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Racing the Devil: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery (Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries, 19) Paperback – December 12, 2017
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Praise for No Shred of Evidence: “It’s that melancholy tone, the legacy of the trenches, that gives Todd’s polite rural mystery such uncommon depth.” -- Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review on NO SHRED OF EVIDENCE
“Poirot was one name, Holmes was another, and Rutledge deserves to be in that classic pack of crime solvers.” -- Suspense Magazine on NO SHRED OF EVIDENCE
“Fans already mourning the end of “Downton Abbey” can easily get their English fix by following Rutledge and Hamish on their rounds.” -- Wilmington Star News on NO SHRED OF EVIDENCE
“The mother and son team, who write as Charles Todd, deftly capture the atmosphere of post World War I England in this complex mystery which will appeal to fans of British mysteries.” -- Iron Mountain Daily News on NO SHRED OF EVIDENCE
Praise for the Ian Rutledge series: “I love series that follow particular characters over time and through their experiences, so I automatically read the latest installments from ... Charles Todd.” -- Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Times Book Review
“Todd writes a rich mystery, but in investigating the murder Rutledge also probes the psychic wounds of the village and tries to minister to the collective survivor guilt of the living. ‘The dead,’ as the voice in his head tells him, ‘still believe it was worth dying for.’” -- Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review on RACING THE DEVIL
“Charles Todd (actually a mother-son writing team) pulls off the voice-in-the-head device exquisitely. Moreover, the series is populated with highly nuanced characters, and the historical research is spot on. In “Racing the Devil,” the pacing is compelling.” -- Newark Star Ledger
“Todd’s rich storytelling shines in “Racing the Devil,” showing an England forever changed by The Great War, yet determined to survive.” -- South Florida Sun Sentinel
From the Back Cover
In late June 1916, before the bloody Battle of the Somme, several English officers have a last drink before returning to the Front. Besides the war, they also have a passion for motorcars in common. Daring fate, they swear to meet in Paris a year after the war ends to celebrate their survival by racing motorcars from Paris to Nice.
In November 1919, five remaining officers set out for Nice. But in the hills high above the coast, one vehicle is nearly run off the twisting, fog-shrouded road, while another is sent over. No one saw the driver of the rogue motorcar.
A year later, in England, a local vicar driving along the Sussex coastline in a blinding rainstorm loses control and is killed. Was it an accident? Another set of tire tracks raises suspicions of something far darker, especially since he had borrowed the motorcar from a neighbor who had fought on the Somme.
Was this a case of mistaken identity, in some way connected to the rogue driver in the mountains above Nice? Or was the dead man actually the intended victim?
Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge discovers that there is an elusive killer here on the high chalk cliffs, one who shows no mercy, hunting his prey with a cunning learned in the trenches.
- Publisher : William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (December 12, 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062386220
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062386229
- Item Weight : 9.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 0.83 x 5.31 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #276,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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A group of seven officers were gathered completely by happenstance in France on the evening before one of the largest offensives of World War I. Even though they hadn't known each other in civilian life their circumstances forged a sense of kinship on this night. Each knew their chances of surviving through the remainder of the war were slim and yet, as if to taunt the devil, they made plans for meeting in Paris one year after the war ended and racing each other in motorcars to Nice. Five survived the war and met in Paris. How many would survive the drive through the mists along the twisting, dangerous road leading to Nice?
For some inexplicable reason this book had the feeling of moving backward in the story arc and yet the year of this investigation doesn't show that. It must have been my imagination. It was absolutely captivating to see how two tiny villages being so close together could remain so separate from each other simply because of the difficulties of transportation in 1920. Two villages, two police constables, each extremely aware of his own territory and professional jurisdiction. When Inspector Rutledge was called in by one of the constables, as the representative of Scotland Yard, he had to practically insist on help from both villages - so isolated within themselves were they. It made for very entertaining reading watching Rutledge work his way around the complications something as simple as geography set up. The one thing both villages had in common was their disbelief and grief over the death of the Rector of East Dedham, Sussex, but what none could understand was why he was driving a car belonging to someone else.
There are, as usual, many characters in this novel, but I didn't have trouble keeping them clear in my mind. Rutledge uses his own experiences in the war to help him understand the undercurrents of what is happening in this mystery and series of deaths. Hamish MacLeod, that persistent voice in Rutledge's subconscious, is present again in this story and contributes his usual warnings when Rutledge is in danger. This book especially was written to make it easy for readers new to the series to feel they understand what is happening. Those of us who have followed the books as they have been published understand about Hamish, but sometimes the books can be a little sparse on explaining about him and in making him a sympathetic character. Rutledge calls on his many contacts to gather information in an unofficial capacity as well as using Sergeant Gibson at Scotland Yard in London. There are a lot of trips in Rutledge's motorcar, but they seemed completely necessary and didn't bother me quite as much as usual. At least he did stop for petrol one time in this story. The only slightly negative thing I found was the exceedingly abrupt ending. I turned the page only to find the book was finished. I think that might have been handled better, but I'm sure it will play a part in another novel down the road. I can't wait.
I think this is one of the stronger stories in this series, which has had its ups and downs. The authors' interest and inclusion in early 20th Century autos and driving is a plus (for me at least) and the storyline is strong and the confusion not clear until the last few pages. Regular readers will recognize character types--the rough-hewn and dependable local constables, the women in distress, the women of extraordinary resources and the walking war wounded. Quite a good read.
In this tale from the master mother and son writing team, Insp. Ian Rutledge is called out to investigate the death of a vicar who was either forced off the road or lost control of the borrowed motorcar he was driving. The injuries to the vicar can be explained away because of the accident but still, there is something that doesn't sit right with Rutledge and in his investigations, other suspicions arise. But it is hard going to put the suspicions and the stray possible clues together to make a whole.
The Scotland Yard investigator — and the past that haunts him daily — remain dogged in their search to find out the truth amidst the assumptions, the possibles and the unknowns.
This is great reading and a truly hard-to-put-down mystery to follow but well worth the reading.
Top reviews from other countries
Todd continues to draw us into Rutledge's mind. I wish the reader was given vital information more early in the book, so we have a fair chance at guessing. However, I'm already looking forward to the next book.
The plots are easy to follow ,but I never guess who the murderer is.If you like a good mystery with no violence, or cruelty , it is great to curl up with Ian Rutledge. Long may they continue!
Lots of driving in his beloved car in the usual remote villages
Always a good read