A LONELY DEATH: AN INSPECTOR IAN RUTLEDGE MYSTERY By Charles Todd [Review]

A Lonely Death: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery

Inspector Ian Rutledge returns in his thirteenth adventure in Charles Todd’s latest novel A LONELY DEATH: AN INSPECTOR IAN RUTLEDGE MYSTERY. The mother/son writing team that is actually Todd has turned out a solid entry into their series and one that even new comers to Rutledge’s world will enjoy.

Set in 1920, a series of murders brings Rutledge to a small village to investigate; soon after his arrival, a fourth victim is added to the mix. All the victims have ties to The Great War; ID discs have been left in each victims body, seemingly tying the men together. Rutledge realizes he is racing against time to solve the case. Along the way, a “cold case” left to him by his former superior, winds through the novel in an almost unnecessary and unneeded way, leaving the occasional unlikely coincidence to distract from the main story.

The thing about the Inspector Rutledge books is that I have long since ceased to read them for the mystery alone. Or maybe even primarily because of the mystery. Yes, they are mystery novels, but it is Ian Rutledge that brings me back book after book. Rutledge, a victim of shell-shock, haunted by guilt in the form of Hamish, the corporeal whose death he feels responsible for, is one of the most multifaceted characters in the mystery genre. So much so that I am easily willing to forgive a plot twist that in another author would result in an eye roll of epic proportions. Rutledge’s struggles to maintain his sanity and his life, while hiding the depth of this “injury”, have kept me glued to the pages for many a book. Over the years, Hamish has altered, as has Rutledge’s relationship with him, and it is this journey that has me returning again and again.

A Lonely Death, is a good mystery, not superb, but good, and unlike some earlier Todd novels (or other books this deep into a series by many authors), new readers can pick it up and not feel entirely lost. In fact, it will more than likely create a desire to go back and follow Ian Rutledge from his very beginnings. The secondary mystery could have been dropped without hurting the overall novel at all, but again, I am willing to forgive in this case.

Whether it is for the ppsychological aspects and depth of character or the mystery itself, pick up A Lonely Death, you won’t be disappointed.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars | Publisher:William Morrow | Pages: 352 | Source: Publisher | Buy on Amazon

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