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A test of wills the first inspector Ian Rutledge novel
Charles Todd
Adult Fiction TODD

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From Publishers' Weekly:

A newcomer returns us to the essential pleasures of the well-crafted puzzle in this debut, the absorbing story of a young British WWI veteran returning from the war to his job as a Scotland Yard inspector. Ian Rutledge has a deep secret to keep: he suffers from shell shock, which manifests itself as Hamish MacLeod, an inner voice articulating Ian's worst fears and suspicions, personal and professional. ``I'm a scar on your bluidy soul,'' Hamish taunts him. Rutledge is sent to the village of Upper Streetham on a case with enough land mines for a battlefield: the murder of retired Col. Charles Harris. Villagers suspect Mavers, a perennial and malicious troublemaker, but circumstances stubbornly point to Capt. Mark Wilton, a war hero who has powerful friends and is engaged to Harris's ward, Lettice Wood. The case is short on evidence and long on questions: What are Wilton and Wood hiding about their relationship? Why does the ``nice'' Harris described by villagers sound unlike the colonel Rutledge remembers seeing during the war? What so traumatized a village child that her intense withdrawal might be fatal? Frustrated at every turn, Rutledge questions a convincing cast of locals and begins to suspect there is ``a conspiracy to hide the truth'' of Harris's death. Or is that just Hamish talking? Readers learn the answers as Todd reveals the war experiences that left Rutledge in the company of Hamish. Todd, an American, depicts the outer and inner worlds of his characters with authority and sympathy as he closes in on his surprising‘and convincing‘conclusion. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Inspector Ian Rutledge, a British veteran of the Great War secretly still suffering from shell-shock, returns to his Scotland Yard job in hopes of exorcizing his private demons. However, a devious higher-up has learned of his Achilles heel and gets Ian assigned to a potentially explosive and career-damaging case‘a murder involving a decorated war hero, a beautiful ward, and a shell-shocked witness. Strong, elegant prose; detailed surroundings; and sound plotting characterize this debut historical‘the first in a projected series. Highly recommended. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Ian Rutledge
Male
English
Shell-shocked.
Scotland Yard inspector

Daniel Hickam
Male
English
Shell-shocked; on the brink of insanity; only witness to a murder.



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