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A Test of Wills Paperback – 18 Sep 1997


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Product details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Headline; New edition edition (18 Sept. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074725737X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747257370
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,188,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Charles Todd lives in Greenville, Delaware. He has travelled extensively in England and knows the country well. His novel A Test of Wills was shortlisted for an Edgar, Anthony and the CWA's John Creasey award and all his novels have received tremendous critical acclaim.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By G. J. Weeks on 14 Dec. 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A fascinating period who dunnit which is impossible to fathom because of in incredible twist in the tail. I loved this unique troubled detective battling with the post traumatic stress of WWI as he comes into contact with former soldiers and civilians scarred for life by this terrible conflict.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By bernie TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 Nov. 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is the firs in a series of Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries. It does not take us long to know the man and the burden he carries. It is this side of him and the descriptions of the world after the Great War that adds a unique value to the writing and our lives also.

A week ago headstrong Colonel Harris was unceremoniously dispatched. All signs point to the dispatcher being a war hero with friends in high places. Who ever takes the case needs to be expendable. Rutledge's superior Bowls suspected Rutledge's secret and decided he would make the perfect scapegoat.

It is interesting as the story unfolds we see mysteries within mysteries, maybe a few red herrings and many unwell people that can usually be detected by Rutledge but not always. As there is a race with time Rutledge's trying to regain his uncanny detective skills we also but figure out who did the deed and who. To some the answer will be obvious to others it will feel that he pulled a clue out of the closet at the last moment. In any case you will be intrigued to the conclusion.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Nick Brett TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 April 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery featuring a detective recently returned from the battlefields of WW1 and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress, not that this was recognised in those days.

Written by an American pair of authors (mother and son I think) it is surprising how well they capture England in the period just after the first World War. The formality and pace of life is well defined as is a complex lead character that you don't necessarily 'like' but you admire his approach as he deals with the murder he is assigned to, and his own demons. The murder is that of a respected ex-officer and the prime suspect is a hero of the war, a potentially embarrassing outcome in the post war period. As Rutledge gently peels away the life and relationships in a small English village the outcome is hard to guess and is satisfying when it comes.
The pace may be too slow for some, but this is thoughtful and engaging stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the first in the Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery series. When the highly respected Colonel Harris is shot at point blank range, the local Warwickshire force turn to Scotland Yard for help. Superintendent Bowles sends Rutledge - damaged by his time in the trenches, to investigate. The most likely suspect for killing Harris is local war hero, Captain Mark Wilton, a man who is personal friends with the Prince of Wales and has been decorated with the Victoria Cross. However, as Wilton was shortly to be marrying Lettice Wood, a young ward of Harris, and the two men were seen having a violent argument both the night before and the morning of the murder, he seems the obvious choice. Fearing fallout over the possible arrest, Bowles hopes that the case will end Rutledge's career before it has a chance to restart.

Rutledge is an interesting character; a man who suffered claustophobia and shell shock and who is plagued by the voices of a dead comrade. Now he realises that he must unearth the murderer among the good folks of Upper Streetham, who have their fair share of secrets to hide. Everyone is determined to believe Wilton innocent and to hide the truth from the man from London, but Rutledge knows he must suceed, both to solve the crime and save himself. Good start to a long running series.
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By Trilby on 5 April 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought his novel started well. I was impressed by how the American authors seemed to have captured the atmosphere of an English village in the post-WWI era. The scene appeared to be set for an exciting read. Unfortunately, as I proceeded my patience began to run out, as next to nothing happened! Inspector Rutledge just seemed to go round and round in circles speculating on various potential culprits, with no developments to draw the reader in to the story. There was a final twist - in the last few pages - but this came entirely out of the blue, bearing no relation to his previous investigations. It would surely have been far more dramatic had the story slowly unravelled. Alas, I was left thoroughly bored and disappointed.

I was not too bothered by the occasional American spelling, although it grated to encounter the word "sidewalk" in the context of an English village. And the authors are under the misconception that an accused person may be "not proved" [sic] as an alternative to acquittal or being found guilty. A pity that their (evidently considerable) homework should be let down by such howlers - although admittedly this would probably be beyond all but the most discerning American reader, for whom these books are apparently primarily directed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kath Page on 11 Jun. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I expected to enjoy this more than I did. Rutledge was an interesting character with problems of his own and the ideas about shell-shock were also interesting but somewhere in the middle I started to lose interest. The plot seems stuck for quite a while before suddenly rounding up with a surprise ending.
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