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A Matter Of Justice: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery Hardcover – Dec 22 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (Dec 22 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061233595
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061233593
  • Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 16 x 23 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #708,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the best things about Charles (and Caroline) Todd is their ability to hold your interest despite knowing almost everything at the outset. Rutledge epitomizes the ravages of war and how it permeates the psyche and never leaves those those who fought therein. While greed and money if an oft-used formula for tragedy, it is never a dull one. The re-appearance of Meredith Channing will be welcomed by Todd fans.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 85 reviews
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Got this last night, gulped it right down! Nov. 26 2008
By Melanchthon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Plays in the interwar years: a Scotland Yard inspector is despatched to an English village to solve the murder of an unpopular man who bought an estate in the area. Everyone in the village hated him, including the local police man, so the solving of the crime turns into a critical sifting of the misleading statements and non-statements made by different witnesses. One gets a nice sense of the dynamics of village life, and the period/historical touches are accurate and lend depth to the story. There is a counterpoint with an earlier incident in the Boer War that is also well-sketched. The inspector is a veteran of WWI trench warfare, and he has a "voice in his ear" from Hamish, one of his (dead) men, that adds an interesting psychological frisson and commentary to the different interviews that the inspector makes. Usually I don't care for paranormal stuff, but this was just enough on the border of the psychological that I enjoyed it very much. However, Hamish's accent was annoying--not very authentic.

I loved the story, though. I was unfamiliar with this series before, but I am going to be seeking out the earlier titles this afternoon. The book reads a bit like a combination of early Agatha Christie both in the storytelling and the emotional restraint of the narrative with the psychological depth of Pat Barker. I loved it!
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Impressive Psychological Mystery Dec 24 2008
By barry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
First thing, the author here - Charles Todd - is actually a mother and son writing team. It is very impressive to me that two people can join together as one to produce such a highly intelligent, literary and intelligent piece of work. Kudos of the highest order are deserved.

The main story here evolves around the death of a not very well liked London businessman Harold Quarles. His body is discovered in the most unusual of circumstances in Somerset, where he has a summer estate. Called in is Scotland Yard Investigator Ian Rutledge. He certainly has his hands full for all the townspeople in both Somerset and London are not very fond of Mr. Quarles. Almost everyone is a suspect, openly verbalizing their dislike of the man and gratitude that someone finally did away with him.

The story mainly takes place in 1920 England but does take trips back to some major events in South Africa during the Boer War. There are a lot of characters here and they are all three dimensional and very well developed. They are all very believable. Most believable though is the main character, our Inspector, Ian Rutledge. His character does not merely go through the motions. We understand and are told why he thinks what he does and why he takes the actions he chooses. He is a troubled soul and has some mental problems due to some issues that fill him with great guilt from his own actions in WWI. He feels responsible for the death of a particular soldier and this spector haunts him. This man is very real to Ian Rutledge and he hears him talking to him all the time. Inspector Rutledge is a very complex man who is excellent at his job while being so disturbed that he continuously talks out loud to this dead man whose voice he hears. This makes for a very intriguing main character.

This is the 11th novel in the INSPECTOR RUTLEDGE series and my first time venturing into it. I had some questions about certain background material but I'm sure all these issues would have been addressed had I read the other books. I read it as a stand alone and still found it first rate. I give it 4 stars and not 5 for even though it is so well written and provides great psychological characterization it does remain a whodunit. At times I got a little bored and wished there was a little more suspense, a little more happening, to make the ride a little more pleasurable.

But I do highly recommend this book. If you are a reader of the series I am sure you will be thrilled. And if you are looking to explore a new writer, this one can't be beat.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A good historical mystery. Nov. 29 2008
By Pug lover. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Inspector Ian Rutledge is in top form in this very complicated mystery. Of course he has the help of Hamish, the voice in his head of a soldier he killed in WW1. This story begins with a horrible event during the Boer War. Twenty years later the consequences come home to roost. The villians are finally punihed for the acts they committed.There is a very realistic depiction of village life where the murder of the village squire in his Tithe barn takes place in a very unique way.I really liked this book and it kept me guessing until the end. I am sure most mystery lovers will find it really will help pass a cold winter day reading in a cozy room.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Too many red herrings mar an otherwise engaging mystery Dec 31 2009
By J. Fuchs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
After a few introductory paragraphs about a huge injustice done to one man during the Boer War, we switch unexpectedly to the viewpoint of Inspector Rutledge, who is battling his own demons from his service during WWI, including the appearance in his mind of his dead Scottish comrade, Hamish, who throughout the book comments on Rutledge's actions. Once the switch in perspective is accomplished, the book is fairly engaging, as Inspector Rutledge is called to Somerset on behalf of his employer, Scotland Yard, to help the local police investigate the murder of one of the scoundrels from the opening chapters.

Rutledge gets involved in the tiniest details of the lives of the villagers, all of whom seem to have had cause to carry out the murder and all of whom seem, inexplicably, to be suicidal, lending a melodramtic air to what is otherwise a fairly straightforward murder mystery, albeit one that flags at the very beginning what may be going on.

The problem for me is that I wanted this to be what the title promises, namely a mystery, and it was more a study of village life. I think I would have liked it better if the opening paragraphs had been omitted, and the events related therein uncovered in the course of Rutledge's investigation, and the details of the villagers lives had been a bit more interesting.

Worth reading, but certainly not a great book.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
"It was time his ways caught up with him" Dec 17 2008
By Linda Bulger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Readers of Charles Todd's series know Ian Rutledge as a former army man haunted by his experiences in WWI, now an inspector at Scotland Yard. A Matter of Justice: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery (Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries) is the first I've read in the series and I am eager to go back and read some of the earlier stories.

The book begins with a tried and true technique: first we meet Ronald Evering contemplating revenge in the book's "real time" of 1920, and then we flash back to the wartime crime in which two soldiers caused the death of Evering's brother. From there the book returns to 1920 and moves in a linear fashion. Rutledge is pulled in to investigate the death of one of the former soldiers, and there's a twist to the crime that speaks of real passion.

The crime scene is in Cambury, "a village that's outgrown itself." The victim, Quarles, was a London financial advisor with a country home in Cambury where he'd appointed himself squire, indulged in some bad behavior, and lined up an impressive array of enemies. The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker (figuratively speaking) and Quarles's estranged wife all had issues with him. Rutledge follows up leads, makes a couple of quick trips back to London to question people, and progresses from theory to theory; there are many potential suspects in Cambury, London, and beyond. It's all well plotted and in the end all the loose ends are tied up in a satisfactory fashion. There may not be many "aha! moments" until the end but then that's probably the case in real police work too.

A MATTER OF JUSTICE could have been a five star read for me if there had been more of the back-story revealed. In particular, I was distracted by young Hamish MacLeod who was killed in the war while under Rutledge's command. He talks to Rutledge like an imaginary friend, and Rutledge talks back to him. This manifestation of Rutledge's shell shock might have been more effective for me if I'd read some of the earlier books; it kept me from getting inside the main character's head, which was already occupied by Hamish.

Overall I found this a satisfactory four-star read and I will definitely explore what the authors have done with this series in the earlier books. Charles Todd is the pen name for a mother-son duo.

This review was written from an uncorrected advance copy, for which I thank the publisher and Amazon Vine.

Linda Bulger, 2008

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