A Lonely Death (Inspector Ian Rutledge Series #13)

( 44 )

Overview

Scotland Yard detective Ian Rutledge returns to solve his most exciting and shocking case yet in this latest entry in the bestselling series hailed as "outstanding" by the New York Times Book Review

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. At the heart of the series is the compelling ...

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A Lonely Death (Inspector Ian Rutledge Series #13)

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Overview

Scotland Yard detective Ian Rutledge returns to solve his most exciting and shocking case yet in this latest entry in the bestselling series hailed as "outstanding" by the New York Times Book Review

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. At the heart of the series is the compelling Scotland Yard detective inspector Ian Rutledge, a veteran of the Great War who understands all too well the darkness that lies within men's souls.

Now 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—his job, his reputation, and even his life—to find answers.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
“Masterly.”
Booklist
“Another engaging entry in a fine series.”
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.”
Romantic Times
“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.”
Oklahoman
“Suspense filled.”
Oklahoman on A Lonely Death
“Suspense filled.”
Charlotte Observer on A Lonely Death
“A strong entry in a strong series.”
New York Times Book Review on A Lonely Death
“Masterly.”
Iron Mountain Daily News on A Lonely Death
“Compelling…a provocative thriller.”
Booklist on A Lonely Death
“Another engaging entry in a fine 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.”
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.”
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.”
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
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.)
Oklahoman on A Lonely Death
“Suspense filled.”
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.”
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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061726200
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/20/2011
  • Series: Inspector Ian Rutledge Series , #13
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 194,754
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Todd

Charles Todd is the author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother-and-son writing team, they live in Delaware and North Carolina, respectively.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 44 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2012

    James

    He walked back to camp."

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2012

    highly recommend

    a truly great series. the pull between the two characters is disturbing at times. i hope there is some peaoe for both of their troubled souls in the future,

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    Highly Recommended.

    Hi. Easy reading, fast action. Will read more of inspector Rutledge.

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  • Posted October 12, 2011

    A Lonely Death

    Soldiers are being murdered. World War I has not been over long, but it seems someone has a vendetta to settle. Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge is sent to investigate the murders in a small English village. Finding the connection between all three murdered men-other than being soldiers and murdered by a garrote-is a necessity to find to murderer, but it will take a lot of digging on Rutledge's part!
    Rutledge also has his personal problems to deal with through the whole book. A close, personal friend commits suicide. His love life requires more than he can handle. Hamish, the ghost of a fallen comrade that Rutledge had to put in front of a firing squad for disobeying orders, speaks to him and is both a help and a hindrance to him throughout. Rutledge has a lot of guilt and heavy heartedness over all of this.
    The long, cold case of Chief Inspector Cummins-now retired-that has haunted him for years was bequeathed to Rutledge along with a warning about his new Chief. This case, 'murder at Stonehenge', pulls at Rutledge and splits his focus.
    An intriguing addition to the Inspector Rutledge Series that will keep you trapped in its pages! You won't want to put this one down.
    Reviewed by Ashley Wintters for Suspense Magazine

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A gentle read

    This isn't my usual genre, as I'm not a big fan of police drama, mysteries, or historical fiction. This story is about a Scotland Yard police inspector, trying to solve a murder mystery, shortly after WWI. Not my usual, but still an interesting, well written story that I'm glad I read.

    Inspector Ian Rutledge works for Scotland Yard, and seems to have a slight problem with authority. Despite being good at his job, I got the impression that he didn't indulge in office politics or 'play the game' in order to get ahead. Reminded me a little bit of John Rebus, but they inhabit different worlds.

    Because of the time period, this struck me as more of a gentle read. There were cars and phones, but the cars had to be hand cranked and there was only one phone in the entire village where the murders took place. Every reminder of the time period sort of took me by surprise, as I'm not used to stories set in the past. Every now and again I'd wonder why he didn't just call such-and-such on his cell. Well, duh! Makes me think I either need to pay better attention or read more historical fiction!

    This was a good, old-fashioned story where the crime had to be solved without all of the modern CSI advantages. I liked Inspector Rutledge, but the mystery didn't really grab me and I was more interested in the characters than finding out the whodunnit. Gave it a 3/5 as I liked it, but didn't love it. Think mystery lovers would enjoy this more than I did, and most of the reviews I've seen have given it 4/5 and 5/5 ratings.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Great book in a great series

    I have enjoyed all of the books in the Ian Rutledge series, but this one was something special. The author writes beautifully of the time period (after WWI) and the main character's struggle to continue his life after the horrendous experiences of the most terrible of modern wars. This book has three stories to tell. The first is the major case Rutledge is assigned to - a serial killer in a small English village. A small secondary story is about a much earlier murder that his previous superior could never solve. The author does an excellent job in tying these stories together throughout the book. And the third, even smaller, story is about love and loyalty. Even if you have never read any books in this series don't miss this one.

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  • Posted December 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Great Read!

    This is the 13th book in the Ian Rutledge series, though you'd have no trouble picking this one up as a stand-alone. A British mystery, set just after WWI, the mother and son writing team called Charles Todd does a great job of transporting readers back in time. Inspector Rutledge is haunted by the war, as are most of the men we encounter. The women are left to deal with husbands who have returned much different than the men they'd married. As readers, we're constantly reminded of the lasting effects of war.

    This is a slow moving story, as I think most historical mysteries are. We're back in a time long before computers and DNA. Facts trickle in and Rutledge does his best to piece them together. The murder mystery kept me guessing and the characters kept me entertained throughout.

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    Posted April 23, 2011

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