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A Cold Treachery (Inspector Ian Rutledge #7)

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,397 Ratings  ·  194 Reviews
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 a ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published August 30th 2005 by Bantam (first published January 25th 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan C
Jan 01, 2014 Jan C rated it really liked it
Very readable, as are most of Todd's works. Great thing to read when its 11º and snowy out. Not sure why this book took me so long (other than my arthritic hands).

There's a blizzard going on and a family - mother, father, 2-3 kids - are killed and an older boy has disappeared into the snow and rough terrain of Urskdale. It is sheep country. No one knows what happened. Did the boy see it? Or did the boy do it? These are the questions that don't get resolved until close to the end. Meanwhile ther
Bought second-hand after seeing a review of another of Todd's novels. This is a bit of an unusual book - set in the UK post WWI, but written by Americans and for the US market, so it has a slight 'American' feel to it in places, though not enough to detract from the writing.

However, the descriptions of Urskdale and the area are beautifully written as is Rutledge. I loved the way he comes across as damaged and vulnerable and yet determined to bring the killer to justice. The writing flows, the h
Jina Howell-Forbes
This is book #7 in the Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery Series. The Inspector is a WWI veteran who is still suffering the effects of shell shock. (Now called PTSD, but back then it was called Shell Shock, so that is the terminology used in the series). The series is set in the years immediately following the war, when Rutledge is back to his pre-war job as an Inspector with Scotland Yard.

It is a good-but-not-great series. It is certainly not nearly as good as it could be with tighter writing and b
Mary Ellen
Apr 18, 2013 Mary Ellen rated it liked it
The book kept me reading, but left me a little dissatisfied.

Ian Rutledge is called in to a real horror: an In Cold Blood-like murder of 5 members of a family, in a remote village, in the middle of a snowstorm of historic proportions. The locals judge it too treacherous for Rutledge to trek the snow-obscured paths alone, so much of the time he is confined to the village's lone "hotel," with two other guests, each connected to the murdered mother.

Like all the books I've read in this series, this w
Jan 10, 2013 Joanne rated it really liked it
Ian Rutledge breaks my heart. On the surface, he's an upper class British officer returned from the front after WWI to resume his position as an inspector at Scotland Yard. Underneath the handsome facade, he is the ultimate casualty of a terrible war-- tortured by his memories, haunted by a decision made in the heat of battle and abandoned by his fiancée, he throws himself full force into solving the cases he's assigned. Instead of a partner or a sidekick, Rutledge has only the ghostly specter o ...more
Aug 14, 2015 Pamela rated it it was amazing
This book gives me great hope for Inspector Rutledge in his journey to some level of recovery from the psychological trauma of WWI. I liked the story, which reveals anger and revenge at their worst. But it also reveals Rutledge at his best, as a man, as an Inspector in the Scotland Yard. He has the intuition he is slowly learning to trust again. He can be as much protector as Inspector. He instinctively knows that healing from trauma takes time, and he advocates for others.
The murder of all but
Laura Edwards
Mar 20, 2015 Laura Edwards rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 12, 2015 Eleni rated it really liked it
Reading this as the temperatures were rising well into summer-like territory was a little weird since it takes place during a blizzard. After the winter we had in New York, I nearly put the book down, but of course, I can't resist this mystery series, so I trudged on along with the characters through the snow and the cold. It was worth it I think for the denouement of this one was pretty good in spite of the circuitous route the book takes to get there. An entertaining read for fans of the Inspe ...more
Nov 14, 2009 Joel rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries-read
This is the second Charles Todd I read (first was A Fearsome Doubt, both downloaded from the NYPL and read on my Kindle) and I enjoyed it even more than the first one. I imagine this is in part because I'm more drawn in by the protagonist, Ian Rutlege, a shell-shocked policeman/detective from Scotland Yard in the years following WW1. He is haunted by the voice of Hamish in his head, a Scotts fellow soldier who he had to court martial for disobeying orders to take his men into battle and he was h ...more
Apr 21, 2011 Deb rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011-books-read
I had a hard time getting into this installment of the series. It finally picked up during the last third of the book, but it was too late for me to really get hooked. Inspector Rutledge is sent to the Lake District to investigate the gruesome murder of almost an entire family. A nine-year-old boy is missing and is one of the suspects as are his aunt, uncle, and biological father. One of the hallmarks of Charles Todd's writing is the definite sense of time and place that is created, and in this ...more
Dec 29, 2010 Charlene rated it really liked it
Very good -- great atmosphere and description of the Lakes District countryside during a winter blizzard. I felt like I was there, in the little village and on the sheep farms, in 1919. WWI's horrors continue to play out here, both in the story and in Ian Rutledge's head. A bit different from the other Ian Rutledge stories -- more gruesome, modern murder. This was the first one of the Todd mysteries where my first guess of "who done it" was accurate. The plotting isn't as tight as in some other ...more
Annie Oosterwyk
Nov 26, 2010 Annie Oosterwyk rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I know I said I wouldn't continue this series, but I couldn't stay away and ended up awarding 5 stars. Go figure. The characters are worth the occasional frustrating plot device. Ian Rutledge works to solve the brutal murder of an entire family in the kitchen of their farm, while a blizzard rages outside. The young boy (who is missing) is the only survivor and is under suspicion of killing his entire family. Once again, the disruption of the country by WWI plays a major role in the schemes and o ...more
Joe Slavinsky
Apr 18, 2016 Joe Slavinsky rated it it was amazing
One of the better ones so far. Extremely suspenseful, with lots of red herrings, and twists and turns of plot. This book gave me chills, and not because of the setting.
Oct 24, 2015 Cara rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I purchased this book in a Kindle sale, believing that I had read it before, but I think I confused the title with an earlier Rutledge mystery. I enjoyed it, though I'm not sure I'd seek out other Rutledge mysteries if this was the only one I'd read.

Here, Rutledge is sent north to the Lake Country, to a small village that has just been shocked by the brutal murder of a young family, and the oldest child has gone missing during a freak snowstorm. Rutledge faces the familiar challenge of trying t
Sep 05, 2015 Nancy rated it really liked it
Remote location and the Inspecctor still gets his man... Good book!!

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... A COLD TREACHERY
"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 c
Lisa Johnson
May 28, 2014 Lisa Johnson rated it really liked it
Title: A Cold Treachery (Inspector Rutledge #7)
Author: Charles Todd
Pages: 556 (large type edition)
Year: 2005
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Inspector Ian Rutledge has just finished a case and is in the area when help is requested nearby. He is sent to investigate the murder of a family at their kitchen table. No signs of resistance are seen, but one family member is missing. All the men in the small village are mustered to search the cold, desolate area of northern England for the boy. As the days pas
Jan 15, 2011 Dorothy rated it liked it
I've read quite a few in this series featuring Inspector Rutledge of Scotland Yard and although the format is similar in every case, and they can therefore be a bit predictable, I find I enjoy the plots and the background of the post-WW1 period in Britain with the many returned soldiers who are physically or psychologically maimed. This one set in the unforgiving winter landscape of the British Lake District so lots of striding about snow covered fells and cold houses.
Nov 04, 2014 Dorothy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I shivered a lot while reading A Cold Treachery. Not because of the suspense particularly, but because of the description of the weather during which the action takes place.

Inspector Ian Rutledge had been testifying in a case in the north of England when he was contacted by Scotland Yard to get himself to the remote village of Urskdale where a horrendous crime has taken place. Five members of a family have been murdered and the sixth member of the family, an almost ten-year-old boy, has disappea
Jul 31, 2009 Joyce rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
While I generally really like the Charles Todd Rutledge mysteries, this one is my least favorite. It seemed to go on and on without getting anywhere and seemed drawn out. I almost didn't care who the murderer was at one point and though it wasn't much of a surprise, there also wasn't anything to help you understand where it was going.

This one was a letdown in an otherwise very good series.
Karen Wyle
May 07, 2015 Karen Wyle rated it really liked it
This seventh in Todd's Inspector Rutledge series features a nicely woven plot in a vividly rendered setting. Some, if not all the characters, involved in the mystery are well developed and interesting.

I somehow managed to miss the previous novel in the series, but that didn't interfere with my following and enjoying the story. I would not, however, recommend diving into the series with this book, as the crucial backstory (naturally enough for a seventh book) gets a more cursory treatment here th
Feb 05, 2013 Amy rated it liked it
A good read, as usual, but the nexus between the crime and the motive was weak. But, as usual, one can't wait to find out what will happen to Ian and Hamish next. Plus I can't help wondering if eventually Bowles gets a real comeuppance!
Shannon Causey
Oct 13, 2010 Shannon Causey rated it liked it
I randomly grabbed this off the library shelf and then returned to read everything I could find by this duo. The books take some work to settle into, but I love the characters and the carefully woven plots. Plus they're clean.
Dec 16, 2015 Jennifer rated it liked it
I wavered between three and four stars for this one, simple because I loved the setting and the circumstances of the mystery, but I thought that the revelation of the murderer was a bit clumsy. As usual, the interplay between Rutledge and Hamish is fascinating - reminding me how fragile Rutledge's psyche can be, and how much he is conscious of that fragility (and works to overcome it). And the wintry setting, with its horrendous crime and cadre of distrusting townsfolk, adds to the sense of mena ...more
Inspector Rutledge is called out from Scotland Yard to investigate the murder of an entire family, mother, father, and three of four children. The forth child, the oldest, is ten years old and missing. Could he have killed his parents (a stepfather he did not like) and his siblings (including a set of twins recently born)? That is what Rutledge needs to find out before he is branded a failure and taken off the case and before the wrong man is hanged.

There are several suspects in this murder and
Feb 23, 2014 Jane rated it liked it
As I read further in the series, I'm getting tired of the conceit of the detective having another man inside his head. Rutledge has no lasting relationships other than Hamish.
Richard Stueber
Feb 13, 2015 Richard Stueber rated it really liked it
It's December 1919. Inspector Ian Rutledge has been testifying in northern England in Preston so Chief Superintendent Bowles has little choice but to send him on to the Village of Urskdale. Nearby a family of five has been shot and killed. One member of the family, Josh Robinson is missing.
There are a number of local suspects but Rutledge is stumped for days.He is as usual haunted by the ghost of Hamish MacLeod whom he had executed in World War I. Meanwhile Bowles has become impartient back in L
Jan 07, 2010 Chessa rated it it was ok
Pretty much zero on the surprise scale in this book, so a bit of a let-down compared to some of the others.
Dec 20, 2013 Beth rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
This was slow to start and a lot could have been cut out, but the end was exciting.
Robert LoCicero
Apr 07, 2016 Robert LoCicero rated it really liked it
An earlier book in the Inspector Rutledge series and a good one. Action in the snow, ice and cold of Northern England with a horrific murder of five family members to be solved. Time pressure and the reluctance of local folks to be forthcoming makes this case difficult to solve. The author's fine protagonist moves into this world of sheep and isolation like a whirlwind and makes things happen. The descriptions of geography and the creation of atmosphere keep this work compelling. You really do w ...more
Terry Lee
Jun 24, 2015 Terry Lee rated it it was amazing
Well, Charles Todd did it again. The more I read of crime-solving Ian Rutledge, the more I want to sit in a corner surrounded by his books. This time, Rutledge is called to Urskdale to solve the murder of an entire family. Missing is the ten-year old son. He ran from the scene and they presume he is dead because no one could live through the horrible snow storm the region was receiving.

The one rooming house in the village becomes the hub for the investigation. Rutledge asks the searchers to rep
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Charles Todd is the pen name used by a mother-and-son writing team, Caroline Todd and Charles Todd.
More about Charles Todd...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Ian Rutledge (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • A Test of Wills (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #1)
  • Wings of Fire (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #2)
  • Search the Dark (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #3)
  • Legacy of the Dead (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #4)
  • Watchers of Time (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #5)
  • A Fearsome Doubt (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #6)
  • A Long Shadow (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #8)
  • A False Mirror (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #9)
  • A Pale Horse (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #10)
  • A Matter of Justice (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #11)

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