four-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
21-Mar-Apr-2006
By: 
Charles Todd
user_rating: 
0

An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery

A-ALongShadowWorld War I, a conflict that Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge can’t shake, casts a long shadow over a London still recovering from wartime. Riddled by guilt for his role in the execution of his junior officer for insubordination, Rutledge suffers his conscience and ponders the mysterious shell casings that keep turning up in his path. As if he doesn’t have enough ghosts to contend with in his head, he’s assigned to investigate a series of mysterious events that have unsettled the residents of Dudlington, on the southern coast of England. With a heavy dose of the supernatural, Rutledge endeavors to solve the case while assuaging his own guilt.
Morrow. 341 Pages. $23.95. ISBN: 006078671X

NY Times Book Review 4 of 5 Stars
"Taken individually, the characters have vivid personalities and psychological depth. … Although the scenery changes from book to book in this elegantly devised series, the bleak emotional landscape remains the same, waiting for someone like Rutledge to heal its wounds." Marilyn Stasio

South FL Sun-Sentinel 4 of 5 Stars
"In this eighth Rutledge novel, Todd balances the fragility of Rutledge’s mind with the detective’s attempts to claw his way back to humanity and sanity. Rutledge’s shattered equilibrium would be enough to carry this intriguing series. But Todd has raised the ante by skillfully injecting a hint of the supernatural." Oline H. Codgill

Detroit Free Press 3 of 5 Stars
"Todd’s trademark is the insight he has into the psyches of his characters. … It keeps readers on edge right up to the stunning end, where things aren’t wrapped up as tightly as some may like." Ron Bernas

Critical Summary

The real mystery for most critics is how the American mother-and-son team Caroline and Charles Todd, who write under the pseudonym Charles Todd, manage to penetrate so deeply into the postwar English psyche and setting. That insight is the key to the success of the Inspector Rutledge series. While the plots are plenty interesting, it is the deep shade hanging over all Todd’s mysteries that sets them apart. A Long Shadow, the eighth in the series, is no exception, with its forays into the supernatural and the suspicions of small-town life. It proves another fine installment of a well-regarded series.

First in the Series

A Test of Wills (1996): Rutledge returns to Scotland Yard as a decorated World War I veteran. His first case? A war hero is accused of murder in a town that resents the military.