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Proof of Guilt: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery (Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries) Paperback – 2 Jan 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (2 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062015699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062015693
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 654,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

“There’s a grand design to Charles Todd’s period novels featuring Inspector Ian Rutledge....elegant mysteries.” (Marilyn Stasio in the New York Times Book Review.)

From the Back Cover

Scotland Yard's Ian Rutledge must contend with two dangerous enemies in this latest mystery in the New York Times bestselling series

London, summer 1920. An unidentified body appears to have been run down by a motorcar and Ian Rutledge is leading the investigation to uncover what happened. While the signs point to murder, vital questions remain: Who is the victim? And where, exactly, was he killed?

One small clue leads Rutledge to a firm built by two families, famous for producing and selling the world's best Madeira wine. Lewis French, the current head of the English enterprise, is missing. But is he the dead man?

The experienced Rutledge knows that suspicion and circumstantial evidence are not proof of guilt, and he's going to keep digging for answers. But that perseverance will pit him against his supervisor, the new acting chief superintendent. When Rutledge discovers a link to an incident in the French family's past, the superintendent dismisses it, claiming the information isn't vital. He's determined to place the blame on one of French's women despite Rutledge's objections. Alone in a no-man's-land rife with mystery and danger, Rutledge must tread very carefully, for someone has decided that he, too, must die so that a cruel justice can take its course.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JK TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I quite enjoyed this novel with it's post war themes and the odd, quirky Inspector Rutledge who has been suffering, and arguably still is, from the effect of post traumatic stress due to his experiences in the military. I was intrigued by Hamish, a disembodied voice existing inside Rutledge's head, and the story behind his creation is extremely original and perhaps one of the best elements of the novel but; this has been a long series of books and you're missing out on a huge amount of background information if you read this one before the others. I don't think it works well as a stand alone. The plot's not overly complicated and involves a lot of movement from place to place as Rutledge follows a series of clues leading him on a cat and mouse chase involving, amongst other things, the world of fine wine and unexplained disappearances. There's little I'd describe as dark or disturbing and the plot relies upon a sense of building mystery and post war atmosphere to draw the reader in. I'd recommend Proof of Guilt to those who enjoy a slow, thoughtful read.
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By Brian R. Martin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Charles Todd is the pen name of an American mother-and-son writing team that has written fifteen volumes in the series of Inspector Rutledge mysteries. This is the first of them I have read.

The action is set in 1920. Rutledge has returned from convalescing after the war to a post as a detective at Scotland Yard, but he is still suffering from his wartime experiences, particular an incident when he was forced to execute a soldier called Hamish for disobeying orders. He has also recently lost his girlfriend and now has only his sister as a close friend and lives mainly for his work. Hamish remains a haunting voice in Rutledge's head throughout the novel as he struggles to unravel a complex case involving a murder and several other deaths.

It starts with the discovery of a dead body that appears to be the victim of a hit-and-run accident, but it soon becomes apparent that he has been murdered elsewhere and left in the road where he was found. An expensive gold watch on the body is traced to Lewis French, a member of the family firm of French, French and Traynor, producers and importers of superior Madeira wine. Rutledge goes to the family house in Essex, where he has been told that French is waiting for the arrival from Portugal of his partner, Matthew Traynor. But French is not there and when Traynor's boat arrives in England he is not on board, although he definitely started the journey.

From French's sister, bitter because she has been `frozen out' of the family firm, Rutledge learns of family rivalries, and is told a strange story of an incident many years earlier when an apparently deranged Portuguese man arrived at the home and attacked members of the family.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I do enjoy this series. Of course there are minor quibbles: the American co-authors sometimes show a lack of understanding of English idiom and maybe Hamish's utterances are a strange hybrid of Scots, English and American, but then he is a ghost living in an Englishman's head.
What I like is the overall feel of the book. I was not around ninety-odd years ago and cannot vouch for the overall accuracy, but I get a real feel of the period from this series. Ian Rutledge continues to be a man haunted, literally, by his wartime experiences; he is alone, his latest girlfriend having discovered that her husband, thought dead, is possibly alive but terribly injured in France and has gone to him, and all he has is his sister, and his work.
The case itself is complicated. An unidentified corpse, two wealthy missing cousins, another missing ex-soldier, much trekking round the south of England for Rutledge in his car (his superiors feel he should take the train like everybody else), a philanthropist lady who employs ex-criminals, two rather wishy-washy females and one feisty one who is targeted by Rutledge's chief as a murderess. There is a fair amount of action, a lot of which Rutledge takes on himself and the ending, if maybe a little hurried, is satisfactory.
Now looking forward to the next installment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ms. J. Nolan on 29 Dec. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I usually cant put them down. However for me the constant to~ing and fro~ing of Rutledge over the southern countryside started to get a bit tedious. Plus there was too much confusion towards the end as to who was dead and where and by whom. Its almost as if the co~writing team took it in turns to write the plot a different way.
And what happend to Lewis French in the end. I was vey surprised at the abrupt ending.
It wont put me off reading some more of Charles Gray though.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Ive no idea what is happening at Amazon Vine these days!! I reviewed this book three days ago and as the review has not featured under the listing I am requested to review it again especially as now there is a punishing time limit involved.

As I recall I stated that I had been a fan of this mother/son combo since the 1990s and am amazed that they still continue to produce such high quality novels.

Rutledge assisted (or hindered) by his internalised Watson, a guilty persona he is unable to shake off, investigated the mysterious accident and several disappearances of folk involved in the wine trade.

The book could have stepped elegantly out of the Golden Crime era, a time in which it is set. It has all the ingredients ~ a motley crew of suspects, more red herrings than you can shake a stick at and out intrepid hero, now sporting a new car, in pursuit of the many and various leads.

A great read and fans will lap it up
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