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

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

by Charles Todd
4.0 124

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

“Todd has written a first novel that speaks out, urgently and compassionately, for a long-dead generation….A meticulously wrought puzzle.”
—New York Times Book Review

“An intricately plotted mystery. With this remarkable debut, Charles Todd breaks new ground in the historical crime novel.”
—Peter Lovesey, author of The Circle

“You’re going to love Todd.”
—Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly

The first novel to feature war-damaged Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge, A Test of Wills is the book that brought author Charles Todd into the spotlight. This Edgar® and Anthony Award-nominated, New York Times Notable mystery brilliantly evokes post-World War I Great Britain and introduces readers to one of crime fiction’s most compelling series protagonists. Here the shell-shocked Rutledge struggles to retain his fragile grip on sanity while investigating the death of a popular army colonel, murdered, it appears, by a decorated war hero with ties to the Royal Family. A phenomenal writer, a twisting puzzle, a character-rich re-creation of an extraordinary time and place…it all adds up to one exceptional read that will delight fans of Elizabeth George, Martha Grimes, Jacqueline Winspear, Ruth Rendell, and other masters of the British procedural.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061758072
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/13/2009
Series: Inspector Ian Rutledge Series , #1
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 14,768
File size: 511 KB

About the Author

Charles Todd is the New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother-and-son writing team, they live on the East Coast.

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A Test of Wills (Inspector Ian Rutledge Series #1) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 124 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
nprfan1 More than 1 year ago
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.
Liesl Istre More than 1 year ago
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.
Leeds-Loiner More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
DetectiveH More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WWI was a gastly war. It took a lot more from the remaining living than from those that died. Very interesting book.
Onthefly More than 1 year ago
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.
Debi Brinson More than 1 year ago
Well writen
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the psychology of it all
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Recommended for the intelligent and discerning reader - a winner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please stop spamming this review board with these idiotic RP ideas. You want to play RP? Go to ANY other place than this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
lotto53 More than 1 year ago
I love this series. Wonderful characters and terrific plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved everything about it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting and entertaining. A good diversion
Anonymous 19 days ago
I enjoyed so much have just ordered the second in the series, Wings of Fire.
Anonymous 12 months ago
cts827 More than 1 year ago
This was a great book. It was well written and the plot keeps you guessing. Although it is a typical British murder mystery with a flawed detective, it keeps you turning pages to find out "who done it". This was a Barnes & Noble Readout (Serial Read) where they give you a chapter a day during the month. I really enjoyed reading this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did not really come to a conclusion. Disappointing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Phyllis_M More than 1 year ago
Ian Rutledge is a talented detective and also a very troubled man after the difficult years in the battlefields of France during WWI. He takes nothing at face value and uses his reasoning skills and his knowledge of human behavior to get at the truth. Frequently fighting the headwinds of influential people that want quick solutions that will get him out of the way. This series is entertaining and does not get bogged down in the minutiae. Frequently I find myself loving and hating the same characters at different times. In Test of Wills Rutledge is sent to this village by his very jealous London superior as a way to get him dismissed from Scotland Yard for his work on this highly politically charged case. As expected, Rutledge solves the crime and begins to regain some of his lost confidence.
dibbylodd More than 1 year ago
I have read several of the books in this series and enjoy them. They are well researched and thought out. The characters are believable and engaging. I decided it was time to read the first book of the series to see what Inspector Rutledge was like immediately after the war. It is sobering to see how tormented he is with his questions of whether or not he still has his keen second sense that allowed him to be very good at his job previously. Besieged with demons from the war and a supervisor who wants him to fail, he has to test himself and see just what he has left in himself. It is touching and impressive.