Lisa's Reviews > A Lonely Death

A Lonely Death by Charles Todd
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's review
Mar 21, 2011

really liked it
Read in March, 2011

I've read several books in this series by mother/son writing duo Charles Todd and they are consistently well written, both in plot and character. Steeped in rich and vivid period detail, they are set in England following WWI and feature Ian Rutledge, Scotland Yard detective, who fought in the war and suffers from PTSD -- which manifests itself via the ghost of Hamish, one of the soldier's who died while under Rutledge's command. Hamish is not a benevolent spirit, for he was killed by Rutledge's orders and enjoys taunting Rutledge mercilessly.

This time out, Rutledge is called in to investigate the similar murders of three men who lived in the same village and who all served in the war. As Rutledge delves into his investigation, he must deal with uncooperative local police, a back-stabbing boss, his PSTD and the never-ending rain.

One of the aspects of Todds' writing I enjoy most is their ability to put the reader right in the moment -- like the pelting rain soaking through Rutledge's overcoat or the smell of gunpowder from the horrific battles he keeps reliving -- I feel like I'm right there alongside Rutledge the whole time.

The only reason I gave the book 4 stars vs. 5 is due to a totally unecessary and contrived subplot that adds nothing of value to the story; it actually detracts from the story's ending.

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