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This is my first listen to one of Charles Todd's mystery series. I chose it after a marathon of three of James Lee Burke's novels, needing a change of pace from Burke's contemporary and considerably more violent police procedurals. Like all good series writers, Todd brings the neophyte up with speed with his characters by moderate amounts of judiciously placed flashbacks and reflections. I enjoyed the post-WWI settings of London and surrounding villages, with side trips to St. Ann's. I enjoyed "knowing" at the outset the history of the murdered victim, and then listening to Rutledge try to piece it all together. Rutledge was a fine character, doggedly persistent in uncovering the truth when he could have easily washed his hands of the crime once a trial-worthy suspect was found. Like other mysteries I've enjoyed, I wound up listening to the last two hours late at night, unable to sleep because Rutledge was so close to revealing the oddly intertwined relationships that led to the murder. I simply couldn't wait to know how it all would play out in the end. It was difficult for me to keep track of all the characters through audio (some considerably minor but they still pop up frequently), and so I might have lost some of the character development that I usually enjoy in these well-paced novels. It was challenging to believe that the murdered victim might have actually had some redeeming qualities: I don't know if Todd just wanted to confound the reader/Rutledge in the quest to find the murderer or if the point was to highlight the strange confluence of guilt and evil. In any case, it added to the tension and kept me glued to my earbuds.
I love the narration of Simon Prebble who has an uncanny ability to modulate his voice just enough to discern the different characters without making them into caricatures. I highly recommend this particular novel in the series and hope to listen to some of Inspector Rutledge's adventures
32 of 33 people found this review helpful
I initially had a hard time getting into this story, and thought I would need to go back and listen to the beginning again, but I decided to just keep listening, and it was an excellent mystery, with ties back into the past and all the things that make it fun to read detective mysteries.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
I bought this title on the strength of the narrator (after listening to Jonathan Strange...) and was not disappointed.
Well plotted and atmospheric detective story.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful