Customer Reviews for

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

Average Rating 4
( 118 )
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(52)

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(33)

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(20)

2 Star

(4)

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(9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 19 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

5 out of 6 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.

    13 out of 19 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

    5 out of 7 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.

    3 out of 5 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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  • 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2013

    Great series

    Good mysteries, good characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    Very good psychological thriller/murder mystery. The detective

    Very good psychological thriller/murder mystery. The detective has major mental issues which complicates the case but also helps solve it in the end. Good character development especially of the detective. I will be reading the next book in this series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    Recommended - good read

    Ian Rutledge is a unique character. His personal issues derived from his experiences in "The Great War" hit home in regards to our present day returning vets. The twists and turns of the mystery are unusual. I was certain that I had things figured out several times in the course of the story. I will surely continue reading the series, not just to see what new and interesting cases the detective will solve but also to see how he deals with his own disability.

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  • Posted May 3, 2013

    Good book

    This first in a series was recommended to me. I have enjoyed it very much, and will read others in the series. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys "who-done-its."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    Highly Recommend

    A bit dry to start out, but a page turner once you get into it.
    thoroughly enjoyed this ine.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2013

    Excellent-well written and highly readable

    Fascinating story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2013

    Bookworm

    First to the kid who read Little Women and Harry Potter: while this book has no romance and no bad language it also has no magic, no thrilling action, no epic battles, no ghouls. In other words, it has nothing to interest a child or a tween or even most adults under thirty. What it does have is an intelligent mystery investigated by a war worn, psychologically damaged veteran on his first real case since rejoining Scotland Yard. Todd does an excellent job of depicting a man battling his combat demons. His struggle to make peace with his memories is poignant and realistic. In an age where PTSD didn't officially exist and "shell shocked" was a euphemism for cowardly, Rutledge's need to keep his illness a secret is almost heartbreaking. Yet he refuses to give up -- on himself or on catching the murderer. Todd takes us along on every step toward solving the crime. Every interview, every piece of evidence. Which brings me to my only complaint about this otherwise very well written mystery. The end wasn't just a surprising twist; it came way out of left field and seemed gimmicky to me. I really liked everything else in this book and look forward to reading the whole series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2013

    Can twelve year olds read?

    I've read little women when i was in second grade and finished all the harry potter books in third grade. This book good enough? No romance or bad words or anything inaproppiate

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 11, 2013

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