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on 19 May 2016
The central character Ian Rutledge is very appealing - a shell-shocked war veteran. I also thought the plot twist was really good and for the most part it was an enjoyable if long-winded read. I felt that a less verbose writer could have used the same plot to make a much more taut page-turner. Although it's set in a cosy English village in the 1920s, the spelling is American and the characters much much too modern. Everyone is quite happy to unburden themselves about relationships and love affairs which I just don't believe of that era. Once I discovered that the series is written by two authors a lot of the repetition and wordiness made sense - I kept getting the feeling I had read pages before whereas in fact the authors just seem to go over the same ground again and again. Not sure if I want to read another.
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Top Contributor: LegoHALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 6 October 2013
This is the first in the Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery series. When the highly respected Colonel Harris is shot at point blank range, the local Warwickshire force turn to Scotland Yard for help. Superintendent Bowles sends Rutledge - damaged by his time in the trenches, to investigate. The most likely suspect for killing Harris is local war hero, Captain Mark Wilton, a man who is personal friends with the Prince of Wales and has been decorated with the Victoria Cross. However, as Wilton was shortly to be marrying Lettice Wood, a young ward of Harris, and the two men were seen having a violent argument both the night before and the morning of the murder, he seems the obvious choice. Fearing fallout over the possible arrest, Bowles hopes that the case will end Rutledge's career before it has a chance to restart.

Rutledge is an interesting character; a man who suffered claustophobia and shell shock and who is plagued by the voices of a dead comrade. Now he realises that he must unearth the murderer among the good folks of Upper Streetham, who have their fair share of secrets to hide. Everyone is determined to believe Wilton innocent and to hide the truth from the man from London, but Rutledge knows he must suceed, both to solve the crime and save himself. Good start to a long running series.
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on 30 April 2017
I have never reviewed a book before but I love murder mysteries and read every day! I had not heard of Charles Todd before and wasn't sure I would enjoy it. I couldn't put it down. I love the character of the Inspector and the ignorance about shell shock is sobering. My dislike of Bowles was immediate from the writing as was the ongoing descriptions of the suspects. All in all an extremely satisfying read and I shall certainly read the rest of the series.
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on 8 February 2016
Set in a country village after the first world war, detective Rutledge of Scotland Yard is sent to solve the murder of a very popular landowner. But Rutledge also has to battle with his own demons after being buried in a trench and the voice of a man he executed will not leave him be. Highly recommended.
June Finnigan - Writer
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on 1 August 2013
Set shortly after WW1 this whodunnit harks back to the days of Miss Marple & Poirot, our hero is a battle-scarred Scotland Yard detective called in to investigate a high-profile death in Cornwall. Apart from a few glaring idiosyncrasies, the American authors capture the period well, but the pace was rather too slow for my liking, and not really my genre.
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on 11 June 2013
I expected to enjoy this more than I did. Rutledge was an interesting character with problems of his own and the ideas about shell-shock were also interesting but somewhere in the middle I started to lose interest. The plot seems stuck for quite a while before suddenly rounding up with a surprise ending.
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on 23 May 2013
Overall this was an enjoyable book to read with many twists and turns to the storyline. The reader is taken down various paths leading to the potential perpetrator of the crime yet weaving in doubt as to the likelihood that they were indeed the culprit.
One small frustration, being a purist, was that there were a number of words spelt the 'American way'; tires instead of tyres for example. However, this didn't detract overall from the enjoyment of the book so would be happy to recommend it to lovers of mystery/crime novels.
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on 6 August 2013
The Inspector has returned from the war and is now battling to keep his job as he faces the consequences of his time in combat. Will his experiences make him a better or worse detective? He'll certainly do a more thorough job than the local officers have.
I enjoyed this and liked the historical setting.
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on 5 December 2015
Different character, different viewpoint, same insight into the impact of WWI as shown in the books about Bess Crawford.
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on 21 September 2017
An excellent plot but above all a very likable inspector. For those of us who did not know war and its terrible consequences, it is good to read this book. I certainly will buy more of the series.
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