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A False Mirror: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery (Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries) Paperback – 15 Jun 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (15 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062103229
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062103222
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 523,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Unhealed scars of the Great War still torment Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge. A haunted, damaged shell of a man, he has been sent to the small coastal town of Hampton Regis to solve a violent crime and to confront his own tragic past.

An officer who served with Rutledge in the trenches of France before being sent backto England under suspicious circumstances has now been accused of savagely beatingthe husband of the woman he still loves. The suspect has taken the wife hostage, threatening to kill her and her maid unless Rutledge takes charge of the investigation.Although the case painfully mirrors Rutledge's own past and the love he lost to another man, he cannot refuse it. When the unconscious brutalized victim vanishes without a trace,it's clear that this peaceful little town hides a vicious murderer and secrets powerful enough to kill for.

About the Author

Charles Todd is the New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother-and-son writing team, they live on the East Coast.


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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
'A False Mirror' by Charles Todd was the first Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery I'd read. A New York Times Bestselling author, this series runs to twelve volumes and I'll certainly be looking to read more.

A man - Matthew Hamilton - is nearly beaten to death on the beach of the seaside town of Hampton Regis and his wife is taken hostage by his supposed assailant, one Stephen Mallory. Mallory has a whole back-story of his own with Inspector Rutledge in the trenches of France during the First World War and demands that Rutledge be sent from Scotland Yard to establish who really did attack Hamilton and, by definition, save him from the hangman's noose.

There are a number of clever twists and turns and I did not guess who the perpetrator was; I was still surprised when I did find out, not only by who it turned out to be but that I hadn't picked up on the various clues littered throughout the story - such is the cleverness of the writing.

What I enjoyed most about this book though - and I assume the same goes for others in the series - is the skillful portrayal of life in a sleepy coastal town just after WW1 and a country's changed social fabric. Certainly English society's class system appears on the surface to be as prevalent as ever - and that makes for a quaint historical perspective for twenty first century readers in itself. However, the exposure of its own fundamental flaws and permanently changed circumstances from the Edwardian Age, as well as our insights into damaged individuals as a result of catastrophic external conflict are what really sets this fine book apart.
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Format: Hardcover
Ian Rutledge, an affecting, strong, yet vulnerable hero was first introduced by the mother/son writing team of Charles Todd in A Test Of Wills. He's a Scotland Yard inspector, a veteran of the Great War now battling the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Jean, his fiancee didn't wait for him, he's haunted by the voice of Corporal Hamish MacLeod whom Rutledge was compelled to kill, and beleaguered by his superior, Chief Superintendent Bowles, who seems determined to break what is left of Rutledge's spirit.

Seven novels followed the first, all tracing the tests and trials of Rutledge. Each is complexly plotted, powered by suspense, and insightful as the psychological scars of soldiers are revealed.

A False Mirror is set not long after the end of World War I. Rutledge continues to suffer with memories of the carnage and his very personal involvement. We read, ".....how could he explain what war had done to him and to so many others? How could he describe watching Hamish fall, how could he tell anyone how the man had lain there, trying to speak to him, begging for release? And how could he ever condone drawing his revolver and delivering the coup de grace, the blow of grace.....?

He is dispatched to a small community, Hampton Regis, to investigate the almost fatal assault on Matthew Hamilton. The man believed to be guilty is Stephen Mallory, a veteran who also suffers the after effects of war. He had known Rutledge during the war and there is little love lost between them. Mallory is also the man Felicity, Matthew Hamilton's wife, had loved before he went off to war. In his current state of mind would Mallory have tried to kill Hamilton in order to be with Felicity again?
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have enjoyed all the Rutledge mysteries and find them very compelling mysteries. Perhaps not the greatest or the most complex, but very readable and very enjoyable. I have read them all in quick succession often at the expense of my other reads, such is the addictive read they can become.

I love historical murder mysteries (Paul Doherty being my absolute favourite) and this series, set post WW1 paints a picture of the emotional turmoil, pain and suffering that afflicted many that fought and those they left at home. The authors do not shy away from that suffering but at times use it as a device to further the stories and the characters and this makes each one seem vulnerable. In this way we can relate to them as human beings first and foremost and literary characters second.

The main character is very much a human one, complete with his frailties, strengths and faults. He makes mistakes but also triumphs where others fail. The regular supporting characters get a look in every now and then but sometimes just as youre thinking you would like to get to know a bit more about them, the authors shut them away in the drawer for future use. This can prove a little frustrating.

The biggest frustration however for me is the way the authors often portray the women in their books. With the exception of the odd couple (notice Im not trying to give any spoilers or hints - you can make your own mind up)of women, all the stories feature at least one woman who is very, very irritating. Often this is a stereotypical irritation. It also occurs far more than any of the male characters.
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