and thought it one of the best ever. The issue did not come from the story line but with the delivery. Samuel Guillies was difficult to listen to and lent no personality to the characters. I started the book several times and just about gave up. A review of other Charles Todd titles available on Audible indicate Simon Prebble as the reader. I look forward to those titles and hope "earlier works" by Charles Todd will soon become available.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Inspite of the Narrator

Samuel Gilles could not ruin this book, although he really tried. His stiff plumy accent made most of the characters sound priggish. Although he did a good job with the local accents they still sounded wooden and pompous. Charles Todd???s well thought out story and brilliant characters draw the listener into the action. I really enjoyed the book, but will think twice about buying any other books narrated by Samuel Gilles.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Good Story, Difficult to Follow Naration

Any additional comments?

The Ian Rutlage mysteries are great stories with well developed characters, but (for the early novels at least), the time, place or perspective sometimes change abruptly causing confusion without the visual ques from the actual text.

2 of 2 people found this review 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 book is the 3rd in the seriers. 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.)

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Another Winner From Charles Todd

This is one of my favorite detective series. It is remiscent of crime writers like Agathe Christis -- evoking the same country Britain of pre WWII. The people are living leisurely lives but no less complicated.

I didn't think the reader was nearly as good as latter readers like Simon Prebble, but still good.

The plotting and evocation of Post WWI Britain are so good that I have listened to every one. I wish Audible would bring out the earlier books in the series.

The one thing this writer excells in is great plotting. What seems like a simple murder or death turn out to be one with many twists and turns in. The secondary are well plotted too and come alive as people in these books.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah
  • BOERNE, TX, United States
  • 04-08-15

Another winner!

This is my favorite series - I am rationing myself to one a month. As usual, this one has a very intricate, intriguing plot with some real surprises at the end.

I enjoy Samuel Gillies's narration - perhaps, as someone said, he is a bit stiff, but I find that style appealing. I know some prefer Simon Prebble but both are fine in my opinion.

I'm looking forward to my next credit and my next Inspector Rutledge novel!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Blanchette
  • Pittsburgh, PA, United States
  • 10-23-17

Good story in spite of narration

The story is the usual Ian Rutledge mystery, full of twists, turns and moments of his own doubts. Rich descriptions and clear characters add to the enjoyment. The only downside is the narrator. It is read with an unnecessary flourish that brings odd sentence inflections and difficulty discerning who is saying what. A great voice, but miscast in these early Rutledge stories. Later narrator much better.