The Red Door : Inspector Ian Rutledge

  • by Charles Todd
  • Narrated by Simon Prebble
  • Series: Inspector Ian Rutledge
  • 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

June 1920. In a house with a red door lies the body of a woman who has been bludgeoned to death. Rumor has it that two years earlier, she'd painted that door to welcome her husband back from the Front - only he never came home.
Meanwhile, in London, a man suffering from a mysterious illness first goes missing and then just as suddenly reappears. He is unable to explain his recovery.
Inspector Ian Rutledge must solve the cases. Who was the woman who lived and died behind the red door? Who was the man who never came home from the Great War, for the simple reason that he might never have gone? And what have they to do with a man who cannot break the seal of his own guilt without damning those he loves most?


What the Critics Say

"One of the strongest entries yet in a series that shows no sign of losing steam. Once again Todd perfectly balances incisive portraits of all the characters, not just the complex and original lead." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

More than just a "red door"

I am thoroughly enjoying this series of mystery novels by Charles Todd. In "The Red Door," Todd starts off with the door and the owner of that door, but it isn't until far along in the novel that the connection is made between the door and the latter characters and circumstances. An interesting trope, it kept me intrigued because I kept listening, wanting to know how the door and its owner were related (if at all) to the other characters. Even once the connection is made, the reader is kept well in the dark regarding the identity of the murderer. Admittedly, the conclusion of the novel seemed rather convoluted, and I did feel a bit of grudge at Todd for throwing what I think was a red herring in the narrative. Todd is a bit selective in who he chooses to provide narration for: we hear the thoughts of Inspector Rutledge, of course, but also of other characters, which can throw you off. You, the reader, think you're getting more information than Rutledge can possibly get. It's a deceptive, but forgivable, approach. Rutledge's own psychological scars from WWI often threaten to derail his investigations, and they definitely threaten his chances at peace and happiness in his own life. Todd's sympathetic rendition of the "collateral damage" of war borders on the poetic, making such depictions heart-rending. These novels would not be the same without Rutledge's ever-present ghostly companion, Hamish. As adversarial as Hamish can be at times, he also helps Rutledge, working with him to understand and solve the cases. Hamish may not be real, but the reader can't help but believe in his existence in much the same way that Rutledge does.

Simon Prebble has an uncanny ability to provide enough distinctiveness in the characters' voices without resorting to caricatures. If you like puzzling mysteries, ones that make you think more than flinch, then do listen to this installment of the Inspector Rutledge series.
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- Marie


Somehow I started with just one of the books in the series but soon bought all of them back to back. FYI: This is the 12th in the series. Simon Prebble, as always, is a superb narrator - much better than Samuel Gillies, who narrates like he's performing "Hansel and Gretel" to 6 year olds!

No matter how hard you try, you will never guess who will be murdered and by whom. There are so many twists and turns and red herrings that the reader is always kept guessing. The Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge is a tortured soul but a great detective. He suffers from World War I "shell shock" which is what we now recognize as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that is manifested by a dead "imaginary friend" named Hamish McCloud. This adds an interesting component into how this detective acts and reacts. Hamish is to Rutledge what cocaine is to Sherlock Holmes - a dangerous nemesis that both helps and hampers. All of the books are pretty much the same plot but just different enough in locations, people, class distinctions, and twists to make each worth reading. My suggestion is to go on Google or Wikipedia to learn the order of the series and start with the first one. Each book fills in the gaps if you start somewhere in the middle but the continuity really helps. It would be nice if would assign chronological order to books which contain a series or prequels and sequels. )I will post this same comment on all of the Ian Rutledge books that I've read.)
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- Linda Lou "OCD over books, listening to 1 a day; ANY genre, fact & fiction. Influenced by Audible reviewers so I keep mine unbiased - FRONT to BLACK!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-01-2010
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.