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Trying to help a woman in distress, World War I nurse and accidental sleuth Bess Crawford learns that no good deed goes unpunished When battlefield nurse Bess Crawford returns from France for a well-earned Christmas leave, she finds a bruised and shivering woman huddled in the doorway of her London residence. The woman has nowhere to turn, and propelled by a firm sense of duty, Bess takes her in. Once inside Bess's flat, the woman reveals that a quarrel with her husband erupted into violence, yet she wants to return home-if Bess will go with her to Sussex. Realizing that the woman is suffering from a concussion, Bess gives up a few precious days of leave to travel with her. But she soon discovers that this is a good deed with unforeseeable consequences. What Bess finds at Vixen Hill is a house of mourning. The woman's family has gathered for a memorial service for the elder son, who died of war wounds. Her husband, home on compassionate leave, is tense, tormented by jealousy and his own guilty conscience. Then, when a troubled houseguest is found dead, Bess herself becomes a prime suspect in the case. This murder will lead her to a dangerous quest in war-torn France, an unexpected ally, and a startling revelation that puts her in jeopardy before a vicious killer can be exposed.
It's 1915, and the Great War is barely six months old. Lieutenant Ian Rutledge has left behind his career at Scotland Yard and is now serving in France. He's temporarily with the sappers--men digging underground tunnels toward the German lines to set off explosions under the enemy trenches. In his sector, Rutledge and his men set their charges and get out of the tunnel as fast as possible. But the charges don't go off. It's madness to go back down and find out why, but Rutledge and Private Williams volunteer. They barely make it back before the tunnel blows up. Rutledge suspects that two Welsh miners cut the fuse too long, even though they deny it.Then Williams confides to Rutledge that these same men, half brothers Taffy Jones and Aaron Lloyd, have tried before this to kill him. And they're determined enough to risk other men's lives as well. Rutledge discovers in the midst of a raging battle that murder has made its way to France, and he must find a way to prove it.
Charles Todd returns to the world of Scotland Yard's Inspector Ian Rutledge in a series that theNew York Times Book Reviewcalled "harrowing psychological drama" and theWashington Post Book Worldhailed as "among the most intelligent and affecting being written these days. " This time the embattled Inspector has met his match hunting a brutal killer across a frozen hell and the one witness who may have survived a crime of... A COLD TREACHERY "You'll hang for this-see if you don't! That's my revenge! And you'll think about that when the rope goes around your neck and the black hood comes down.... " Called out by Scotland Yard into the teeth of a violent blizzard, Inspector Ian Rutledge finds himself confronted with one of the most savage murders he has ever encountered. Rutledge might have expected such unspeakable carnage on the World War I battlefields, where he'd lost much of his soul-and his sanity-but not in an otherwise peaceful farm kitchen in remote Urskdale. Someone has murdered the Elcott family at their table without the least sign of struggle. Was the killer someone the young family knew and trusted? When the victims are tallied the local police are in for another shock: One of the Elcotts' children, a boy named Josh, is missing. Now the Inspector must race to uncover a murderer and to save a child before he's silenced by the merciless elements-or the even colder hands of a killer. Haunted and goaded by the soldier-ghost of his own tortured war past, Rutledge will discover the tragedy of war that splintered one marriage-and pulled together another. Love, jealousy, greed, revenge-or was it some twisted combination of all of them? Any one could lead a man or woman to murder. What had the Elcotts done to ignite their killer's rage? With time running out, Rutledge knows all too well that such a cold-blooded murderer could be hiding somewhere in the blinding snow... preparing to strike again.
Scotland Yard's best detective, Inspector Ian Rutledge, must solve a dangerous case that reaches far into the past in this superb mystery in the acclaimed series Declaring he needs to clear his conscience, a dying man walks into Scotland Yard and confesses that he killed his cousin five years earlier during the Great War. When Inspector Ian Rutledge presses for details, the man evades his questions, revealing only that he hails from a village east of London. With little information and no body to open an official inquiry, Rutledge begins to look into the case on his own. Less than two weeks later, the alleged killer's body is found floating in the Thames, a bullet in the back of his head. Searching for answers, Rutledge discovers that the dead man was not who he claimed to be. What was his real name-and who put a bullet in his head? Were the "confession" and his own death related? Or was there something else in the victim's past that led to his murder? The inspector's only clue is a gold locket, found around the dead man's neck, that leads back to Essex and an insular village whose occupants will do anything to protect themselves from notoriety. For notoriety brings the curious, and with the curious come change and an unwelcome spotlight on a centuries-old act of evil that even now can damn them all.
From the brilliantly imaginative New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd comes an unforgettable new character in an exceptional new series England, 1916. Independent-minded Bess Crawford's upbringing is far different from that of the usual upper-middle-class British gentlewoman. Growing up in India, she learned the importance of responsibility, honor, and duty from her officer father. At the outbreak of World War I, she followed in his footsteps and volunteered for the nursing corps, serving from the battlefields of France to the doomed hospital ship Britannic. On one voyage, Bess grows fond of the young, gravely wounded Lieutenant Arthur Graham. Something rests heavily on his conscience, and to give him a little peace as he dies, she promises to deliver a message to his brother. It is some months before she can carry out this duty, and when she's next in England, she herself is recovering from a wound. When Bess arrives at the Graham house in Kent, Jonathan Graham listens to his brother's last wishes with surprising indifference. Neither his mother nor his brother Timothy seems to think it has any significance. Unsettled by this, Bess is about to take her leave when sudden tragedy envelops her. She quickly discovers that fulfilling this duty to the dead has thrust her into a maelstrom of intrigue and murder that will endanger her own life and test her courage as not even war has.
Unhealed scars of the Great War still torment Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge, and he carries with him the presence of the soldier he was forced to execute in the midst of battle. A haunted, damaged shell of a man, he has been sent to the small coastal town of Hampton Regis to solve a violent crime and to confront his own tragic past. An officer who served with Rutledge in the trenches of France before being sent back to England under suspicious circumstances has now been accused of savagely beating the husband of the woman he still loves. The suspect has taken the wife hostage, threatening to kill her and her maid unless Rutledge is put in charge of the investigation. Although the case painfully mirrors Rutledge's own past and the love he lost to another man, he cannot refuse it. When the unconscious brutalized victim vanishes without a trace, it's clear that this peaceful little town hides a vicious murderer . . . and secrets powerful enough to kill for.
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 crimes committed in the name of God, country, and righteous vengeance. A Fearsome Doubt In 1912 Ian Rutledge watched as a man was condemned to hang for the murders of elderly women. Rutledge helped gather the evidence that sent Ben Shaw to the gallows. And when justice was done, Rutledge closed the door on the case. But Shaw was not easily forgotten. Now, seven years later, that grim trial returns in the form of Ben Shaw's widow Nell, bringing Rutledge evidence she is convinced will prove her husband's innocence. It's a belief fraught with peril, threatening both Rutledge's professional stature and his faith in his judgment. But there is a darker reason for Rutledge's reluctance. Murder brings him back to Kent where, days earlier, he'd glimpsed an all-too-familiar face beyond the leaping flames of a bonfire. Soon an unexpected encounter revives the end of his own war, as the country prepares for a somber commemoration on the anniversary of the Armistice. To battle the unsettled past and the haunted present at the same time is an appalling mandate. And the people around him? among them the attractive widow of a friend, a remarkable woman who survived the Great Indian Mutiny; a bitter, dying barrister; and a man whose name he never knew--unwittingly compete with the grieving Nell Shaw. They'll demand more than Rutledge can give, unaware that he is already carrying the burden of shell shock? and the voice of Hamish MacLeod, the soldier he was forced to execute in the war. The killer in Marling is surprisingly adept at escaping detection. And Ben Shaw's past is a tangle of unsettling secrets that may or may not be true. Rutledge must walk a tortuous line between two murderers. . . one reaching out to ruin him, the other driven to destroy him. From the Hardcover edition.
In the latest mystery from New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd, Inspector Ian Rutledge is summoned to the quiet, isolated Fen country to solve a series of seemingly unconnected murders before the killer strikes again August 1920. A society wedding at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire becomes a crime scene when a guest is shot just as the bride arrives. Two weeks later, after a fruitless search for clues, the local police are forced to call in Scotland Yard. But not before there is another shooting in a village close by. This second murder has a witness; the only problem is that her description of the killer is so horrific it's unbelievable. Badgered by the police, she quickly recants her story. Despite his experience, Inspector Ian Rutledge can find no connection between the two deaths. One victim was an Army officer, the other a solicitor standing for Parliament; their paths have never crossed. What links these two murders? Is it something from the past? Or is it only in the mind of a clever killer?Then the case reminds Rutledge of a legendary assassin whispered about during the war. His own dark memories come back to haunt him as he hunts for the missing connection--and yet, when he finds it, it isn't as simple as he'd expected. He must put his trust in the devil in order to find the elusive and shocking answer.
World War I nurse Bess Crawford, introduced in A Duty to the Dead, returns in an exciting new mystery in which a murder draws her inexorably into the sights of a cunning killer It is the early summer of 1917. Bess Crawford has returned to England from the trenches of France with a convoy of severely wounded men. One of her patients is a young pilot who has been burned beyond recognition, and who clings to life and the photo of his wife that is pinned to his tunic. While passing through a London train station, Bess notices a woman bidding an emotional farewell to an officer, her grief heart-wrenching. And then Bess realizes that she seems familiar. In fact, she's the woman in the pilot's photo, but the man she is seeing off is not her husband. Back on duty in France, Bess discovers a newspaper with a drawing of the woman's face on the front page. Accompanying the drawing is a plea from Scotland Yard seeking information from anyone who has seen her. For it appears that the woman was murdered on the very day Bess encountered her at the station. Granted leave to speak with Scotland Yard, Bess becomes entangled in the case. Though an arrest is made, she must delve into the depths of her very soul to decide if the police will hang an innocent man or a vicious killer. Exposing the truth is dangerous-and will put her own life on the line.
In an original short story by New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd, Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge must put all his detecting skills to use to solve a baffling case. A man and his young daughter were returning home from a dinner party when three men appeared from out of nowhere and grabbed the girl. Rutledge has to act quickly to find the child and bring the surprising culprits to justice. The Kidnapping also includes excerpts from three other Ian Rutledge mysteries: A Lonely Death, The Red Door, and A Pale Horse.
The weathered remains found on a Scottish mountainside may be those of Eleanor Gray, but the imperious Lady Maude Gray, Eleanor's mother, will have to be handled delicately. This is not the only ground that Inspector Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard must tread carefully, for the case will soon lead him to Scotland, where many of Rutledge's ghosts rest uneasily. But it is an unexpected encounter that will hold the most peril.For in Scotland Rutledge will find that the young mother accused of killing Eleanor Gray is a woman to whom he owes a terrible debt. And his harrowing journey to find the truth will lead him back through the fires of his past, into secrets that still have the power to kill.From the Paperback edition.
Scotland Yard detective Ian Rutledge returns to solve his most exciting and shocking case yet in this latest entry in the bestselling series hailed as "outstanding" by the New York Times Book Review A breathtaking blend of psychological complexity, haunting atmosphere, compelling twists, and impressive detail, the novels in the Ian Rutledge mystery series have garnered their author widespread acclaim and numerous honors and awards. At the heart of the series is the compelling Scotland Yard detective inspector Ian Rutledge, a veteran of the Great War who understands all too well the darkness that lies within men's souls. Now three men have been murdered in a Sussex village, and Scotland Yard has been called in. It's a baffling case. The victims are soldiers who survived the horrors of World War I only to meet a ghastly end in the quiet English countryside two years later. Each had been garroted, with small ID discs left in their mouths. But even Scotland Yard's presence doesn't deter this vicious and clever killer. Shortly after Inspector Ian Rutledge arrives, a fourth soldier is found dead. With few clues to go on and the pressure building, Rutledge must gamble everything-his job, his reputation, and even his life-to find answers.
It's New Year's Eve, 1919. Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge has accompanied his sister to the home of mutual friends for dinner but gets a call from the office and has to leave. On the steps outside, he sees a brass cartridge casing, like countless others he's seen during the war. But this one has an engraving in the metal. Curious, he pockets it. Soon after, Rutledge is on the southern coast of England helping the local police capture a murderer. Work done, on a whim he drives along the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic and takes a walk out on the headland. Returning to his car, he finds another engraved cartridge casing on the driver's seat. He's been followed. The cartridge casing seems to point to the war and unfinished business there. To stay alive in the face of an unknown and unseen adversary, Rutledge is pressed to the limits of his skills. He's the prey. But who is the hunter?
The superb new entry in the historical series the New York Times Book Review hails as "outstanding" and the Cleveland Plain Dealer calls "superb" At the turn of the century, in a war taking place far from England, two soldiers chance upon an opportunity that will change their lives forever. To take advantage of it, they will be required to do the unthinkable, and then to put the past behind them. But not all memories are so short. Twenty years later, a successful London busi-nessman is found savagely and bizarrely murdered in a medieval tithe barn on his estate in Somerset. Called upon to investigate, Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge soon discovers that the victim was universally despised. Even the man's wife-who appears to be his wife in name only-and the town's police inspector are suspect. But who, among the many, hated him enough to kill? Rutledge tenaciously follows a well-concealed trail reaching back to an act so barbarous and with consequences so devastating that even the innocent are enveloped by the murderous tide of events. As he summons all his skills to break through a wall of silence in time to stem this tide, others are eager to twist the truth for their own ends. When justice takes a malevolent turn, can Rutledge's own career survive?
Charles Todd's critically acclaimed novels featuring Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge have been hailed by The Washington Post Book World as "one of the best historical series being written today. " The New York Times Book Review calls Todd's mysteries "meticulously wrought. . . harrowing psychological drama. " Now he stakes out new territory in this mesmerizing stand-alone novel of one woman's dark journey through family obsession, wartime secrets, and a chilling legacy. ... The Murder Stone The Great War is still raging in the autumn of 1916, when Francesca Hatton's beloved grandfather dies on the family estate in England's isolated Exe Valley. Grieving for the man who raised her, Francesca is stunned to find an unsigned letter among his effects, cursing the Hattons and their descendants. Now a stranger has shown up on her doorstep, accusing her grandfather of being a murderer. Ex-soldier Richard Leighton blames Francis Hatton for the death of his mother, who vanished nearly a quarter of a century earlier. Her body was never found, only a shawl stained with her blood. And Leighton is not the only one with a claim on Francesca's grandfather. On the day of his funeral, unexpected visitors arrive with the mourners, and Francesca is besieged by charges of Hatton's vicious dealings. Yet there is also a shy young woman who praises his secret generosity. At the center of the intrigue is an unusual white stone that lies hidden in a secluded garden where Francesca once played with her five male cousins, all of them dead now on the battlefields of France. According to the terms of Hatton's will, the Murder Stone must be dug up and transported to Scotland, where it is to be buried forever. But before Francesca can begin the journey, a series of ominous "accidents" occur, culminating in the discovery of a bleeding body on the Murder Stone itself. Was Hatton the loving, caring protector his granddaughter always believed him to be? Or a vindictive, secretive man who cultivated dangerous enemies? Francesca sets out in pursuit of the truth--and into the sights of someone determined to exact a revenge long overdue. From the Hardcover edition.
In the ruins of Yorkshire's Fountains Abbey lies the body of a man wrapped in a cloak, the face covered by a gas mask. Next to him is a book on alchemy, which belongs to the schoolmaster, a conscientious objector in the Great War. Who is this man, and is the investigation into his death being manipulated by a thirst for revenge? Meanwhile, the British War Office is searching for a missing man of their own, someone whose war work was so secret that even Rutledge isn't told his real name or what he did. The search takes Rutledge to Berkshire, where cottages once built to house lepers stand in the shadow of a great white horse cut into the chalk hillside. The current inhabitants of the cottages are outcasts, too, hiding from their own pasts. Who among them is telling the truth about their neighbors and who is twisting it? Here is a puzzle requiring all of Rutledge's daring and skill, for there are layers of lies and deception, while a ruthless killer is determined to hold on to freedom at any cost. And the pale horse looming overhead serves as a reminder that death is never finished with anyone, least of all the men who fought in the trenches of France.
Scotland Yard's Ian Rutledge must contend with two dangerous enemies in this latest complex mystery in the New York Times bestselling series An unidentified body appears to have been run down by a motorcar and Ian Rutledge is leading the investigation to uncover what happened. While signs point to murder, vital questions remain. Who is the victim? And where, exactly, was he killed? A clue leads Rutledge to a firm, built by two families, famous for producing and selling the world's best Madeira wine. There he discovers the current head of the English enterprise is missing. But is he the dead man? And do either his fiancée or his jilted former lover have anything to do with his disappearance? With a growing list of suspects Rutledge knows that suspicion and circumstantial evidence is nothing without proof of guilt. But his new acting chief superintendent doesn't agree and wants Rutledge to stop digging and settle on the tidy answer. Rutledge must tread very carefully, for it seems that someone has decided that he, too, must die so that cruel justice can take its course.
In the latest mystery from New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd, World War I nurse and amateur sleuth Bess Crawford investigates an old murder that occurred during her childhood in India, a search for the truth that will transform her and leave her pondering a troubling question: How can facts lie?Bess Crawford enjoyed a wondrous childhood in India, where her father, a colonel in the British Army, was stationed on the Northwest Frontier. But an unforgettable incident darkened that happy time. In 1908, Colonel Crawfords regiment discovered that it had a murderer in its ranks, an officer who killed five people in India and England yet was never brought to trial. In the eyes of many of these soldiers, men defined by honor and duty, the crime was a stain on the regiments reputation and on the good name of Besss father, the Colonel Sahib, who had trained the killer. A decade later, tending to the wounded on the battlefields of France during World War I, Bess learns from a dying Indian sergeant that the supposed murderer, Lieutenant Wade, is alive--and serving at the Front. Bess cannot believe the shocking news. According to reliable reports, Wades body had been seen deep in the Khyber Pass, where he had died trying to reach Afghanistan. Soon, though, her mind is racing. How had he escaped from India? What had driven a good man to murder in cold blood?Wanting answers, she uses her leave to investigate. In the village where the first three killings took place, she discovers that the locals are certain that the British soldier was innocent. Yet the present owner of the house where the crime was committed believes otherwise, and is convinced that Besss father helped Wade flee. To settle the matter once and for all, Bess sets out to find Wade and let the courts decide. But when she stumbles on the horrific truth, something that even the famous writer Rudyard Kipling had kept secret all his life, she is shaken to her very core. The facts will damn Wade even as they reveal a brutal reality, a reality that could have been her own fate.
The murder appeared to be a crime of passion, the killer having left a trail of evidence behind him that even a blind man might have followed. It was the identity of the victim, not the murderer, that brought Scotland Yard into the case. No one knew who she was. Or, more correctly perhaps, what name she might have used since 1916. And what had become of the man and the two children who had been with her at the railway station? Were they a figment of the killer's overheated imagination? Or were their bodies yet to be discovered? The police in Dorset were quite happy to turn the search over to the Yard. And the Yard was very happy indeed to oblige, in the person of Inspector Ian Rutledge.
It's 1919. WWI has ended. Inspector Ian Rutledge is back at Scotland Yard. First in a series.
World War I nurse and amateur sleuth Bess Crawford matches wits with a devious killer in this exciting and suspenseful adventure from New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd In the spring of 1918, the Spanish flu epidemic spreads, killing millions of soldiers and civilians across the globe. Overwhelmed by the constant flow of wounded soldiers coming from the French front, battlefield nurse Bess Crawford must now contend with hundreds of influenza patients as well. However, war and disease are not the only killers to strike. Bess discovers, concealed among the dead waiting for burial, the body of an officer who has been murdered. Though she is devoted to all her patients, this soldier's death touches her deeply. Not only did the man serve in her father's former regiment, he was also a family friend. Before she can report the terrible news, Bess falls ill, the latest victim of the flu. By the time she recovers, the murdered officer has been buried, and the only other person who saw the body has hanged himself. Or did he? Working her father's connections in the military, Bess begins to piece together what little evidence she can find to unmask the elusive killer and see justice served. But she must be as vigilant as she is tenacious. With a determined killer on her heels, each move Bess makes could be her last.
Paris, 1914. Lady Elspeth Douglas is visiting friends when the shadow of war falls across Europe. As her French fiancé races to rejoin his unit, she tries to reach England, only to be trapped on the French coast amid refugees and wounded men. Elspeth pitches in to help wounded soldiers, getting closer and closer to the Front, soon finding herself in danger as enemy shells fall. Captain Peter Gilchrist comes to her rescue, pulling her away from the battle and to safety. But before they can properly say goodbye, they are separated. In London, Elspeth is haunted by all she's witnessed, and she can't forget the gallant man who saved her. Without her guardian's consent, she trains as a nurse. She's determined to return to France to do her part, and to find the man she has no right to love. Then everything goes wrong. In this world of uncertainty, can love survive, or will Elspeth's troubled heart become another casualty of this terrible war?
In his latest novel, bestselling author Charles Todd brings his classic mystery series to a new level of intensity and intrigue. The year is 1919, and Ian Rutledge is a fragile yet courageous former soldier searching for his place in a postwar world. Now a Scotland Yard investigator, Rutledge is called upon to probe a small-town murder -- and discovers that it may be connected to one of the greatest disasters of all time. . . . Watchers of Time In Osterley, a marshy Norfolk backwater, a man lies dying on a rainy autumn night. While natural causes will surely claim Herbert Baker's life in a matter of hours, his last request baffles his family and friends. Baker, a devout Anglican, inexplicably demands to see the town's Catholic priest for a last confession. The old man dies without knowing that the very priest who gave him comfort will follow him to the grave just a few weeks later -- the victim of an appalling murder. The local police are convinced the evidence points to an interrupted robbery, and have named a suspect, Matthew Walsh. But the dead priest's bishop insists that Scotland Yard oversee the investigation. A simple task for Rutledge, a man not yet well enough to return to full duty. The Inspector draws on years of experience and a war-honed intuition as he finds himself uncovering secrets that the local authorities would prefer not to see explored. Surely, they reason, it is better to charge an outsider -- Matthew Walsh -- with murder than to learn that someone in this tightly knit community would commit such a horrendous crime. And yet there are those, Rutledge soon discovers, who held grudges against the priest that had little to do with God or the Church. No one in Osterley is aware that Rutledge hears voices -- or, rather, one haunting voice: that of a soldier he was forced to execute during the War. It is with the voice of Hamish MacLeod, by turns second-guessing and taunting him, that Rutledge begins a journey toward the devastating truth that will unlock the secrets of Osterley and pare away its layers of deception. And in piecing together a different story, Rutledge encounters a chain of events that stretches from these brooding marshes to one of the greatest sea disasters in history -- the sinking of theTitanic. Who is the mysterious woman who may have boarded that ship . . . and who is the secretive woman who survived it? Rutledge comes to believe that he alone can stop a killer from striking again. Deftly capturing the anguish of a man haunted by his tragic past,Watchers of Timedelves beneath a cast of unforgettable characters to examine a mystery even greater than murder: the mystery of what is right and what is wrong after the world has committed the sin of war. From the Hardcover edition.
Nowadays it is called Post Traumatic Stress. The veterans of World War I called it Shell Shock. Whatever the name, war leaves scars, many of them mental and emotional. Inspectr Rutledge is doing his best while part of him relives the war over and over. He talks with dead ghosts while solving a murder. Or perhaps more than one murder?
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