Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Fearsome Doubt (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #6)” as Want to Read:
A Fearsome Doubt (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #6)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

A Fearsome Doubt (Inspector Ian Rutledge #6)

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  1,595 ratings  ·  125 reviews
Bestselling author Charles Todd has earned a special place among mystery’s elite writers with his acclaimed series featuring Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge, a former soldier seeking to lay to rest the demons of his past in the aftermath of World War I. But that past bleeds into the present in a complex murder case that calls into question his own honor...and the crim ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 29th 2003 by Bantam (first published July 29th 2002)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Fearsome Doubt, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Fearsome Doubt

The Name of the Rose by Umberto EcoThe Alienist by Caleb CarrThe Historian by Elizabeth KostovaThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónMistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Best Historical Mystery
250th out of 1,029 books — 2,821 voters
Stiff by Mary RoachThe Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver SacksThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca SklootOne Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken KeseyFrankenstein by Mary Shelley
Medicine and Literature
254th out of 1,012 books — 1,223 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,346)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Todd, Charles – 6th of Series

Rutledge is taken aback when a persistent Nell Shaw brings him new evidence that could clear her late husband's name. Had Rutledge and his fellow policemen inadvertently sent an innocent man to his death six years earlier? Reconsidering the pre-World War I case serves to distract the inspector from his current assignment: determining who is killing maimed ex-soldiers in the peaceful countryside in Kent. Rutledge is sidetracked as well by his frie
Penned by a son-mother team, Charles Todd, I was told, wrote cozy mysteries. Well, Inspector Rutledge of Scotland Yard does sip a lot of tea in London and rural England. But this literate, somewhat melancholy crime fiction is grittier than I expected it to be. The ghost of Hamish, Rutledge's dead soldier-friend from the World War One trenches, breaks into Rutledge's thoughts, dispensing advice and philosophical asides. Sometimes this literary device works, sometimes it's a little annoying. The p ...more
The weakest in the Rutledge series so far, Fearsome Doubt's big problem is that the A mystery makes little sense and the B mystery is really boring. The writing is strong as always, but there are too many coincidences and too many irritating characters (I actually groaned in one scene when Nell Shaw appeared) in this one.
Annie Oosterwyk
I can't read this series anymore. The mystery solutions seem totally disconnected from the well-drawn characters and fabulous writing style. I just get so infuriated with the magic endings it's not worth it.
I have become more and more enamoured of Charles Todd's Ian Rutledge. His alter ego formed by guilt and shell shock is his soundboard for mulling over the mysteries he's sent to solve by Scotland Yard. I'm glad that the author only explains, for the most part, that Hamish berates him and tries to wear him down with his reminders that Rutledge felt forced to kill him during WWI. I continue to say that I think his methods are sometimes brutal and more of an attempt to assure himself he still has w ...more
Charles Todd presents Inspector Ian Rutledge in his sixth outing. The novel presents Rutledge in an even more complex character, not only dealing with the after effects of combat in World War One, but with the possibility that prior to the Great War, he may have sent an innocent man to the gallows.

Ben Shaw was a likable man. He performed acts of kindness to elderly women, performing tasks around their homes that needed doing. He refused to take payment. The problem is that the women whom he help
Lisa Johnson
Title: A Fearsome Doubt (Inspector Rutledge #6)
Author: Charles Todd
Pages: 295
Year: 2002
Publisher: Bantam Books
A case from before the war comes back to haunt Inspector Ian Rutledge. Before the war, as a young inspector, he was key to bringing a man to trial for murder. The man was convicted and sentenced to death. The criminal was executed, leaving behind a wife and two young children. Six years later, the widow shows up at Ian’s office with new evidence that could potentially clear her husband’s
Inspector Rutledge receives a surprise visit at his Scotland Yard office from the wife of a man convicted of murder. Rutledge played a major role in the investigation that lead to the conviction, but the event happened before the war. The wife, Mrs. Shaw pleads with Rutledge to reopen the case, she has found a locket from one of the victims among her neighbor's belongings. Mrs. Shaw has two children and believes with the history of their father being a murdered, the children have no chance for a ...more
It is one year after the Armistice ended "the war to end all wars," but Inspector Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard is still haunted by his time in the trenches and still suffering from post traumatic stress, or "shell-shock" as it was then called. He has returned to his old life and tried to move on and make the best of things, but the past keeps intruding. And he still carries with him at all times the persona and the voice of Hamish MacLeod, the young soldier under his command who he was forced t ...more
Florence Millo
Inspector Rutledge is sent from London to Kent to solve the murders of 3 wounded veterans of the Great War. Before leaving, he is confronted with the possibility that a man who had been convicted and hanged on Rutledge's evidence may have been innocent after all. While dealing with his own ghosts from the war, he untangles the webs. A really good read!
Richard Stueber
Inspector Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard, still haunted by the spirit of Hamish MacLeod whom he had executed in World War I, Is haunted also by a case from 1912 and is working on a present day case in November, 1919 down in Kent.
In 1912 he was brought in to finish up a murder case in which Ben Shaw is tried, convicted and hanged. His widow Nell and Daughter Margaret implore Rutledge to discover the truth of the murders. Rutledge thinks he may have been wrong.
Down in Kent various friends and acqua
I like this author and series. The books are interesting. It isn't good to read them back to back, though. Sometimes I have trouble keeping all of the characters in the mystery straight in my mind. But I like how the author makes the time period live. And I like the main character a lot.
Julie Barrett
Eh, this was my least favorite in the series so far. I'm all for a slow-paced mystery that isn't gory but this is a bit TOO slow-paced. And the method of killing, a mellow overdose of laudanum in wine, is not very ominous or threatening. Oooh! He fell asleep and never woke up! Help! And while when I started reading this series, I was glad the author didn't delve much into the inspector's personal life, at this point I would care for at least a bit of development on that front. He's like a robot ...more
This is my favorite in the series so far. I loved all the different story lines and how they were woven together. I like how we are seeing more of Ian in his personal relationships and learning more about his past, and I love all the interesting characters.
Okay, if the plots don't get better, I'm giving up on these. Good setting and characters do not make up for plots which don't tie together and get resolved out of nowhere in about the last ten pages of the book.
Judy Lesley
I loved reading this sixth book in the Inspector Ian Rutledge series. Originally released in hardcover in 2002, the wonderful thing about these novels is that they don't become dated with the passing of time because they are set in a past far distant from our own. In November 1919 Rutledge has been back working at Scotland Yard for some months. The Great War ended on Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, at 11 am. How horrible to think that the fighting actually continued until that very hour of tim ...more
Great!!! After the last two books in this series, which really didn't resolve all the story lines or loose ends, this one has and ending. A bit of a flat ending, but an ending. I knew I liked, loved mysteries, since when I started reading them, they usually resolved themselves - a beginning, a middle and an end. I know, old school, traditional, but oh so comforting a read.

That being said, I am so drawn to Inspector Ian Rutledge and the torments he continues to battle after surviving his time of
Can't give up my Charles Todd. Love the mystery and the characters - these books make me want to drive around the English countryside.
Modern police forensics would have made this book last two chapters.
In this book there were two mysteries going on at the same time - and in the end they meshed together.
I love tight endings where everything is wrapped up - this book does not have this. (none of these books do) but you know - I forgive because to get to the end - is a journey well worth it.
I feel
Larry Piper
This was an interesting read, especially in light of the fact that I was reading it during the week that commemorates the nuclear annihilation of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Although the book was written about ten years ago, it deals with a British police inspector, Ian Rutledge, who had served in WWI and who came back rather shell-shocked. So there are lots of comments about the experience of war and the essentially senseless slaughter that comprised most of WWI.

The library tells me that this
Jina Howell-Forbes
This is another in the continuing story of Inspector Ian Rutledge, a Scotland Yard Inspector in 1919 who suffers from Shell Shock following service as a British commander of a Scots regiment in WWI. His shell shock manifests itself with Rutledge hearing the voice of a dead Scotsman named Hamish who served under Rutledge, but was also his friend. Rutledge sent Hamish to a firing squad for blatant refusal of orders during a battle. Now that decision, and other war atrocities haunt Rutledge continu ...more
Sixth in the series. The first anniversary of the Armistice comes, and someone is serial killing wounded war vets along the backroads of rural Kent. Inspector Rutledge is called in to investigate, even as he grapples with disturbing new evidence suggesting he might have been instrumental in the hanging of the wrong man in a different case that occurred in London in the more settled days before the Great War. Some memorable secondary characters are introduced here, chief among them one Melinda Cr ...more
This mystery, set in post WWI England, has our hero revisiting a case he handles before the war, to ascertain that justice was done, at the same time he's investigating murder in a country setting. Again, the authors have touched gently but accurately on the often difficult-to-understand ways that people react to the tragedies of our lives.
Braided together like life and death, two cases vie for Rutledge's attention at once and the tension between them and on him threaten his already tenuous grip on sanity. Did he prosecute a Mr. Shaw unfairly and send him to the gallows as the widow is now claiming? And what about the killing of already maimed soldiers in Kent, returned now from the war, a year after Armistace Day? Someone he might love confuses the picture more, and he's having visions or is he? The level at which this book is wr ...more
While this wasn't my favorite in the Inspector Rutledge series, it did fill in a lot of back story from Ian's war experience. I am anxious to read the next book in this series. I also want to see Ian fall in love with someone and move on from Jean (not that I am a romance fan or anything). I'm not sure if that happens in the more recent books, because obviously I am behind in the series. It was just on my mind as I read this story that he is a very lonely guy.
There were some implications made i
Inspector Ian Rutledge faces a challenging problem when he is confronted by the strong possibility that his police work led to the hanging of an innocent man. Reopening the investigation is thorny when he realizes that by doing so he puts his supervisor's skills into question, and the last thing he needs is to have another reason for Bowles to hate him. At the same time, he's sent off to Kent to investigate the murders of several disabled veterans of the war. While the characters are as sharply ...more
Aug 23, 2008 L rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: gio, laura, dorothy
Shelves: mystery
Inspector Ian Rutledge, not long home from the war, is pushed into rethinking a 1912 case, when the widow of the man Rutledge helped convict & send to the gallows shows up with new, not untarnished, evidence. He has to deal with this while investigating a series of murders of veterans in Kent, vets who suffer significant disabilities. All of this makes up a most satisfying mystery.

What makes this is an amazing book is that Rutledge is doing all of this while suffering major PTSD from the wa
See my review for Watchers of Time.
I like the Rutledge characters but not many of the other characters.
I ='ll try a few more books.
Now have finished #5 and #6
next available is #9.
wish me luck!
Terry Lee
This is the sixth book in the series featuring Detective Ian Rutledge from Scotland Yard. I couldn't wait to read it and when I did, I felt like I was meeting an old friend. The writing is very smooth and flowing which helps you follow Rutledge to the conclusion of case.
Laura Edwards
A real page turner. I also liked having Melinda Crawford pop up in this book, although I believe this pre-dates the Bess Crawford novels so she must have been a character here first and written into the other series.
Mary Ellen
Pretty standard Ian Rutledge fare. This time Rutledge's perpetual psychic torment is exacerbated when the widow of a man he'd helped to convict of murder shows up with evidence that her husband might have been innocent. Rutledge re-opens the case quietly - he knows it would infuriate his boss, who was promoted because of their solving it - and then is sent off to Kent to investigate a series of murders of disabled WWI vets. As ever, the ultimate solution to the mystery seems to come about despit ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 78 79 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton
  • The Blood-Dimmed Tide (John Madden, #2)
  • Leave the Grave Green (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #3)
  • The Shifting Tide (William Monk, #14)
  • Theft of Life (Crowther and Westerman, #5)
  • The Mapping of Love and Death (Maisie Dobbs #7)
  • A Burial at Sea (Charles Lenox Mysteries #5)
  • The Fatal Fashione (Elizabeth I, #8)
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 17 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 Cold Treachery (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #7)
  • 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)
A Duty To The Dead (Bess Crawford, #1) A Test of Wills (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #1) An Impartial Witness (Bess Crawford #2) Wings of Fire (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #2) A Bitter Truth (Bess Crawford #3)

Share This Book

“a rough sort of child with a bullying nature and a particularly unclear concept of personal property.” 0 likes
More quotes…