A Test Of Wills

A Test Of Wills Todd has written a first novel that speaks out urgently and compassionately for a long dead generation A meticulously wrought puzzle New York Times Book Review An intricately plotted mystery With th

  • Title: A Test Of Wills
  • Author: Charles Todd
  • ISBN: 9780061758072
  • Page: 331
  • Format: ebook
  • Todd has written a first novel that speaks out, urgently and compassionately, for a long dead generation.A meticulously wrought puzzle New York Times Book Review An intricately plotted mystery With this remarkable debut, Charles Todd breaks new ground in the historical crime novel Peter Lovesey, author of The Circle You re going to love Todd Stephen King, Enterta Todd has written a first novel that speaks out, urgently and compassionately, for a long dead generation.A meticulously wrought puzzle New York Times Book Review An intricately plotted mystery With this remarkable debut, Charles Todd breaks new ground in the historical crime novel Peter Lovesey, author of The Circle You re going to love Todd Stephen King, Entertainment WeeklyThe first novel to feature war damaged Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge, A Test of Wills is the book that brought author Charles Todd into the spotlight This Edgar and Anthony Award nominated, New York Times Notable mystery brilliantly evokes post World War I Great Britain and introduces readers to one of crime fiction s most compelling series protagonists Here the shell shocked Rutledge struggles to retain his fragile grip on sanity while investigating the death of a popular army colonel, murdered, it appears, by a decorated war hero with ties to the Royal Family A phenomenal writer, a twisting puzzle, a character rich re creation of an extraordinary time and place it all adds up to one exceptional read that will delight fans of Elizabeth George, Martha Grimes, Jacqueline Winspear, Ruth Rendell, and other masters of the British procedural.

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    About " Charles Todd "

  • Charles Todd

    Charles Todd is the pen name used by a mother and son writing team, Caroline Todd and Charles Todd.


  • In terms of book boyfriends, the main character in this series, Ian Rutledge is my number one. That's right, he beats out Valek, Ash, Morpheus, The Darkling. I love Ian Rutledge that much. I have read every single book in this very long series. On a marry-fuck-kill scale, Ian Rutledge is a solid marry. I want to love him. He is a wounded warrior, a former soldier, more noble in character than any I have read. I want to make a home with him. I want to spend evenings together with him in our comfo [...]

  • We have to be ashamed to not want to die.It is 1919 and Inspector Ian Rutledge has returned from the trenches of France to resume his duties at Scotland Yard. Before the war he had a knack, a way of seeing beyond what people were willing to tell him. It is described at one point as putting his fingers on the pulse of a dead man and bringing him back to life. The war has left Rutledge shattered. His fiance has broken off their engagement. She is terrified of the man England has sent back to her. [...]

  • I have read a couple of Charles Todd's Bess Crawford books and I thought it was time to check out the mother and son duos other historical series; the Ian Rutledge series. The Bess Crawford books take place during WW1, but the Ian Rutledge series takes place just after the end of WW1. And, while Bess Crawford is a nurse at the front is Ian Rutledge a policeman at the Scotland Yard.Ian Rutledge is back at work after five years at the front. But what not many know is that he is suffering from shel [...]

  • This is my first dip into the Inspector Ian Rutledge series and what a interesting character the writers have created. The author, Charles Todd, is actually a mother and son writing team. They have made it work. Inspector Ian Rutledge is a damaged man, who barely survived World War 1, he is tragically beyond repair due to shell-shock and guilt. Yet Scotland Yard decides to send him to a small village to uncover a murder. The English village is also shell-shocked from the war, each person is suff [...]

  • Detective Rutledge makes a compelling protagonist--with the voice of a dead man criticizing his every step, he's completely aware that he's inches from failure, disgrace, and most likely suicide. It's a pity that his mystery, while it ties up very neatly, relies too heavily on coincidence.This is a very well constructed small town mystery, in which no one has an obvious motive and everyone has a hidden one. The characters are vivid, sympathetic in their own ways, and baffling. Rutledge himself i [...]

  • A small town murder mystery where investigation drags out all the nastiness that's usually hidden in such a place. More than once I wished if the protagonist could just arrest everyone. Right from the beginning you see that Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge is not in a good place in more ways than one. He is sent to deal with a sensitive case (out of spite and jealousy) with the hope he messes it up.You get to know Rutledge bit by bit throughout the book. He's been through hell in the Great W [...]

  • Wow! I finally got to reading an Ian Rutledge novel. I really like Todd's other series starring Bess Crawford. So, I finally got around to trying this one. Am I glad I did.Now, I have to say any book set in this era is going to get my attention. I love books set just before, during, and just after WW I. But this book goes further than just having the Great War as a backdrop. He focuses on what the War did to people, to familiesIt has a wonderfully complex detective with what would be called PTSD [...]

  • 3,5 stars. The book is in a slower pace than we are used to these days, so I had to adapt my 21st century eyes. It's an oldfashioned whodunnit with Ian Rutledge as a WW I veteran who needs to get used to ordinary life after the war. A good description of the English atmosphere and countryside. I liked the book enough to pick up the next one some time from now.

  • The Ian Rutledge mysteries are unique and not just because the pseudonymous author is a mother/son collaboration. In this first in a series, A Test of Wills (1996), it is immediately post World War I and Rutledge has returned to his pre-war job as a detective at Scotland Yard. But like so many men, he came back from the war changed in fundamental ways, the primary way being his hallucination, Hamish MacLeod, a soldier in his company whom he was forced to execute shortly before the end of the war [...]

  • Cris recommended this, and she's a fine judge of merit and a good source of suggested readings for the mystery genre. In this first book in the Inspector Ian Rutledge series, the hero has survived the horror of fighting on the Front against the Kaiser's forces in WW I, and now back in England he must deal with the haunting voice of a Scotsman he was forced to have killed for treason for refusing to fight on during a particularly spirit-numbing battle over in France. Rutledge keeps this shell sho [...]

  • For a long time I assumed that I did not like historical crime fiction. So it’s taken me a quite a while to get around to reading this novel, the first in a series set in post World War I England featuring a war veteran, Inspector Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard. Charles Todd (an American mother and son writing team) clearly read Dorothy L Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey novels before embarking on this series. Rutledge, like Wimsey, suffers from shell-shock: the term coined in World War I to describ [...]

  • ”’Ye’ll no’ triumph over me!,’ Hamish said. ‘I’m a scar on your bluidy soul.’‘That may be. But we’ll soon find out what we’re both made of.’Synopsis: Little town, it’s a quiet villageEvery day, like the one beforeLittle town, full of little peopleWaking up to say….HE’S DEAD! HE’S DEAD! MY GOD, THE COLONEL’S DEAD!!!Pros:Ian Rutledge, My Goddamn Hero: Ian Rutledge is a detective inspector and former solider former WWI with an impeccable record and a big secret: he [...]

  • This is obviously a successful series, with many installments and lots of good reviews, but after reading the first of the books in the series, I won't be reading any others. I love mysteries and historical mysteries, and am fascinated by WWI, but this book just isn't done well enough in any of these areas. True, Inspector Rutledge is a fascinating character and the device of putting the voice of Hamish in his head, as a result of shell-shock, is compelling. Hamish was a soldier in Rutledge's un [...]

  • Rating: 3.9* of fiveNot quite a four-star read because the solution to the mystery wasn't exactly fair.Still and all, the character of Ian Rutledge, shell-shocked veteran of The Great War, is wonderfully realized. He's drawn with care and kindness, yet flawed in his core by the presence of Hamish MacLeod, a dead soldier whose afterlife is inside Rutledge's stressed-out brain. Hamish comes to life when Rutledge thinks he least needs him, but in the end it's Hamish whose voice resonates in the rea [...]

  • This was a very good book. The tussle between the hero and the main female character was epic, there's no other word for it. Unlike classic mysteries, the climax and the reveal are not the highlight of this book. It's the journey, the exposition of Mavers as the main suspect, the victim's past life, and Inspector Rutledge's private demons that makes the book worth following.

  • A good historical mystery. Recommended.For a further review: susannagoklikes/post/74 .

  • So here I am about 80 pages from the end and I can't be bothered to finish. Sad. The problem is it's so darn boring.Set just after WWI, small English village, and Detective Ian Rutledge is called in to investigate the murder of Colonel Harris. Seems the colonel's head was blown off while he was out riding. Of course Rutledge is treated with varying degrees of indifference and disdain by just about everyone. The locals want to believe the local drunk - or maybe local crazy guy - killed the colone [...]

  • c1996. FWFTB: colonel, murdered, war-hero, affair, sanity. I usually agree with the comments made by the New York Times Book Review but in this case 'a harrowing pyschological drama' is not how I would describe this book at all. It is essentially a village mystery ala Midsomer Murders/Cabot Cove but with an unusual detective (he has a 'voice' in his head which is remarkably perceptive and knowledgeable). The tension is racheted up with POVs by the various characters confirming that all is not as [...]

  • Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge is a veteran of WWI, haunted by shell shock and the psychological ghost of a man he had to shoot for cowardice. Now he's home, back at work, and given his first case after the war, the murder of a highly respected man. The top suspect is another highly respected man and high profile war hero, and the professional enemy who gave the case to Rutledge is hoping that he will either accuse the war hero and be dismissed for arresting the unpopular man, or have anot [...]

  • Ian Rutledge is a veteran of WWI, suffering from shell shock even as he returns to his work at Scotland Yard. Inspector Rutledge is haunted by scenes from the war, and especially by the voice of a fellow soldier. Despite his inner struggles, Rutledge strives to become once again the superior detective, known for his skill in solving crime. Working to catch a murderer in a small village, Rutledge struggles to control his inner turmoil while trying to focus on this murder and all the people involv [...]

  • Todd has created a fascinating character in Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge, and an even more interesting character named Hamish MacLeod who lives in Rutledge's head, alternately helping and hindering his real life and his investigations. Rutledge is recently returned from the battlefields of France (WWI) where Hamish died (I won't say how, but it is startling when you learn). There are several books in the series, all very satisfying mysteries.

  • I enjoyed this but found the mystery a little on the weak side. I'd have preferred the Inspector to do more sleuthing rather than just being in the right place at the right time. Still, I love the character development. Inspector Rutledge is damaged goods, but thoughtful and quietly sympathetic. The voice of Hamish is an effective narrative tool, and I think the author(s) used it well to add foreshadowing, entertainment, and another layer of complexity to the Inspector.

  • Enjoyed it a lot, all in all. I was not 100% convinced of the resolution - although, yes, the tiny little clue-bits were there, I suppose, but even so - but I enjoyed the writing and Ian Rutledge makes for a fascinating, excellent hero.If I had any complaints other than the resolution / how the murder was solved, I'd say "it was a bit too slow" but since I generally don't mind slow pacing, I think it's just my current mood, really.Definitely a series to read more of at some point.

  • Murder-mysteries are my weakness and I’m so glad I picked up this first book in the series. This is a good, solid “whodunit” with a most excellent Scotland Yard Inspector as the main character. Charles Todd knows how to write a murder-mystery. Set just after the end of WWI, Inspector Ian Rutledge has been sent to a small village to investigate the murder of a retired Army Colonel. I tried so hard to solve this crime but even towards the end I was still scratching my head. Looking back, I r [...]

  • Mysteries aren't my favorite fiction, usually because the Holmes, or Marple or Poirot are so superhumanly smart that you never doubt they've solve the crime. The only mystery is how they'll do it. In fact, usually, it's because the author adroitly omits details. This story is different: the detective is so deeply and obviously flawed that solving the crime seems to be the least of his problems. But solve the crime he does, despite his demon.A very good read.

  • Ian Rutledge is a detective called in by Scotland Yard to investigate the murder of a Colonel where the main suspect is a decorated war hero and friend of the Royal Family. If this goes wrong, he will be the scapegoat. Suffering 'Shell Shock' from the war, he has to prove his abilities to himself as well. And the case, certainly is complicated. Very well written and engaging historical story

  • 3.5 starsMy first book by the mother/son writing team who publish under the name Charles Todd. It had an easy and comforting writing style, a shell-shocked and sympathetic protagonist, and an ending with a twist I didn't see coming.

  • A Test of Wills4 StarsIn the aftermath of WWI, Inspector Ian Rutledge is sent by Scotland Yard to investigate the murder of a decorated veteran, Colonel Charles Harris. Everyone in the area is surprised at the senseless crime, but as the secrets of the tiny Warwickshire village emerge, Rutledge comes to realize that still waters run deep and something dark and sinister is at work.Reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple mysteries, the seemingly peaceful village atmosphere, the intriguing i [...]

  • Detective Ian Rutledge is tragically damaged from his experiences in the Great War. Shell-shocked, barely able to hold himself together, he is haunted by the memory of Hamish, a man he was forced to execute for refusing to obey the order to go over the top, a man whose body also saved his life by protecting him from being smothered after Ian was buried alive by artillery fire. Hamish's voice speaks to him, so he must solve the mystery of a murder all while Hamish criticizes him, yet will not let [...]

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