A society wedding at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire becomes a crime scene when a man is murdered. After another body is found, the baffled local constabulary turns to Scotland Yard. Though the second crime had a witness, her description of the killer is so strange its unbelievable.
Despite his experience, Inspector Ian Rutledge has few answers of his own. The victims are so different that there is no rhyme or reason to their deaths. Nothing logically seems to connect them—except the killer. As the investigation widens, a clear suspect emerges. But for Rutledge, the facts still don’t add up, leaving him to question his own judgment.
In going over the details of the case, Rutledge is reminded of a dark episode he witnessed in the war. While the memory could lead him to the truth, it also raises a prickly dilemma. To stop a murderer, will the ethical detective choose to follow the letter—or the spirit—of the law?
On a fine summer’s day in June, 1914, Ian Rutledge pays little notice to the assassination of an archduke in Sarajevo. An Inspector at Scotland Yard, he is planning to propose to the woman whom he deeply loves, despite intimations from friends and family that she may not be the wisest choice.
To the north on this warm and gentle day, another man in love—a Scottish Highlander—shows his own dear girl the house he will build for her in September. While back in England, a son awaits the undertaker in the wake of his widowed mother’s death. This death will set off a series of murders across England, seemingly unconnected, that Rutledge will race to solve in the weeks before the fateful declaration in August that will forever transform his world.
As the clouds of war gather on the horizon, all of Britain wonders and waits. With every moment at stake, Rutledge sets out to right a wrong—an odyssey that will eventually force him to choose between the Yard and his country, between love and duty, and between honor and truth.
Critics have called Charles Todd’s historical mystery series featuring shell-shocked World War One veteran Inspector Ian Rutledge “remarkable” (New York Times Book Review), “heart-breaking” (Chicago Tribune), “fresh and original” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel). In A Lonely Death, the haunted investigator is back in action, trying to solve the murders of three ex-soldiers in a small English village. A true master of evocative and atmospheric British crime fiction, Charles Todd reaches breathtaking new heights with A Lonely Death—a thrilling tale of the darkness in men’s souls that will have fans of Elizabeth George, Martha Grimes, and Anne Perry cheering.
For in Scotland Rutledge will find that the young mother accused of killing Eleanor Gray is a woman to whom he owes a terrible debt. And his harrowing journey to find the truth will lead him back through the fires of his past, into secrets that still have the power to kill.
An explosion and fire at the Ashton Gunpowder Mill in Kent has killed over a hundred men. It’s called an appalling tragedy—until suspicion and rumor raise the specter of murder. While visiting the Ashton family, Bess Crawford finds herself caught up in a venomous show of hostility that doesn’t stop with Philip Ashton’s arrest. Indeed, someone is out for blood, and the household is all but under siege.
The only known witness to the tragedy is now at the Front in France. Bess is asked to find him. When she does, he refuses to tell her anything that will help the Ashtons. Realizing that he believes the tissue of lies that has nearly destroyed a family, Bess must convince him to tell her what really happened that terrible Sunday morning. But now someone else is also searching for this man.
To end the vicious persecution of the Ashtons, Bess must risk her own life to protect her reluctant witness from a clever killer intent on preventing either of them from ever reaching England.
—Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Readers who can’t get enough of Maisie Dobbs, the intrepid World War I battlefield nurse in Jacqueline Winspear’s novels…are bound to be caught up in the adventures of Bess Crawford.”
—New York Times Book Review
Charles Todd, author of the resoundingly acclaimed Ian Rutledge crime novels (“One of the best historical series being written today” —Washington Post Book World) debuts an exceptional new protagonist, World War I nurse Bess Crawford, in A Duty to the Dead. A gripping tale of perilous obligations and dark family secrets in the shadows of a nightmarish time of global conflict, A Duty to the Dead is rich in suspense, surprise, and the impeccable period atmosphere that has become a Charles Todd trademark.
“Todd once and for all establishes the shell-shocked Rutledge as the genre’s most complex and fascinating detective.”
The Confession is historical crime fiction at its finest, continuing Charles Todd’s New York Times bestselling mystery series featuring severely damaged British World War I veteran, and yet still astonishingly efficient Scotland Yard inspector, Ian Rutledge. Todd’s troubled investigator wrestles with a startling and dangerous case that reaches far into the past when a false confession from a man who is not who he claims to be leads to a brutal murder. The Confession is a must-read for every fan of Elizabeth George, Martha Grimes, P.D. James, Ruth Rendell, and Jacqueline Winspear, as post-war London’s best detective finds himself ensnared in a dark and deadly investigation that unearths shocking small town secrets dating back more than a century.
—Washington Post Book World
The accolades keep pouring in for Charles Todd and his New York Times Notable, Edgar® Award-nominated series featuring British police inspector and shell-shocked World War I veteran Ian Rutledge. In The Red Door, a disturbing puzzle surrounding a lie, a disappearance, and a woman’s death ensnares the haunted investigator. Richly atmospheric and unputdownable, The Red Door proves once more that New York Times bestseller Charles Todd belongs in the august company of Ruth Rendell, Anne Perry, Martha Grimes, Ian Ransom, Peter Robinson, P.D. James, and the other contemporary masters of British mystery.
Watchers of Time
In Osterley, a marshy Norfolk backwater, a man lies dying on a rainy autumn night. While natural causes will surely claim Herbert Baker’s life in a matter of hours, his last request baffles his family and friends.
Baker, a devout Anglican, inexplicably demands to see the town’s Catholic priest for a last confession. The old man dies without knowing that the very priest who gave him comfort will follow him to the grave just a few weeks later — the victim of an appalling murder.
The local police are convinced the evidence points to an interrupted robbery, and have named a suspect, Matthew Walsh. But the dead priest’s bishop insists that Scotland Yard oversee the investigation. A simple task for Rutledge, a man not yet well enough to return to full duty.
The Inspector draws on years of experience and a war-honed intuition as he finds himself uncovering secrets that the local authorities would prefer not to see explored. Surely, they reason, it is better to charge an outsider — Matthew Walsh — with murder than to learn that someone in this tightly knit community would commit such a horrendous crime. And yet there are those, Rutledge soon discovers, who held grudges against the priest that had little to do with God or the Church.
No one in Osterley is aware that Rutledge hears voices — or, rather, one haunting voice: that of a soldier he was forced to execute during the War. It is with the voice of Hamish MacLeod, by turns second-guessing and taunting him, that Rutledge begins a journey toward the devastating truth that will unlock the secrets of Osterley and pare away its layers of deception.
And in piecing together a different story, Rutledge encounters a chain of events that stretches from these brooding marshes to one of the greatest sea disasters in history — the sinking of the Titanic. Who is the mysterious woman who may have boarded that ship ... and who is the secretive woman who survived it? Rutledge comes to believe that he alone can stop a killer from striking again.
Deftly capturing the anguish of a man haunted by his tragic past, Watchers of Time delves beneath a cast of unforgettable characters to examine a mystery even greater than murder: the mystery of what is right and what is wrong after the world has committed the sin of war.
From the Hardcover edition.
—New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens
“Bess Crawford is a strong and likable character.”
Already deservedly lauded for the superb historical crime novels featuring shell-shocked Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge (A Lonely Death, A Pale Horse et al), acclaimed author Charles Todd upped the ante by introducing readers to a wonderful new series protagonist, World War One battlefield nurse Bess Crawford. Featured for a third time in A Bitter Truth, Bess reaches out to help an abused and frightened young woman, only to discover that no good deed ever goes unpunished when the good Samaritan nurse finds herself falsely accused of murder. A terrific follow up to Todd’s A Duty to the Dead and An Impartial Witness, A Bitter Truth is another thrilling and evocative mystery from “one of the most respected writers in the genre” (Denver Post) and a treat for fans of Elizabeth George, Anne Perry, Martha Grimes, and Jacqueline Winspear.
Can Rutledge solve the apparent murder of a top wine merchant while dealing with interference from his superior, the new Acting Chief Superintendent?
Readers of Charles Todd’s Bess Crawford books and London-based Ian Rutledge mysteries will be thrilled with Proof of Guilt, clue by clue.
The Kidnapping also includes excerpts from three other Ian Rutledge mysteries: A Lonely Death, The Red Door, and A Pale Horse.
In 1908, when a young Bess Crawford lived in India, an unforgettable incident darkened the otherwise happy time. Her father's regiment discovered it had a murderer in its ranks, an officer who killed five people yet was never brought to trial.
A decade later, tending to the wounded on the battlefields of France during World War I, Bess learns from a dying man that the alleged murderer, Lieutenant Wade, is alive and serving at the Front. According to reliable reports, he'd died years before, so how did Wade escape India? What drove a good man to murder in cold blood? Bess uses her leave to investigate. But when she stumbles on the horrific truth, she is shaken to her very core. The facts reveal a reality that could have been her own fate.
A Fearsome Doubt
In 1912 Ian Rutledge watched as a man was condemned to hang for the murders of elderly women. Rutledge helped gather the evidence that sent Ben Shaw to the gallows. And when justice was done, Rutledge closed the door on the case. But Shaw was not easily forgotten.
Now, seven years later, that grim trial returns in the form of Ben Shaw’s widow Nell, bringing Rutledge evidence she is convinced will prove her husband’s innocence. It’s a belief fraught with peril, threatening both Rutledge’s professional stature and his faith in his judgment. But there is a darker reason for Rutledge’s reluctance. Murder brings him back to Kent where, days earlier, he’d glimpsed an all-too-familiar face beyond the leaping flames of a bonfire. Soon an unexpected encounter revives the end of his own war, as the country prepares for a somber commemoration on the anniversary of the Armistice. To battle the unsettled past and the haunted present at the same time is an appalling mandate.
And the people around him? among them the attractive widow of a friend, a remarkable woman who survived the Great Indian Mutiny; a bitter, dying barrister; and a man whose name he never knew—unwittingly compete with the grieving Nell Shaw. They’ll demand more than Rutledge can give, unaware that he is already carrying the burden of shell shock? and the voice of Hamish MacLeod, the soldier he was forced to execute in the war. The killer in Marling is surprisingly adept at escaping detection. And Ben Shaw’s past is a tangle of unsettling secrets that may or may not be true. Rutledge must walk a tortuous line between two murderers...one reaching out to ruin him, the other driven to destroy him.
From the Hardcover edition.
“Readers who can’t get enough of Jacqueline Winspear’s novels, or Hester Latterly, who saw action in the Crimean War in a series of novels by Anne Perry, are bound to be caught up in the adventures of Bess Crawford.”
—New York Times Book Review
The critically acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author of the Ian Rutledge mystery series, Charles Todd once again spotlights World War I nurse Bess Crawford in An Unmarked Grave. Gripping, powerful, and evocative, this superb mystery masterwork unfolds during the deadly Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918, as Bess discovers the body of a murdered British officer among the many dead and sets out to unmask a craven killer.
—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.
A dead woman and two missing children bring Inspector Rutledge to the lovely Dorset town of Singleton Magna, where the truth lies buried with the dead. A tormented veteran whose family died in an enemy bombing is the chief suspect. Dubious, Rutledge presses on to find the real killer. And when another body is found in the rich Dorset earth, his quest reaches into the secret lives of villagers and Londoners whose privileged positions and private passions give them every reason to thwart him. Someone is protecting a murderer. And two children are out there, somewhere, in the dark....
“Readers who can’t get enough of [Jacqueline Winspear’s] Maisie Dobbs…are bound to be caught up in the adventures of Bess Crawford.”
—New York Times Book Review
To great critical acclaim, author Charles Todd introduced protagonist Bess Crawford in A Duty to the Dead. The dedicated World War I nurse returns in An Impartial Witness, and finds herself in grave peril when a moral obligation makes her the inadvertent target of a killer. As hauntingly evocative as Todd’s award-winning, New York Times bestselling Ian Rutledge novels, An Impartial Witness transports readers to a dark time of war and involves us in murder, intrigue, and the fascinating affairs of a truly unforgettable cast of characters.
Home on leave, Bess Crawford is asked to accompany a wounded soldier confined to a wheelchair to Buckingham Palace, where he’s to be decorated by the King. The next morning when Bess goes to collect Wilkins, he has vanished. Both the Army and the nursing service hold Bess negligent for losing the war hero, and there will be an inquiry.
Then comes disturbing word from the Shropshire police, complicating the already difficult situation: Wilkins has been spotted, and he’s killed a man. If Bess is to save her own reputation, she must find Wilkins and uncover the truth. But the elusive soldier has disappeared again and even the Shropshire police have lost him. Suddenly, the moral implications of what has happened—that a patient in her charge has committed murder—become more important to Bess than her own future. She’s going to solve this mysterious puzzle, but righting an injustice and saving her honor may just cost Bess her life.
A Test of Wills—It is 1919, and the War to End All Wars has been won. But for Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge, recently returned from the battlefields of France, there is no peace. Suffering from shell shock, Rutledge plunges into his work to save his sanity. But his first assignment is a case certain to spell both personal and professional disaster.
A Long Shadow—A story that immerses readers in the sights and sounds of post-war Great Britain, as the damaged policeman pursues answers to a constable’s slaying and the three-year-old mystery of a young girl’s disappearance in a tiny Northamptonshire village.
A False Mirror—A love triangle turned deadly sends Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge to a small town simmering with secrets.
A Pale Horse—A body found in the ruins of an ancient abbey sends Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge off to find a killer, in another superb atmospheric mystery by Charles Todd.
—Cleveland Plain Dealer
The Washington Post calls the Ian Rutledge novels by Charles Todd, “one of the best historical series being written today.” A Matter of Justice—the eleventh in the New York Times Notable, Edgar® Award-nominated, and Barry Award-winning series—brings back the haunted British police inspector and still shell-shocked World War One veteran in a tale of unspeakable murder in a small English village filled to bursting with dark secrets and worthy suspects. A New York Times bestseller as spellbinding and evocative as the best of Ruth Rendell, Anne Perry, Martha Grimes, and P.D. James, A Matter of Justice represents a new high for this exceptional storyteller.
—Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly
The critically acclaimed creator of the Inspector Ian Rutledge and battlefield nurse Bess Crawford mystery series, Charles Todd now offers readers a bittersweet love story and romantic mystery that unfolds at Christmas during the dangerous opening days of World War I. The Walnut Tree is an unforgettable story of a woman who puts herself in the line of fire for the sake of wounded soldiers and falls deeply in love with a man who may be forbidden to her. For anyone who has fallen under the spell of Downton Abbey, and for all the fans of the British-set mysteries of Elizabeth George, Anne Perry, Ruth Rendell, Martha Grimes, and Jacqueline Winspear, The Walnut Tree is essential reading.
The Murder Stone
The Great War is still raging in the autumn of 1916, when Francesca Hatton’s beloved grandfather dies on the family estate in
England’s isolated Exe Valley. Grieving for the man who raised her, Francesca is stunned to find an unsigned letter among his effects, cursing the Hattons and their descendants. Now a stranger has shown up on her doorstep, accusing her grandfather of being a murderer.
Ex-soldier Richard Leighton blames Francis Hatton for the death of his mother, who vanished nearly a quarter of a century earlier. Her body was never found, only a shawl stained with her blood. And Leighton is not the only one with a claim on Francesca’s grandfather. On the day of his funeral, unexpected visitors arrive with the mourners, and Francesca is besieged by charges of Hatton’s vicious dealings. Yet there is also a shy young woman who praises his secret generosity.
At the center of the intrigue is an unusual white stone that lies hidden in a secluded garden where Francesca once played with her five male cousins, all of them dead now on the battlefields of France. According to the terms of Hatton’s will, the Murder Stone must be dug up and transported to Scotland, where it is to be buried forever. But before Francesca can begin the journey, a series of ominous “accidents” occur, culminating in the discovery of a bleeding body on the Murder Stone itself.
Was Hatton the loving, caring protector his granddaughter always believed him to be?
Or a vindictive, secretive man who cultivated dangerous enemies? Francesca sets out in pursuit of the truth—and into the sights of someone determined to exact a revenge long overdue.
From the Hardcover edition.
It’s 1915, and the Great War is barely six months old. Lieutenant Ian Rutledge has left behind his career at Scotland Yard and is now serving in France. He’s temporarily with the sappers—men digging underground tunnels toward the German lines to set off explosions under the enemy trenches. In his sector, Rutledge and his men set their charges and get out of the tunnel as fast as possible. But the charges don’t go off. It’s madness to go back down and find out why, but Rutledge and Private Williams volunteer. They barely make it back before the tunnel blows up. Rutledge suspects that two Welsh miners cut the fuse too long, even though they deny it.
Then Williams confides to Rutledge that these same men, half brothers Taffy Jones and Aaron Lloyd, have tried before this to kill him. And they’re determined enough to risk other men’s lives as well. Rutledge discovers in the midst of a raging battle that murder has made its way to France, and he must find a way to prove it.
On the north coast of Cornwall, an apparent act of mercy is repaid by an arrest for murder. Four young women have been accused of the crime. A shocked father calls in a favor at the Home Office. Scotland Yard is asked to review the case.
However, Inspector Ian Rutledge is not the first Inspector to reach the village. Following in the shoes of a dead man, he is told the case is all but closed. Even as it takes an unexpected personal turn, Rutledge will require all his skill to deal with the incensed families of the accused, the grieving parents of the victim, and local police eager to see these four women sent to the infamous Bodmin Gaol. Then why hasn’t the killing stopped?
With no shred of evidence to clear the accused, Rutledge must plunge deep into the darkest secrets of a wild, beautiful and dangerous place if he is to find a killer who may—or may not—hold the key to their fate.
Meanwhile, the British War Office is searching for a missing man of their own, someone whose war work was so secret that even Rutledge isn't told his real name or what he did.
The search takes Rutledge to Berkshire, where cottages once built to house lepers stand in the shadow of a great white horse cut into the chalk hillside. The current inhabitants of the cottages are outcasts, too, hiding from their own pasts. Who among them is telling the truth about their neighbors and who is twisting it?
Here is a puzzle requiring all of Rutledge's daring and skill, for there are layers of lies and deception, while a ruthless killer is determined to hold on to freedom at any cost. And the pale horse looming overhead serves as a reminder that death is never finished with anyone, least of all the men who fought in the trenches of France.
One day she slips away from the cantonment to visit the famous seer in a nearby village. Before this woman can finish telling her fortune, Bess is summoned back for an afternoon tea with the Maharani, a close friend of her parents'. The seer's last words are a warning about forthcoming danger that Bess takes as the usual patter. But this visit by the Maharani has ominous overtones that mark it as more than a social call. Her husband has political enemies, and she has come to ask Bess's father, Major Crawford, for help.
As the Maharani is leaving, Bess notices that there is something amiss with the royal entourage. Major Crawford must set out after them—but will he be in time?
And what will happen to Bess, and the household left behind, when a vicious assassin circles back to take hostages?
Here is an extraordinary glimpse into the childhood of the Bess Crawford we know from her service in the Great War.
At the foot of a tree shattered by shelling and gunfire, stretcher-bearers find an exhausted officer, shivering with cold and a loss of blood from several wounds. The soldier is brought to battlefield nurse Bess Crawford’s aid station, where she stabilizes him and treats his injuries before he is sent to a rear hospital. The odd thing is, the officer isn’t British—he’s French. But in a moment of anger and stress, he shouts at Bess in German.
When Bess reports the incident to Matron, her superior offers a ready explanation. The soldier is from Alsace-Lorraine, a province in the west where the tenuous border between France and Germany has continually shifted through history, most recently in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, won by the Germans. But is the wounded man Alsatian? And if he is, on which side of the war do his sympathies really lie?
Of course, Matron could be right, but Bess remains uneasy—and unconvinced. If he was a French soldier, what was he doing so far from his own lines . . . and so close to where the Germans are putting up a fierce, last-ditch fight?When the French officer disappears in Paris, it’s up to Bess—a soldier’s daughter as well as a nurse—to find out why, even at the risk of her own life.
On the eve of the bloody Battle of the Somme, a group of English officers having a last drink before returning to the Front make a promise to each other: if they survive the battle ahead—and make it through the war—they will meet in Paris a year after the fighting ends. They will celebrate their good fortune by racing motorcars they beg, borrow, or own from Paris to Nice.
In November 1919, the officers all meet as planned, and though their motorcars are not designed for racing, they set out for Nice. But a serious mishap mars the reunion. In the mountains just north of their destination, two vehicles are nearly run off the road, and one man is badly injured. No one knows—or will admit to knowing—which driver was at the wheel of the rogue motorcar.
Back in England one year later, during a heavy rainstorm, a driver loses control on a twisting road and is killed in the crash. Was it an accident due to the hazardous conditions? Or premeditated murder? Is the crash connected in some way to the unfortunate events in the mountains above Nice the year before? The dead driver wasn’t in France—although the motorcar he drove was. If it was foul play, was it a case of mistaken identity? Or was the dead man the intended victim after all?
Investigating this perplexing case, Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge discovers that the truth is elusive—and that the villages on the South Downs, where the accident happened, are adept at keeping secrets, frustrating his search. Determined to remain in the shadows this faceless killer is willing to strike again to stop Rutledge from finding him. This time, the victim he chooses is a child, and it will take all of Rutledge’s skill to stop him before an innocent young life is sacrificed.
It's World War I, and young Glaswegian Dougal Kerr is a new recruit in the British army. Dougal has no family and no past, but his easygoing demeanor belies his cheerless upbringing. There's only one thing that gives Ian Rutledge pause: Dougal is very good at killing, and he doesn't seem to mind it at all--in fact, he seems to relish it. In wartime, how does one tell the difference between a remorseless killer and "a guid soldier"?
"A Guid Soldier" by Charles Todd is one of 20 short stories within Mulholland Books's Strand Originals series, featuring thrilling stories by the biggest names in mystery from the Strand Magazine archives. View the full series list at mulhollandbooks.com and listen to them all!
Inspektor Rutledge muss in den Norden Englands, um einen rätselhaften Mordfall zu klären: In einem abgelegenen Farmhaus wurde die Elcott-Familie am Küchentisch umgebracht. Nichts deutet auf einen Raubüberfall hin, denn es sind keinerlei Kampfspuren zu finden. Nur ein Junge namens Josh scheint überlebt zu haben, doch er ist verschwunden.
In einer kleinen Stadt in Norfolk ist ein Priester ermordet worden. Inspektor Ian Rutledge von Scotland Yard wird zur Aufklärung des Falles in diese vergessene Ecke Englands geschickt. Er begegnet einer Mauer des Schweigens. Keiner ist bereit, über den Fall zu sprechen. Ein lähmendes und tödliches Geheimnis scheint über der Stadt zu liegen.
Als Francesca Hattons geliebter Großvater auf seinem einsam gelegenen Anwesen stirbt, findet sie in seinem Nachlass einen anonymen Brief, in dem der Verstorbene als Mörder bezeichnet wird. Kurz danach taucht auf dem Landsitz ein Mann auf, der behauptet, Francescas Großvater habe seine Mutter ermordet. Deren Leiche aber wurde bis heute nicht gefunden.
Die Aussage von Inspektor Ian Rutledge führte vor sieben Jahren zur Verurteilung von Ben Shaw. Der Mann wurde wenig später hingerichtet. Jetzt präsentiert Shaws Witwe Beweise, die belegen sollen, dass Shaw unschuldig war. Rutledge bleibt nichts anderes übrig, als den Fall neu aufzurollen. Dabei entdeckt er zahlreiche Ungereimtheiten in Shaws Vergangenheit. Ein neuer Mordfall bringt ihn dann endlich auf die richtige Spur.
—Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
“Dark and remarkable….Once [Todd] grabs you, there’s no putting the novel down.”
—Detroit Free Press
The Winston-Salem Journal declares that, “like P. D. James and Ruth Rendell, Charles Todd writes novels that transcend genre.” A Long Shadow proves that statement true beyond the shadow of a doubt. Once again featuring Todd’s extraordinary protagonist, Scotland Yard investigator and shell-shocked World War One veteran, Inspector Ian Rutledge, A Long Shadow immerses readers in the sights and sounds of post-war Great Britain, as the damaged policeman pursues answers to a constable’s slaying and the three-year-old mystery of a young girl’s disappearance in a tiny Northamptonshire village. Read Todd’s A Long Shadow and see why the Washington Post calls the Rutledge crime novels, “one of the best historical series being written today.”
A COLD TREACHERY
“You’ll hang for this–see if you don’t! That’s my revenge! And you’ll think about that when the rope goes around your neck and the black hood comes down….”
Called out by Scotland Yard into the teeth of a violent blizzard, Inspector Ian Rutledge finds himself confronted with one of the most savage murders he has ever encountered. Rutledge might have expected such unspeakable carnage on the World War I battlefields, where he’d lost much of his soul–and his sanity–but not in an otherwise peaceful farm kitchen in remote Urskdale.
Someone has murdered the Elcott family at their table without the least sign of struggle. Was the killer someone the young family knew and trusted? When the victims are tallied the local police are in for another shock: One of the Elcotts’ children, a boy named Josh, is missing.
Now the Inspector must race to uncover a murderer and to save a child before he’s silenced by the merciless elements–or the even colder hands of a killer. Haunted and goaded by the soldier-ghost of his own tortured war past, Rutledge will discover the tragedy of war that splintered one marriage–and pulled together another.
Love, jealousy, greed, revenge–or was it some twisted combination of all of them? Any one could lead a man or woman to murder. What had the Elcotts done to ignite their killer’s rage? With time running out, Rutledge knows all too well that such a cold-blooded murderer could be hiding somewhere in the blinding snow…
preparing to strike again.
From the Hardcover edition.