Customer Reviews for

A Test of Wills (Inspector Ian Rutledge Series #1)

Average Rating 4
( 123 )
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(55)

4 Star

(35)

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(20)

2 Star

(4)

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(9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

14 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

Excellent character study but the mystery needs work

As a study of the psychology of a man who returns from the horrors of war, this is an excellent read. Ian Rutledge was a police inspector for Scotland Yard before World War I who during the war was forced to execute a man for cowardice (in the legal sense), and that man...
As a study of the psychology of a man who returns from the horrors of war, this is an excellent read. Ian Rutledge was a police inspector for Scotland Yard before World War I who during the war was forced to execute a man for cowardice (in the legal sense), and that man has now taken up residence in his subconscious. It's a situation that he must learn to live with, at least for the time being, and one that may damage if not destroy the career he returns to after the war. As a mystery, however, I agree with several reviewers here that Todd needs to hone his craft - although I understand that he's done so as additional books in the series have been published. The investigation itself is excellent; a typical British mystery probing the lives of all the suspects in a little country village, as well as those of other residents of the town. But the resolution, when it comes, is straight out of left field. There is mention of the motive and reason for the murder earlier on in the book, but just one mention of less than a page - and then you forget about it until the denouement several dozen pages later. I agree with one of the characters in the book. Rutledge needs a sergeant or someone to work with in the series. That someone could be aware of his psychological condition, whether Rutledge tells him or he finds out on his own. He (or she) should be sympathetic to his plight and keep it a secret from the rest of the Yard, particularly from his superior Bowles, who I found to be thoroughly unlikeable, although a bit two-dimensional. The conflict between Rutledge & Bowles should hopefully be fleshed out as the series continues. Todd's writing and style are first-rate, though, especially for an American writing a British mystery, and I definitely want to continue with this series.

posted by nprfan1 on February 20, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Interesting but slow going

Takes place post WWI in U.K. Interesting insight into life back then if accurate. A little slow going. No excitement at all. Almost no humor. I did buy book 2 and 3 in the series to follow up on Inspector Rutledge. We'll see.

posted by Onthefly on May 30, 2009

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  • Posted February 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent character study but the mystery needs work

    As a study of the psychology of a man who returns from the horrors of war, this is an excellent read. Ian Rutledge was a police inspector for Scotland Yard before World War I who during the war was forced to execute a man for cowardice (in the legal sense), and that man has now taken up residence in his subconscious. It's a situation that he must learn to live with, at least for the time being, and one that may damage if not destroy the career he returns to after the war. As a mystery, however, I agree with several reviewers here that Todd needs to hone his craft - although I understand that he's done so as additional books in the series have been published. The investigation itself is excellent; a typical British mystery probing the lives of all the suspects in a little country village, as well as those of other residents of the town. But the resolution, when it comes, is straight out of left field. There is mention of the motive and reason for the murder earlier on in the book, but just one mention of less than a page - and then you forget about it until the denouement several dozen pages later. I agree with one of the characters in the book. Rutledge needs a sergeant or someone to work with in the series. That someone could be aware of his psychological condition, whether Rutledge tells him or he finds out on his own. He (or she) should be sympathetic to his plight and keep it a secret from the rest of the Yard, particularly from his superior Bowles, who I found to be thoroughly unlikeable, although a bit two-dimensional. The conflict between Rutledge & Bowles should hopefully be fleshed out as the series continues. Todd's writing and style are first-rate, though, especially for an American writing a British mystery, and I definitely want to continue with this series.

    14 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2007

    Atmospheric

    We love all Charles Todd's books. They are poignent and heartfelt mysteries with just the right combination of atmosphere and character studies. I read them very slowly and am always sorry to put them down. I've read everything from Christie to Barr to George and nothing satisfies like a Todd.

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    PLEASE READ

    Please stop spamming this review board with these idiotic RP ideas. You want to play RP? Go to ANY other place than this.

    8 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 25, 2011

    Very good

    It is an English novel written by an American using American grammar and Spelling I.E sidewalks not footpaths,Cookies not biscuits etc.It is wrriten for American readership,but I enjoyed it very much.Iwill check out the next in the series.There were lots of young men came from the great war psychologically scarred nd it will be interesting to see how Rutledge deals with his condition

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Absolutely Thrilling!

    As a lover of British Detective novels, this one packs a bang. We meet Inspector Ian Rutledge, a World War I veteran suffering from shell-shock, as he returns to Scotland Yard. The plot involving a double suicide and Rutledge's refusal to fail make this one heck of a read. I highly recommend it to anyone who follows DCI Alan Banks.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2011

    Love it

    I'm a huge fan of Elizabeth George and was looking for a similar writer.......I just found him, Charles Todd. I love Scotland Yard and the characters that make up the Yard in both George and Todd's stories. I'm already into book 2 of the Ian Rutledge series and looking forward to reading all while I wait on a new novel by George.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting but slow going

    Takes place post WWI in U.K.
    Interesting insight into life back then if accurate. A little slow going. No excitement at all. Almost no humor.

    I did buy book 2 and 3 in the series to follow up on Inspector Rutledge.

    We'll see.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2012

    A TEST OF WILLS

    I absolutely loved this book and this Character. Even though he is a victim of shell shock. I like his sense of duty to perform his job even though he is haunted by his war experiences.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Inspector Rutledge

    WWI was a gastly war. It took a lot more from the remaining living than from those that died. Very interesting book.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2013

    Enjoyed it!

    I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2012

    A Real Effort

    Must be the British way of writing, but this book was dry, drwn out, and real work to read thru to the end. The ending just didn't connect with the rest of the story except that the character is mentioned elsewhere in the book.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2011

    A test of wills

    Well writen

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2011

    great book

    I love this series. Wonderful characters and terrific plot.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2013

    Well done

    Enjoyed the psychology of it all

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2013

    Lol loved it

    I loved everything about it

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2013

    Good read

    Recommended for the intelligent and discerning reader - a winner.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2014

    Chopped prose

    I have never been inclined to review a book,but this one is so amateurish in composition I am angry at myself for purchasing it based on premise alone.Wish B&N would refund my account.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2013

    Good read

    Interesting and entertaining. A good diversion

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 7, 2011

    good mystery

    ready for book 3 to see what crime inspector Rutledge gets to solve!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2015

    Excellent mystery.

    Well-written, interesting, detailed story. The detective is a sympathetic character. As if Anne Perry + Agatha Christie = Ian Rutledge. Looking forward to reading more in the series.

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