A Lonely Death: Book summary and reviews of A Lonely Death by Charles Todd

A Lonely Death

An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery

by Charles Todd

A Lonely Death by Charles Todd X
A Lonely Death by Charles Todd
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2011
    352 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

Scotland Yard detective Ian Rutledge returns in his most exciting and shocking case yet in this latest entry in the bestselling series hailed as "outstanding" by the New York Times Book Review’s Marilyn Stasio

A breathtaking blend of psychological complexity, haunting atmosphere, compelling twists, and impressive detail, the novels in the Ian Rutledge mystery series have garnered their author, the mother and son writing team of Charles Todd, widespread acclaim, and have earned them numerous honors and awards. At the heart of the series is the compelling Scotland Yard Detective Inspector Ian Rutledge, a veteran of the Great War who understands all too well the darkness that lies within men’s souls.

Now, three men have been murdered in a Sussex village, and Scotland Yard has been called in. It's a baffling case. The victims are soldiers who survived the horrors of the Great War only to meet a ghastly end in the quiet English countryside two years later. Each had been garroted, with small ID disks left in their mouths. But even Scotland Yard's presence doesn’t deter this vicious and clever killer. Shortly after Inspector Ian Rutledge arrives a fourth soldier is found dead. With few clues to go on and the pressure building, Rutledge must gamble everything to find answers—his job, his reputation, and even his life.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"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

"Another engaging entry in a fine series." - Booklist

"[The authors'] subtle prose and profound empathy for all their characters enhance a suspenseful and twisty plot." - Publishers Weekly

"Eloquently blasts war for the obscenity it is." - Kirkus Reviews

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Reader Reviews

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Elizabeth

A Page Turner
Three murders in a small town....Scotland yard is involved....all the same method of murder, but no weapon and no clues. The townspeople are terrified about who will be next especially since there is really no connection between the men who were murdered. The only similar thread is the victims were alone or in an isolated area and had been officers in the armed forces during WWI, and they all had identification discs in their mouths from other dead soldiers.

Scotland Yard's, Ian Rutledge, was coming up short with all clues and interviews. Everything turned up a dead end. Mrs. Saunders, the ever-present lady in the window, can't even help him even though she said she sees everything no matter what time of the day or night.

As events begin to unfold, and the characters become alive from all the great detail, the story turns to page-turning status with its twists and turns and sub plots.
This was my first Ian Rutledge Mystery....Rutledge is a character you want to know better. The beginning pages were a little confusing trying to get all the characters straight....especially figuring out who Hamish was, but once you had everyone sorted out and the plot continued...wham...it was difficult to put down.

I definitely will be reading more of these mysteries....superb author. Ohhhhhhhhhhh....I did enjoy it a lot. 5/5

Maryanne K. (Spanaway, WA)

A Lonely Death
The Ian Rutledge detective series never disappoints. In this latest installment, the main character continues to evolve. As the voice in his head moves further into the background, Ian Rutledge becomes an even more sympathetic, human character. I always look forward to a new installment in this detective series that doesn't rely on forensics, but on investigation and deduction.

Barbara E. (rockville, MD)

Another outstanding book in the series
I always look forward to the release of a new Charles Todd mystery, and "A Lonely Death" did not disappoint. The plot is carefully crafted and held my attention throughout. I especially enjoyed how all the characters in this small English village really came alive on the page. I also enjoy the development of Ian Rutledge throughout the series--there is always something new that we learn about him or some change that occurs to his character in the book. I highly recommend this book and all the others in the series.

Sherry H. (Naperville, Illinois)

A Lonely Death
Charles Todd seduced me on the first page. “A Lonely Death” is a mystery that touches on the effects of war, keeping secrets, and hidden agendas. I loved the book because his character and scenery descriptions took me to post WWI England. His main character, Inspector Rutledge and his haunted conscious, personified by Hamish, is raw, complex and very believable.

This would be a good selection for a book club. It’s a good mystery with a number of other topics to explore and discuss.

Jan B. (Aiken, SC)

A Lonely Death
Scotland Yard Detective Inspector Ian Rutledge has returned in an intriguing case that kept me guessing until the end. As usual, I was not disappointed by the writing team of Charles Todd. The characters are complex and well drawn. Ian Rutledge risk all to solve this dark case even as he continues to deal with his own darkness resulting from the war. If you are looking for a well written story filled with complex psychological characters and twist and turns this is a read for you.

Joe S. (Port Orange, FL)

Another great read in a great series.
I have read and thoroughly enjoyed every book in this series and this one, the latest, did not disappoint me. The characters are very well developed, the plot well thought out, and the historical research obviously quite extensive. Like the others in the series, the book brings out the traumatic impact the war had not only on the members of the military, but their families and friends. I highly recommend this book and the entire series.

...25 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Charles Todd Author Biography

Charles and Caroline Todd are a mother-and-son writing team who live on the east coast of the United States. Caroline has a BA in English Literature and History, and a Masters in International Relations. Charles has a BA in Communication Studies with an emphasis on Business Management, and a culinary arts degree that means he can boil more than water. Caroline has been married (to the same man) for umpteen years, and Charles is divorced.

Charles and Caroline have a rich storytelling heritage. Both spent many evenings on the porch listening to their fathers and grandfathers reminisce. And a maternal grandmother told marvelous ghost stories. This tradition allows them to write with passion about events before their own time. And an uncle/great-uncle who served as a flyer...

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