By: Charles Todd
An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery
A good character, developed over a series of books becomes a good friend and companion to a reader. When created by a skilled author, that character can in some cases seem almost real or lifelike in a way. I’ve just had the pleasure of reacquainting myself and spending some quality time with one such character. Dashing, handsome, intelligent and extremely courteous, Ian Rutledge of the Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery series in the latest novel, has just returned from the fields of France serving his country as an officer in World War I. A product of the gifted Charles Todd and his polished writings on England, history and the early detectives of Scotland Yard. todd has a way of transporting you with his novels, utterly whisking you away from your reading chair and into London or the towns that dot the English countryside. Each book is a wonderful story to read, but his latest, No Shred of Evidence, holds a special place in my heart. You really have to read his books to understand what sets him apart as a writer, but I’ll try my best in this review. Todd doesn’t just write about his characters and the locations in which he sets his stories. No, Todd breathes life into them, he becomes them. Each book has a heart beat, a pulse all its own and it matches pace with the events of the story as they unfold. I sincerely cannot wait for his next novel.
A calm and peaceful day on the lake is shattered for a group of four young female friends as they happen upon a familiar face in a very precarious situation. The young ladies claim that they had happened upon a fellow boater only to notice that his craft was sinking beneath him. His face and frantic waves told the ladies that this man was not a swimmer and needed help. Not sure of their strength or ability they steered their boat closer to help. As they were struggling to pull a frantic man into their boat while avoid capsizing, a fellow bystander noticed the situation unfolding and rushed to offer his aid. Running and shedding his jacket and boots, the man jumped into the cold water and swam out to the boat, helping to pull the drowning victim into the small dinghy. As soon as they had revived the man and rowed the boat back to shore the bystander accused the four young ladies of attempted murder. The drowning victim was unconscious from a blow to the head, which no one is sure of its origins. The women are placed under the care of a magistrate, one of their fathers, and an inspector is sent for from Scotland yard. Newly on the case, the inspector has an unexpected heart attack and dies before resolving the issue. Rather than close the books on the case, The Yard sends the young and honorable Inspector Ian Rutledge to make short work of a sinister case in which there is quite literally, no shred of evidence. I could tell you and want to tell you more about this novel but this is one where it is better to read of the events for yourself! If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes or any of his stories, I tell you that you will love Charles Todd and all his novels – especially No Shred of Evidence.