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on 15 November 2013
I was amazed to find that this book's author Charles Todd is actually a mother and son writing team from America. This is a well written interesting tale but definitely feels very English. The plot is unusual, unpredictable but all the better for that. Well worth a try!
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"I don't want you to die," she said bluntly. "I've seen enough of death and destruction. I want to hold my séances and bring back dead kings and silly jesters and the ghost of Hamlet's father. There is no harm in that and it makes people laugh. And, it keeps my mind from dwelling on what it should not be remembering. You were the soldier, Inspector but I put soldiers back together. Or tried to help others do that. I don't know which is worse."
In the New Year of 1919, Scotland Yard's Inspector Rutledge has gone to a dinner party with his sister. While there he finds a spent brass cartridge casing as he is leaving the party to answer an emergent call. Then a while later he finds another. What do these spent cartridges foretell, and why do we care?
Inspector Rutledge is sent by his superiors to a tiny hamlet called Dudlington. He is to investigate the attempted murder of an ex-inspector Hensley. As he arrives Inspector Rutledge feels an odd aura that he suspects is a fore warning of what is to come. The hamlet is suspicious of this Scotland Yard man and is not as welcoming as they could be. But as events unfold Inspector Ian Rutledge makes a name for himself, and the towns people begin to believe that maybe this man can solve some of the mysteries that have just begun. A young girl is missing and their Constable attacked. A Mrs Charlston, a soldier who had misfortunes, a pub owner and others who all come into play and Inspector Ian Rutledge will put the clues all together, and then find out who may be stalking him.
Charles Todd is the mother/son team of Charles and Caroline Todd. Inspector Rutledge mysteries are set in post World War I England. "A Long Shadow" is the eighth novel for this team. In the previous seven novels we learn that Inspector Rutledge was in the Great War and, as many before him have, he suffered 'shell shock'. He is hiding this and it is a heavy secret. One of the most unusual aspects of this series is that Inspector Rutledge has a friend or a voice who is with him almost constantly, Hamish MacLeod. A young Scotsman who plays a large part in this Inspector's history; now and then.
The Charles Todd duo's new mystery series is a must read for anyone who love English Mysteries and a thriller. A real find for me and recommended by a friend. Highly Recommended. prisrob 2-10-06
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Set in the year 1919. Scotland Yard detective Ian Rutledge spent four years fighting in the Great War. Now he is back to being a dedicated investigator. But it seems that someone has targeted Ian for a game of cat and mouse. Someone follows Ian, leaving brass machine gun cartridge casings, with interesting designs etched upon them, where he is sure to find them. Ian, knowing that his stalker seems to holding his leash, finds his resolve actually shaking.
Ian's investigation of a constable's death makes him the outsider this time around. Locals want nothing to do with him, except for one young lady who claims to be a psychic.
**** This is the eighth Inspector Ian Rutledge novel and probably the best yet, in my opinion. Only the prior novel, "A Cold Treachery", can come close to claiming the spot as my favorite story within this series. A bit long winded at times, but very good reading. ****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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on 14 January 2014
I've read several books in this series and I would recommend anybody to try, the storytelling is really good and apart from a minor detail regarding sterling accuracy very good, the attention to World War 1 and pre and after years is fascinating, keeps you interested.
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I enjoyed "A Long Shadow" for much the same reasons I liked a couple of the earlier books in the series. The writing has a flow to it that sucks the reader in and invites interest and sympathy for the characters. Even when the story turns in the direction of the banal--and it does happen from time to time--the tone is still intelligent, within the realm of logic and appropriate. The "banality of evil" is a respectable and time honored theme in many mysteries and general fiction, and I'm not really complaining much about that device. In any event, "A Long Shadow" follows the series' template in that way albeit with an ending that is somewhat murkier than it could be.

I have to agree with a couple of other reviewers who have complained about the role of Hamish--protagonist Ian Rutledge's subconscious companion. In any series, continuing characters need to show some kind of growth, positive or negative, to remain interesting. Hamish is pretty much the same guy he has been from the start, though in this book he comes up with the rather original (for a ghost) plaint--"I don't want to die (again)". But overall, his character doesn't add much to the story here.

The character growth question applies to the principal character, Rutledge, as well. After eight (and more) books, where is he headed? Toward some kind of healing? A normal relationship? Professional advancement?

The authors of these books are well up to taking their characters to new and more interesting levels, and I hope they will.
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on 16 April 2014
Although this is an easy and interesting read it is not quite a page turner. Delivered in the time and condition stated.
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on 23 February 2013
Excellent read,I have read all this series,so far.It does help,if possible,to read the books in sequence.--the seller,betterworldbooks,gave excellent service,as they have done,on many occasions.
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on 28 September 2014
I really enjoy this authors books, they are a great read as is this one. Good story line with a "must read" to see what happens next about it. Well written and well thought out.
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on 31 December 2012
Having recently had Charles Todd recommended to me by a friend, have yet to find one of his books that is not interesting with many twists and turns to the plots.
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on 24 December 2012
I have read a number of the "Ian Rutledge" mysteries and have enjoyed them all, and this one is no exception.
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