A Lonely Death (Inspector Ian Rutledge Series #13)

A Lonely Death (Inspector Ian Rutledge Series #13)

3.9 45
by Charles Todd
     
 

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A breathtaking blend of psychological complexity, haunting atmosphere, compelling twists, and impressive detail, the novels in the Ian Rutledge mystery series have garnered their author widespread acclaim and numerous honors and awards.

Three men have been murdered in a Sussex village, and Scotland Yard has been called in. It's a baffling case. The victims are

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Overview

A breathtaking blend of psychological complexity, haunting atmosphere, compelling twists, and impressive detail, the novels in the Ian Rutledge mystery series have garnered their author widespread acclaim and numerous honors and awards.

Three men have been murdered in a Sussex village, and Scotland Yard has been called in. It's a baffling case. The victims are soldiers who survived the horrors of World War I only to meet a ghastly end in the quiet English countryside two years later. Each had been garroted, with small ID discs left in their mouths.

But even Scotland Yard's presence doesn't deter this vicious and clever killer. Shortly after Inspector Ian Rutledge arrives, a fourth soldier is found dead. With few clues to go on and the pressure building, Rutledge must gamble everything to find answers—his job, his reputation, and even his life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Scotland Yard Insp. Ian Rutledge returns to France for the first time since he survived the horrors of trench warfare in the pseudonymous Todd's fine 13th mystery featuring the tormented and all-too-human sleuth (after 2010's The Red Door). In 1920, with his spirits shaken by the suicide of a fellow veteran, Rutledge travels to Sussex to catch a killer who's already garroted three men, all of whom served in WWI. When Rutledge presses his inquiries aggressively, a local's complaint leads to his removal from the case. Frustrated at the internal police machinations, which appear aimed at keeping him from advancement rather than assessing the validity of the charges against him, the inspector joins a friend on a mission of mercy across the Channel. The mother-son writing team could have dispensed with a contrived subplot involving a cold case, but as usual their subtle prose and profound empathy for all their characters enhance a suspenseful and twisty plot. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Revenge is a dish best served with a garrote. Todd's (The Red Door) 13th post-World War I Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery finds Rutledge in Sussex looking into the murders of three local men. Rutledge discovers that although the murders took place on different nights, the victims were all slain by the same killer. The murderer used the same weapon, a garrote, and also placed small identification discs of WWI soldiers in the victims' mouths. Thinking the crime relates to the victims' military service during the war, Rutledge begins his investigation. But things are seldom what they seem, and Rutledge's nemesis is as calculating as he is cold. Todd's intriguing revenge tale will keep the reader turning the pages, but the major draw remains Rutledge, the relentless inspector haunted by the voice of a Scotsman he executed on the battlefield for disobeying an order. Verdict Highly recommended for all aficionados of British postwar historical mysteries such as Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series.—Susan O. Moritz, Montgomery Cty. P.L., MD
Kirkus Reviews

Two years after the Great War ends, another, more personal war begins.

Retiring from the Yard, Chief Inspector Cummins confides in his protégé Ian Rutledge that an unsolved murder at Stonehenge has tormented him for years. But Rutledge is overwhelmed already. First his friend Max, consumed by war memories, commits suicide; then Rutledge is sent off to Eastfield, Sussex, to deal with three garrotings in nine days, each victim found with someone else's wartime identity disc in his mouth. Many of the villagers suspect the absent brother of one of the victims, but the schoolmistress, vehemently defending him, asks the Yard to recall Rutledge for misbehavior. When his career adversary and replacement, Inspector Mickelson, is brutally attacked after identifying the wrong suspect, Rutledge is arrested for attempted murder. Ultimately released and reinstated, Rutledge, with help from Hamish, the ghost of the soldier he had to have executed in the war, zeroes in on another suspect, a former schoolmate of the garroting victims, now exacting revenge for years of bullying. Once a chance meeting with a past love, Meredith Channing, ends sadly, Rutledge heads for a French battlefield, his service revolver in his pocket and suicide on his mind. But better sense prevails, sending Rutledge back to Eastfield, where he can deal with the murders if he doesn't become the next victim.

Cummins's case is perhaps too neatly tied to a deathbed scene at Max's home. But one shouldn't quibble when Todd (The Red Door, 2009, etc.) so eloquently blasts war for the obscenity it is.

Marilyn Stasio
While respectful of the resilient spirit of communities like Eastfield, Todd…doesn't shrink from challenging the assumptions about class and economic privilege that once sustained their insular way of life. Once again, Rutledge comes to realize that war changes everything.
—The New York Times
New York Times Book Review
“Masterly.”
Booklist
“Another engaging entry in a fine series.”
Oklahoman on A Lonely Death
“Suspense filled.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Todd invests this absorbing fiction with creative storytelling (including intriguing subplots), memorable characters and graceful, seemingly effortless prose….This is fiction that moves, entertains, and as always, underscores life’s victories over death.”
Romantic Times on A Lonely Death (4.5 stars; Top Pick)
“Todd’s attention to period detail, plotting and character exploration are at the forefront of the 13th Ian Rutledge Mystery….Todd and his hero are in fine form from start to finish.”
Iron Mountain Daily News
“Compelling…a provocative thriller.”
Mystery Scene
“Fully realized characters, well-researched settings, and exquisite writing combine with a surprising and chilling solution to mark this 13th outing as a standout in Todd’s deservedly award-winning series.”
Charlotte Observer
“A strong entry in a strong series.”
Romantic Times (4 1/2 stars; Top Pick)
“Todd’s attention to period detail, plotting and character exploration are at the forefront of the 13th Ian Rutledge Mystery….Todd and his hero are in fine form from start to finish.”
Iron Mountain Daily News on A Lonely Death
“Compelling…a provocative thriller.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch on A Lonely Death
“Todd invests this absorbing fiction with creative storytelling (including intriguing subplots), memorable characters and graceful, seemingly effortless prose….This is fiction that moves, entertains, and as always, underscores life’s victories over death.”
New York Times Book Review on A Lonely Death
“Masterly.”
Mystery Scene on A Lonely Death
“Fully realized characters, well-researched settings, and exquisite writing combine with a surprising and chilling solution to mark this 13th outing as a standout in Todd’s deservedly award-winning series.”
Romantic Times on A Lonely Death (4 ½ stars; Top Pick)
“Todd’s attention to period detail, plotting and character exploration are at the forefront of the 13th Ian Rutledge Mystery….Todd and his hero are in fine form from start to finish.”
Booklist on A Lonely Death
“Another engaging entry in a fine series.”
Charlotte Observer on A Lonely Death
“A strong entry in a strong series.”
Entertainment Weekly
“Todd once and for all establishes the shell-shocked Rutledge as the genre’s most complex and fascinating detective.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061726194
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/04/2011
Series:
Inspector Ian Rutledge Series, #13
Pages:
343
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

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