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A Cold Treachery Hardcover – 25 Jan 2005

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Books (25 Jan. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553803492
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553803495
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.5 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,828,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Inside Flap

Charles Todd returns to the world of Scotland Yard's Inspector Ian Rutledge in a series that the "New York Times Book Review called "harrowing psychological drama" and the "Washington Post Book World hailed as "among the most intelligent and affecting being written these days." This time the embattled Inspector has met his match hunting a brutal killer across a frozen hell and the one witness who may have survived a crime of...
"You'll hang for this-see if you don't! That's my revenge! And you'll think about that when the rope goes around your neck and the black hood comes down...."
Called out by Scotland Yard into the teeth of a violent blizzard, Inspector Ian Rutledge finds himself confronted with one of the most savage murders he has ever encountered. Rutledge might have expected such unspeakable carnage on the World War I battlefields, where he'd lost much of his soul-and his sanity-but not in an otherwise peaceful farm kitchen in remote Urskdale.
Someone has murdered the Elcott family at their table without the least sign of struggle. Was the killer someone the young family knew and trusted? When the victims are tallied the local police are in for another shock: One of the Elcotts' children, a boy named Josh, is missing.
Now the Inspector must race to uncover a murderer and to save a child before he's silenced by the merciless elements-or the even colder hands of a killer. Haunted and goaded by the soldier-ghost of his own tortured war past, Rutledge will discover the tragedy of war that splintered one marriage-and pulled together another.
Love, jealousy, greed, revenge-or was it some twisted combination of all of them? Any one could lead aman or woman to murder. What had the Elcotts done to ignite their killer's rage? With time running out, Rutledge knows all too well that such a cold-blooded murderer could be hiding somewhere in the blinding snow...
preparing to strike again.

"From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

About the Author

CHARLES TODD is the author of "The Murder Stone, A Fearsome Doubt, Watchers of Time, Legacy of the Dead, A Test of Wills, Wings of Fire, " and "Search the Dark." He lives on the East Coast, where he is at work on the next novel in the Inspector Ian Rutledge series.

"From the Hardcover edition." --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This author never let's me down, as per usual the detail is good and there is just that little bit to titillate you to read another chapter. I look forward to further new editions to see how this Scotland Yard detective progresses
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I'd recommend the Inspector Rutledge of Scotland Yard series to anyone who appreciates a crime mystery whodunnit set in the inter war years in Britain.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars 118 reviews
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Find! 2 Jan. 2006
By JAD - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you like good edge of your seat whodunits set in quaintly atmospheric British locales, if you like a story where every character may have ample reason to have done away with the deceased, if you like a yarn that brings in some psychology and even some of the "big questions" of life, if you like eccentric but believable supporting characters, if you like to be entertained and at the same time, learn just a bit about a time gone by, if you like to see justice done and all of the loose ends tied up by the last page, look no further than here, and at all of the Charles Todd, Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries.

Having cut my teeth on Agatha Christie and then savored the elegant sophistication of Miss Dorothy L Sayers, I have been -- how shall we put it -- eager for mysteries that come up to those high standards. Often disappointed. Until now.

Charles Todd's multi-dimensional, flawed Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge is appealing, endearing and real. He is not a caricature detective, nor a foil for red herrings and twisted plots (even though they abound in Todd's works). His persona is such that we would enjoy a book about his life that had NO mystery to it... Not that I am suggesting such a move to the authors....

Speaking of authors... Yes plural. Having read one book, I kept thinking, who is this author. Turns out that Charles Todd is American, not British, and Charles Todd is actually a mother and son team, writing together to create these wonderful books set in post W W I Britain.

And then there is Hamish, Ian's ghostly alter-ego, traveling companion, and imaginary friend. When my local bookstore owner told me the basics about Ian and his now-dead Scottish sergeant, who likes to ride in the back seat of Rutledge's car and "back seat drive" the investigations, I thought this was all too droll. Well, droll it is but it works--surprisingly well. To the point that the reader finds himself or herself wondering what Hamish thinks of this or that turn of events, even when Hamish is silent.

This is the first of Charles Todd's Rutledge mysteries that I read--and then I went on to the first in the series: Test of Wills. I enjoyed reading them in this way, and in fact was hooked. (And then went on to the others). But the reader may want to read them in order. Test of Wills, Wings of Fire, Search the Dark, Legacy of the Dead, Watchers of Time, A Fearsome Doubt, A Cold Treachery, A Long Shadow. There is also a stand-alone Todd mystery called Murder Stone. Read more about them at: [...]

Todd intertwines the supporting characters from book to book, so that Rutledge's and Hamish's friends and family appear in more than one book, at some times, mentioned and other times, key to the story.

This book, about a missing boy and his murdered family in a lonely spot between the Lake District and the Dales, is well worth your time and attention.

If you find this review helpful you might want to read some of my other reviews, including those on subjects ranging from biography to architecture, as well as religion and fiction
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars powerful historical 25 Jan. 2005
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In December 1919 in wintry Urksdale, England someone murders five members of the Elcott family, three of them children, in their home. Paul Elcott discovers the grisly remains of his kin, but in his horror he fails to realize that ten year old Josh escaped the brutality. Inspector Greeley assumes the lad is dead as Dr. Jarvis stated that the killings occurred two days ago. Unable to overcome his bias that no local committed the mass murders, Greeley requests help from Scotland Yard's Chief Constable.

While a blizzard hampers travel, the Chief Constable sends Word War I veteran Inspector Ian Rutledge to investigate the vicious killings. Ian keeps his thin grip on sanity through his police work as he feels remorse about Corporal Hamish who he ordered executed for insubordination. As the locals including Greeley and Jarvis insist it is a lunatic outsider, Rutledge looks for clues to find the whereabouts of Josh, not just for altruistic reasons. The murder scene implies deadly passion from someone the family members knew intimately; hence the ten year old is Ian's prime suspect; others from the village with fervent motives surface.

In his seventh appearance, battle fatigue syndrome victim Rutledge seems as if he is getting mentally even more unstable than in his previous tales. Still as his grasp on reality lessens, his inspection skills remain strong. The who-done-it is solid, but it is the powerful historical look at the austere lifestyle of a northern England farm family just after the war that keeps the series fresh and at the top rung of the sub-genre.

Harriet Klausner
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not the best of the series 8 Sept. 2005
By E Rice - Published on
Format: Hardcover
while, as others as said, this is much better than the dreadful _murder stone_, it still is disappointing when compared to earlier books in the rutledge series.

the writing is good, sometimes very good, and the characters are well drawn and the effects of the war and the social idiocies of the time are sympathetically portrayed, but there is one major problem with the plot--the behavior of one of the characters is never sufficiently explained, and seems to exist only to mislead the reader. i don't want to give away plot details, so i can't say much more than that.

there is a hint at the end that rutledge's obnoxious and underhanded supervisor will get his comeupance, and it's about time after seven succesful murder inquiries that something is done about that situation. it's old, it's unnecessary, and it's becoming increasingly unrealistic in light of rutledge's professional successes.

there is also a suggeston at the end of the book that rutledge is healing--and that, too, will be a welcome development.

still, the book is historically interesting and accurate, and rutledge is a consistently compelling character. it is also a pleasure and relief to read about even fictional people who are adults, and who soldier on without self-dramatization or psychobabble.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New favorite author! 12 Feb. 2005
By Sandy - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This was My first Charles Todd book and I really enjoyed it! Great Psycho Drama and I love the setting of Scotland yard. It is is a series with the main character being Inspector Ian Rutledge, who this time is tracking a brutal killer. That I had not read the earlier books did diminish my enjoyment (though I now plan on going back and reading the earlier books).
This is an intellegent thriller mystery that it is a cut above the rest in the genre.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Todd cannot churn these out fast enough for me... 30 May 2006
By K. L Sadler - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
And that is part of the problem...readers want their good authors to write more, so they can read more of their books and their plots and their characterizations. But then if our authors do write more, their writing often goes downhill and the plotting gets lazy, the characterization more sloppy. Authors can't win no matter which way they go!

I find it hard to believe I missed writing a review for this book. I read it quite some time ago when I was going through as many of Todd's books as I could find. Todd's shell-shocked survivor of WWI who was and is a detective is still dealing with his inner voice (who happens to be the man he was called upon to execute during wartime for refusal to obey this case to take another group of very young men over the trenches and into a war with the Germans for which there is no good reason). Rutledge becomes involved in the wintery murder of a family, except for a missing 10 year old boy who is suspected of doing the murders, simply because he is missing and the easiest person to blame such an atrocity on. Rutledge needs to find out the truth, whatever that may be, and if possible find this boy, if he is still alive...before the real killer does.

Todd's books are based on an innate sadness that came over England after she lost a whole generation of young men to a war played by generals safely behind the scenes. Almost every family was impacted by the war, either by a direct loss of a son, a husband, a father...or from the vast changes that were made on English social structure when women had to make up for the battefield losses in the agricultural and business world, as well as deal with their own personal losses at the same time. Life was not easy anywhere in England, but especially on the bleak farms. The psychiatric toll taken by all this was immense, and was too much for some people to take.

Todd is one of the better finds of the last couple of years. Surprisingly enough, he is an American, but he writes like he had training in the British school system and not ours. His books are smart, and thoughtful, and the language used is beautiful.

Karen sadler
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