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Charles Todd is the pen name of a mother & son writing duo who somehow create fabulous books together (they also write the Bess Crawford series)--and the two are perfect complements for each other.
Ian Rutledge is a man deeply wounded in body, mind & soul by the Great War, and he is now reclaiming his life as an inspector for Scotland Yard. He has to do his job while trying to recover from shell shock, which in his case, manifests frequently as an internal personification, or voice, or a dead comrade from the war, who makes his views known much of the time. He functions somewhat like Rutledge's alter ego--in that he often points out nuances and dangers that Rutledge doesn't consider.
It is hard to describe this part of the books. I think if I had just read about this on the back of a book jacket, I might never have bought the books in the first place (years back). However, I just began reading and discovered that Charles Todd (mother & son) have found very sensitive ways to handle what is a devastating psychological condition in a highly creative manner, without forcing the reader to suspend belief. Their ability to weave story, plot, history, psychology & feeling into their books is exceptional.
In this book, he is called to a town where a priest has been murdered, and he has to tread carefully because the local police are not totally viewing his presence happily. However, they do work together, and as is always the case in this series, the plot becomes complex, full of interesting people who could all have motives for the murder--and Rutledge has to fight against the local hopes for the villain to have been an outsider, by carefully negotiating his way with careful questioning and interviews.
This is a really good book--I read it some years ago, and now was happy to listen to it--I enjoyed it quite as much as reading, perhaps even more. Narrator is very good--read at a good pace, and with good inflection. A tiny bit challenging to tell people apart by their voices--but does not detract from the whole thing.
I highly recommend this book (and every other one in the series!)
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
I am wavering between 3 and 4 stars on the story and ultimately decided to be generous.
I like this series and I like Rutledge and Hamish.
I liked this book more than I disliked it, but there were issues aplenty. First, this is the second book in a row that just ended. No denouement, no reactions by the characters, just reveal the killer(s) and let the reader assume what happens. It worked slightly better in this book than the last, but it is getting old.
Secondly, there is an historical inaccuracy that bugged me because it was SO easy to check and showed laziness on writers and editors. The victims of the Titanic were not buried in Ireland, they were buried in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Thirdly, there was (to me, anyway) a serious plot hole regarding the mental state of one of the victims. I won't elaborate since it would be spoiler-ish, but it did reduce my enjoyment of this installment quite a bit.
All in all, I will keep up with the series. I am just not the biggest fan of this one.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
As with all murders one has to go back to understand the present. Charles Todd writes a good tale with a strong feel for the period and for the people who are emerging from the horrors of the Great War. It is a world on the cusp of huge changes and the listener has the feel of the twilight of the C19th and Victorian Britain and the winds of change of the new century.
The plot, the characters and the north Norfolk marshes are vividly brought into being in this story that is well-told by Samuel Gilles.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful