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The Confession: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery (Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries, 14) Hardcover – January 3, 2012
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“One of the best historical series being written today.”
“Todd once and for all establishes the shell-shocked Rutledge as the genre’s most complex and fascinating detective.”
The Confession is historical crime fiction at its finest, continuing Charles Todd’s New York Times bestselling mystery series featuring severely damaged British World War I veteran, and yet still astonishingly efficient Scotland Yard inspector, Ian Rutledge. Todd’s troubled investigator wrestles with a startling and dangerous case that reaches far into the past when a false confession from a man who is not who he claims to be leads to a brutal murder. The Confession is a must-read for every fan of Elizabeth George, Martha Grimes, P.D. James, Ruth Rendell, and Jacqueline Winspear, as post-war London’s best detective finds himself ensnared in a dark and deadly investigation that unearths shocking small town secrets dating back more than a century.
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“Todd’s excellent 14th mystery featuring Insp. Ian Rutledge offers an intriguing setup.” -- Publishers Weekly (starred review) on The Confession
“Todd serves up plenty of period detail and plot twists, but the real attraction here is Rutledge, a shrewd, dedicated detective grappling with the demons of his past.” -- Booklist on The Confession
“Todd’s masterful storytelling skills shine.” -- Romantic Times on The Confession
“As with any good mystery, the tension ramps up as the story progresses, pulling more and more characters into the fray, weaving three murders flawlessly into a tight tale. Mr. Todd’s characterization is his strength.” -- New York Journal of Books on The Confession
“Another excellent Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery....You follow a twisting road when you read this book. You won’t soon forget your trip to Furnham and the people who may not be who they seem to be.” -- Suspense Magazine on The Confession
“Todd once and for all establishes the shell-shocked Rutledge as the genre’s most complex and fascinating detective.” -- Entertainment Weekly, on A LONELY DEATH (Grade: A-)
“Todd invests this absorbing fiction with creative storytelling (including intriguing subplots), memorable characters and graceful, seemingly effortless prose….This is fiction that moves, entertains, and as always, underscores life’s victories over death.” -- Richmond Times-Dispatch on A Lonely Death
“Another engaging entry in a fine series.” -- Booklist on A Lonely Death
“A strong entry in a strong series.” -- Charlotte Observer on A Lonely Death
“[The authors’] subtle prose and profound empathy for all their characters enhance a suspenseful and twisty plot.” -- Publishers Weekly on A Lonely Death
“Todd’s intriguing revenge tale will keep the reader turning the pages, but the main draw remains Rutledge, the relentless inspector haunted by the voice of a Scotsman he executed on the battlefield for disobeying an order. Highly recommended for all aficionados of British postwar historical mysteries.” -- Library Journal on A Lonely Death
- Publisher : William Morrow; Reprint edition (January 3, 2012)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062015664
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062015662
- Item Weight : 1.13 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.13 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,468,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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He is still haunted by the voice of Hamish, the young Scots soldier under his command that he had had to execute for failure to obey orders on the battlefield. But Hamish seems a somewhat more benevolent spirit at this point. Perhaps he is beginning to meld into Rutledge's own personality and become simply the voice of his conscience.
This story begins with a man walking into Scotland Yard and confessing to the murder of his cousin five years earlier, but it is a murder that has never been reported and there is reason to suspect that it may not really have happened. The man who makes the confession is dying of cancer and is taking morphine as a pain killer. Rutledge suspects that his mind may be affected by his medication, but the man insists that he wants to clear his conscience before dying.
Although Rutledge can find no record of a murder or an unclaimed body that could be the victim of the crime the man has confessed to, he is intrigued by the story and decides to take a road trip with his sister to the village in Essex where the confessed murderer grew up and where the "murder" may have occurred. There, he finds a very insular, unfriendly village that seems intent on discouraging visitors or newcomers. It seems apparent that the people there are desperately trying to hide some secret. But what? And does it have anything to do with the so-called murder? Rutledge can find no evidence and no reason to actually believe the confession he has been given.
Then, less than two weeks later, the alleged killer's body is found floating in the Thames, a bullet wound to the back of his head, a woman's locket around his neck. Rutledge learns to his dismay that the man had given him a false name. He is really someone else entirely, but he does have connections to the man whose name he had used.
Rutledge's investigation takes him back to that unwelcoming village and he begins uncovering some of the shameful secrets which the villagers have tried to keep. In doing so he discovers a long pattern of violence and multiple unsolved disappearances and murders which may have some connection to the latest killing.
We walk with the good inspector as he follows the evidence which often seems to twist and turn back upon itself. It's a complicated plot, and at some point in reading it, I put all of the characters in a line-up in my mind and said who is the most unlikely to be the culprit? And sure enough, it turned out to be him! Maybe I'm catching on to Charles Todd's tricks.
Inspector Rutledge still moons a bit over his lost love and the reader wonders whether Todd will ever actually give him a significant love interest. Moreover, back at the office, Rutledge's nemesis Superintendent Bowles ("Old Bowels" to his subordinates) has suffered a heart attack and is in hospital and things are much calmer and running smoothly in his absence. It appears that we may get a new superintendent. Perhaps one who is not prejudiced against our troubled inspector and who will finally give him the credit that he deserves..
This book was well written, and I enjoyed reading it, but I want something different to happen with Rutledge and his voice. I'm not sure what, but it seems as if the Inspector is not moving on, not improving. As said by others, this series is a great one, but I still would like to see some growth and change on the part of the main character...
"The Confession" one of the better books in the series. It has a complex plot with sometimes too many threads. It was difficult to follow the motivations of the main characters and this difficulty was woven into the plot with care, illustrating that Inspector Rutledge struggled with this too. I'm just not sure it needed to be so difficult. A great deal of driving around as usual, but some interesting and sometimes tortured characters kept me reading on. However, I would like to have known a bit more about the "confessed" suspect's life in Paris after the war, which was a significant time in literary history for ex-pat writers, and a significant motivation for this character.
This novel is also a detailed look at a Post-WWI coastal community that has too many secrets and is fearful of the changes brought about by the war and it's aftermath. This is a sad state of affairs for most of the residents, who are entirely too close-knit to avoid marrying close relatives at some point in the future. And there seems to be a love/hate relationship with the Church of England clergyman who is living nearby but never quite seems welcome unless there is a tragedy, and even then one gets the impression he is handled with tongs. It would seem not a very fulfilling calling for him, but he labors on quite alone.
I am a fan of this series and have learned much about WWI, in which my grandfather fought, and which he never spoke of. Now I know why.
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This is for anyone who likes murder mysteries and something to get your teeth into.