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Publisher's Summary

After two London men end their business partnership, one of them is savagely murdered in a medieval tithe barn on his estate in Somerset. Investigating the killing, Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge discovers that the victim was universally despised in Cambury - even the victim's wife and the town's police inspector are suspect. And yet in London circles, the man was highly regarded. What triggered his death?
Rutledge doggedly follows a well-concealed trail that finally leads him to the one person who knows the whole truth. But it's too late to stop a spreading evil and a vicious settling of scores.
As the seasoned inspector comes to understand the larger picture, he realizes he may not be able to prove what he suspects. In spite of his skill, this may be the only case in which Rutledge fails to get his man.
©2009 Charles Todd (P)2009 BBC Audiobooks America
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Critic Reviews

"In the stellar 11th Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery, Todd (the pseudonym of a mother-son writing team) seamlessly combines a fair-play whodunit with a nuanced look into the heart of darkness in the human soul." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Marie on 08-21-10

Entertaining procedural through the end

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

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32 of 33 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Cynthia on 01-25-10

Good, once I got into it.

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.

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15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Blinkinmarvellous on 10-08-09

Good read well read

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.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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