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Hunting Shadows: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery (Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries) [Paperback]

Charles Todd
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 11.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

27 Feb 2014 Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries (Book 16)
Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge is called in to find a killer, in a dangerous case with ties leading back to the battlefields of World War I.


Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (27 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006232294X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062322944
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 420,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

“Tricky plotting and rich atmospherics distinguish bestseller Todd’s 16th novel featuring Scotland Yard’s Insp. Ian Rutledge....Todd (the pen name of a mother-son writing team) has rarely been better.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review) on HUNTING SHADOWS)

“Another well-written, well-plotted entry in this always engaging mystery series. (Booklist on HUNTING SHADOWS)

“Another winner…Strong atmosphere and a complicated mystery make this book one that readers won’t be able to put down.” (Romantic Times 4 1/2 stars on HUNTING SHADOWS)

“As always, the North Carolina-based mother and son who write under the pseudonym Charles Todd do a beautiful job with the period detail, making these books a nostalgic outing to England between the world wars.” (Raleigh News & Observer)

“Readers who stick with the chase, though, should be enthralled, as Rutledge sorts through a fascinating portrait gallery of witnesses and suspects, most of whom aren’t telling him the whole truth.” (Wilmington News Journal)

“Of all the places where Inspector Ian Rutledge’s Scotland Yard assignments have taken him, the desolate Fen country must surely be the eeriest. [This is an] excellent historical series.” (New York Times Book Review on HUNTING SHADOWS)

“Elusive clues, suspense and excellent writing make for reading pleasure.” (Oklahoma City Oklahoman on HUNTING SHADOWS)

About the Author

Charles Todd is the author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother-and-son writing team, they live in Delaware and North Carolina, respectively.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCEPTIONAL BLEND OF MYSTERY/HISTORY 23 Jan 2014
By Gail Cooke TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
If you've not already been introduced to the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries the 16th entry in this exceptional series, Hunting Shadows, is a good place to start. Written by a mother/son writing team using the pen name Charles Todd these books are widely recognized as one of the best historical series being written today and for this reader the latest considerably raises the bar.

A little background for those who have not yet had the pleasure: Todd has created a sympathetic, compelling protagonist in Inspector Rutledge of Scotland Yard. He's a shell-shocked veteran of World War I who is haunted by the voice of Hamish, a man under his command whom he was forced to order executed. Rutledge is intrepid, highly intelligent and doesn't suffer fools lightly.

Hunting Shadows is richly atmospheric taking place in Scotland's Fen country where water has apparently separated the populace, even those in a village ten miles away are considered foreigners. Dense fog shrouds the landscape and seems to cloak the inhabitants as well as lending to a sense of isolation.

When local law enforcement is stumped by two murders Scotland Yard is called in - Rutledge is also almost baffled. The deaths appear to be unrelated. A sniper first shot Captain Hutchinson as he was entering a church for a wedding (walking too close to the groom for comfort?). The second death was that of Herbert Swift, a Tory candidate for Parliament - he was relieved of his head just as he was beginning an outdoor campaign speech.

No one saw anything or heard anything save for a woman who claims to have seen the face of a monster in a window immediately before Swift was shot. As time passes Scotland Yard presses for answers and no one would like to find them more than Rutledge.

With a seamlessly constructed complex plot deftly written and a unique unforgettable lead character Hunting Shadows is mystery writing at its finest.

- Gail Cooke
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By L. J. Roberts TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
First Sentence: He’d tried to put the war behind him.

A sniper killer at Ely Cathedral takes Inspector Ian Rutledge to Cambridgeshire. A separate shooting in a different village does have a witness, but her testimony makes no real sense. The biggest barrier to Rutledge’s investigation is the apparent lack of motive in either case and lack of connection between the two victims. With the third shooting, and a target who survives, Rutledge starts looking to the past for both the motive, and for the killer.

The opening chapter is rather different and unusual, but completely engrossing. Todd’s descriptions are wonderfully atmospheric.

It’s very nice that an accounting of Hamish is offered that both explains him to new readers yet doesn’t interrupt the flow for recurring readers. Much focus is given to Rutledge, yet it’s not boring or repetitive. He is a fascinating character about whom we want to know more. His relapse into a flashback of the war is very effective and painful without being overly description. The understanding of the rector made the scene all that more powerful for its subtly. His dealing with his shell shock/PTSD is a tragic thread which connects the series and other characters of whom there are many who’ve suffered the effects of war.

Sometimes, it is the little things that matter. It’s nice that, with all the driving to-and-fro Rutledge does, we finally having him stopping for petrol occasionally.

“Hunting Shadows” is a good read. While one appreciates the doggedness of Rutledge’s investigation and the way he puts the information together in order to identify the killer, I didn’t feel a particularly strong connection to any character other than Rutledge, and wishing I had.

HUNTING SHADOWS (Hist Mys-Insp. Ian Rutledge-England-1920) – Good
Todd, Charles – 16th in series
William Morrow, 2014
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charles Todd Hits His Stride in this One 21 Jan 2014
By Stephanie De Pue TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
HUNTING SHADOWS is the sixteenth entry in the Inspector Ian Rutledge series of historical British mysteries, penned by the New York Times bestselling "Charles Todd." Which is actually the American mother/son writing team of Caroline and Charles Todd, who are resident on the east coast of the United States, in the states of Delaware and North Carolina respectively. "Todd" is also author of the newish Bess Crawford British historical mystery series. All the crime novels appear to be based in Great Britain; the Crawford series during World War I, the Rutledge series shortly afterward. HUNTING SHADOWS follows on Proof of Guilt in the Rutledge series.

A society wedding at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire's fen country has become a crime scene when a guest is murdered. Another body is found later. Scotland Yard is called in. The case appears to lead back to disturbed servicemen returned from the blood-soaked killing field that was World War I. This brings up painful memories for Inspector Rutledge as well; he too has returned from the war with a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder, (PTSD) as we now know it , shell shock as it was called then: Rutledge carries on constant conversation with Hamish, his young Scottish sergeant, whom he felt forced to kill on the battlefield.

This time out, the authors have given us some powerful flashback scenes from the French front, though it's clear they cannot render wartime with the intensity of novelists who specialize in it. "Todd" also has done well at giving us the atmosphere of post war England, the social uproar caused by the war.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  154 reviews
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding five star reading experience for me. 8 Dec 2013
By J. Lesley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Now this is what I call an excellent addition to the Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery series. It was set up exactly the way I prefer my mysteries. The plot and the investigation took center stage without the distractions of trying to involve Rutledge in a romance and Hamish McLoed was present, but only minimally. If you prefer to read about Rutledge fighting the psychological battle of the presence of Hamish in his mind or if you want to read of romantic attachments for the main characters you might not be quite as pleased as I was.

Scotland Yard is called in when two murders take place within a two week period in the Fen country of England. The time is August and September of 1920, so almost every incident which takes place has some relation to the recently ended war. In this case a rifle is being used to kill men who seem to have absolutely no connection with each other. There is a new Acting Chief superintendent at Scotland Yard and he is impatient with the slow progress Rutledge is making in the two cases, but he also doesn't take into consideration how tangled the relationships are between all the concerned parties and how deeply the secrets are buried. Rutledge solves the problem of how to deal with his boss by simply staying away from London.

The writing in this novel is absolutely first class. Reading the description of the fog Rutledge runs into on his journey from London was so realistic it almost made me claustrophobic myself! Especially when I looked out my own windows and saw everything coated with ice and nothing moving about except the freezing rain. Talk about the right weekend to read this book! I thought I had figured out who the killer was after reading about a lot of investigating by Rutledge and I wasn't even disappointed when I found out I had been following the red herring the authors set for me to follow. For me this was the best Charles Todd novel I've read in quite some time and it was a pure pleasure to read it. The atmosphere is outstanding, the plotting is outstanding, and the investigative process used by Rutledge is outstanding. A five star reading experience. If you are new to this series, you can begin here and completely understand everything that is important to the series. If you like period mysteries, I think this writing team one of the best.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No character development 26 Jan 2014
By Madelene Towne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've read every single Charles Todd book to date and what started off as a promising series has fizzled into just an adequate one.

Hunting Shadows is better than some of the other recent Ian Rutledge books in terms of the actual mystery, but what is sorely missing in this series is an evolution of Rutledge's character. When we are first introduced to Rutledge, he is an emotionally wrecked survivor of the first World War. In the early books, the authors vividly portray his anguish and the events leading up to its causation. They also give us hope that Rutledge will find a new love interest and insight into his relationship with his sister. But in later books, Rutledge is turned into something of an automaton who traverses the English countryside and interrogates witnesses and suspects. He never moves forward on any personal level, except perhaps for a lessening of the role that Hamish plays in his life. A completely mesmerizing character has turned into one who is dry and lifeless.

I still have hope for the series because the authors write beautifully. If only they could find a way to bring some sparkle back into their main character.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Spectacularly Twisted Tale in the Fen Country 8 Jan 2014
By E. Burian-Mohr - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It's August of 1920, in the Fen country of England. World War I is barely over, and the soldiers who survived will never be over it. As wedding guests gather outside a cathedral, an unseen gunman picks off a wedding guest with a rifle and a German sighting device that only a soldier would use. The following month, a local aspiring parliament candidate is killed, again with a single rifle shot by an unseen assailant.

Scotland Yard is called, and Ian Rutledge is on the case. He takes to his motorcar, as much to avoid a new impatient superintendent as to get to the root of things, and sets out on a quest to find out how the victims are related, and who the culprit could be.

Poor Ian Rutledge. He's a brilliant Scotland Yard detective yet he's haunted by his past, is shell-shocked (which is seen as a shameful affliction), has the talking ghost of deceased soldier Hamish MacLeod always in his head, is loathed by most everyone in the department, has no love life, and is apparently the person to whom everyone tells lies.

Yet he perseveres.

He's nothing, if not stubborn. Rutledge perseveres and unravels a tale so complex that you might need to make a chart of the characters to keep them straight. Yet Todd takes all those threads and storylines and subplots and weaves them and weaves them until the mysteries (because there are many) are solved.

This is the 16th of the Todd's Ian Rutledge series. But fear not. You don't need to read all the previous ones to understand the characters or what is going on. You can jump in at book 16 and, if you become addicted as I have, you can go back and read the previous works, in no particular order.

That being said, here is my top ten list of the things that are great about Ian Rutledge and "Hunting Shadows":

10. It's a great historical mystery. Set in another time and place, the book captures the era and the surrounds beautifully, from cranking up the car to fog so thick you could walk into a windmill and be knocked senseless. Rutledge relies on early investigative techniques... like searching the damp grass for footprints to determine when the suspect was there.

9. After you listen to Hamish, the voice that follows Rutledge everywhere, you will finally be able to translate some Scottish brogue and possibly decipher the Dorothy Sayers novel that thwarted me years ago. (Don't list it as one of your languages on FaceBook, however.)

8. It's not easy taking tying so many storylines together and keeping so many families and characters straight. Charles Todd does it.

7. Oh what a tangled web... The murderer will probably surprise you. I was surprised, but it all made sense... in a tangled way.

6. If you like twisted back-story, the Fen country and its inhabitants will fascinate.

5. Who's who? How were the murder victims connected? Who bears grudges to them both? Why? Who is actually related to whom? What are the connections between these seemingly unconnected people? The connections and stories long-buried intrigue.

4. World War I. The war to end all wars. After the horrors of subsequent wars, we sometimes forget what a devastating war it was, and how those who fought in it and survived were forever damaged. It's a good lesson to remember and Charles Todd always reminds us well.

3. The Fen country. It's dark and foggy and wet and mysterious. Have you tumbled into Hobbit-land? Nope. It's a marshy region in Eastern England, drained centuries ago, which produced a lowland agricultural region... with a few resident ghosts and mysteries. The Hound of the Baskervilles doesn't actually live there, but his cousin might.

2. The characters. Ian Rutledge doesn't work and play well with others at the Yard, has only extinguished tragic love affairs, and is carrying around the ghost of a dead soldier. The people he meets along the way all seem tragically damaged, too, each in different ways. It's a cast of characters you wouldn't want to have over for dinner, but they're definitely an interesting bunch.

1. Charles Todd continues to evolve as a writer (or writers, since they're a mother and son team). They have written another compelling story - dark, tragic, filled with suspense, mystery and complex characters. If you are a fan of twisted backstories, you won't be disappointed.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An invisible killer kills in crowded public places... 1 Dec 2013
By Patto - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Inspector Rutledge of Scotland Yard has an extremely clever killer to deal with in this book. The killer kills with one shot from some vantage point, and nobody sees him coming or going.

The setting is exotic. In the Fen Country, watery landscapes reach to far horizons. The sunsets are glorious, and fogs make roads disappear, hide treacherous footing and shroud people in mystery. There are ghosts and other weird apparitions reported by locals. The scattered villages are curiously isolated from each other. Someone from another village is considered a foreigner. Rutledge finds it difficult to unearth connections between the victims, the witnesses are so unforthcoming.

The pace is slow, but the story is absorbing. It's 1920, and almost everyone is suffering the after effects of World War I. Casualties have decimated the villages. Ex-soldiers show signs of shell shock. Rutledge too has shattering nightmares and flashbacks to Flanders, and is pursued by the mocking voice of a rebellious soldier he was forced to execute on the battlefield.

The voice of this dead Scotsman is a constant torment to the inspector. He’s also saddened by the memory of a lost love, so he's quite a romantic figure.

I'm new to this series, but I think it's okay to jump in with Hunting Shadows. I had no trouble appreciating the inspector's maverick style of investigating and his haunted personality.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCEPTIONAL BLEND OF MYSTERY/HISTORY 23 Jan 2014
By Gail Cooke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If you’ve not already been introduced to the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries the 16th entry in this exceptional series, Hunting Shadows, is a good place to start. Written by a mother/son writing team using the pen name Charles Todd these books are widely recognized as one of the best historical series being written today and for this reader the latest considerably raises the bar.

A little background for those who have not yet had the pleasure: Todd has created a sympathetic, compelling protagonist in Inspector Rutledge of Scotland Yard. He’s a shell-shocked veteran of World War I who is haunted by the voice of Hamish, a man under his command whom he was forced to order executed. Rutledge is intrepid, highly intelligent and doesn’t suffer fools lightly.

Hunting Shadows is richly atmospheric taking place in Scotland’s Fen country where water has apparently separated the populace, even those in a village ten miles away are considered foreigners. Dense fog shrouds the landscape and seems to cloak the inhabitants as well as lending to a sense of isolation.

When local law enforcement is stumped by two murders Scotland Yard is called in - Rutledge is also almost baffled. The deaths appear to be unrelated. A sniper first shot Captain Hutchinson as he was entering a church for a wedding (walking too close to the groom for comfort?). The second death was that of Herbert Swift, a Tory candidate for Parliament - he was relieved of his head just as he was beginning an outdoor campaign speech.

No one saw anything or heard anything save for a woman who claims to have seen the face of a monster in a window immediately before Swift was shot. As time passes Scotland Yard presses for answers and no one would like to find them more than Rutledge.

With a seamlessly constructed complex plot deftly written and a unique unforgettable lead character Hunting Shadows is mystery writing at its finest.

- Gail Cooke
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