Welcome to the first stop at Partners in Crime's blog tour for Charles Todd's latest Inspector Ian Rutledge novel, Proof of Guilt! I love historical detective novels and I'm a big fan of Charles Todd's writing. I'd learned about the mother-son writing team a few years ago and have gone through a period where I read everything that I could find of theirs. So I'm now at the stage where I eagerly await the newest novel in their Inspector Ian Rutledge series and Bess Crawford series.
Inspector Ian Rutledge was the only man in his army unit to have survived the World War I. One of the most traumatic moments of the war involved having to order the execution of his second in command, Hamish MacLeish, for disobedience when he refused to order them men on what proved to be a suicide mission. By the time that the series begins Rutledge has returned to his prewar occupation as a Detective Inspector at Scotland Yard. Having survived the horrors of the war, he carries much of the trauma with him but as PTSD or "shellshock" was seen as cowardly, Rutledge struggled to keep the effects of war hidden from everyone around him. He'd been able to repress the trauma although it would sometimes surface in the person of Hamish whose voice would sometimes speak out, much like an angry and resentful conscience or guide. Inspector Rutledge is dogged, reckless, and a brilliant detective although he's not popular with his superiors. Aside from the unusual and perplexing cases that he draws, Rutledge has the added challenge of his war baggage and the petty grievances and orders from his superior at Scotland Yard. All of these obstacles give Inspector Ian Rutledge novels an added texture and drama - so much so that I find them addictive.
In Proof of Guilt, we find Inspector Ian Rutledge's with a new superior officer, Chief Superintendent Markham, as Inspector Bowles has been temporarily removed. We're not sure whether the new boss will be better or worse, for while he hasn't been overtly prejudiced against Rutledge, there are indications that he could be difficult, perhaps even more difficult than Bowles. A well dressed and unidentified man is found on a well kept street in London. Though his body has been dragged and all his papers have been taken, he carries a distinctive and expensive French pocket watch and the street is undisturbed - no trace of a body having been dragged. An unidentified body doesn't usually merit a visit from Scotland Yard, but Rutledge is assigned to the task.
Careful detective work leads Rutledge to find the owner of the watch and to look into the secrets of a respectable and successful merchant family. He finds a family fortune made in Madeira, an attempted murder by the son of a business associate, a jilted lover, prominent business partners missing. As Rutledge sifts through the conflicting evidence, through interviews and testimonies, "weighing every expression and every word", he takes us with him to a complex investigation. The novel has the fluid and understated prose that I associate with the best of British mysteries (although the authors of this series are Americans!). I savored Proof of Guilt and am almost disappointed that I've finished reading it and it'll likely be another year until the next Inspector Ian Rutledge novel comes out.
ISBN-10: 0062015680 - Hardcover $25.99
Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (January 29, 2013), 352 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher and Partners in Crime Tours.
About the Author:
Charles Todd is the author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand alone novels. A mother and son writing team, they live in Delaware and North Carolina respectively.
To enter the giveaway, please comment below and share if you've read anything by Charles Todd and why you'd like to win the book. For an extra entry, tell us about a book that you loved recently and why. Contest ends on Feb. 28, 2013.
(1) You must be a follower of the blog to enter.
(2) Limited to U.S. residents only.
(3) Maximum of two entries per household.
Would you like to read an excerpt from Proof of Guilt? Head to Partners in Crime blog for an excerpt of the novel before it's released.
To read more about Charles Todd and Proof of Guilt, head over to the sites below. Enter into their giveaways for The Confession, an Inspector Ian Rutledge novel.
January 21st: Review & Giveaway~Gaby @ Starting Fresh
January 22nd: Review & Giveaway~Vera @ Luxury Reading
January 23rd: Review & Giveaway~Kriss @ Cabin Goddess
January 24th: Review & Giveaway~Jean @ JeanBookNerd
January 25th: Review & Giveaway~Kathleen @ Celticlady's Reviews
January 26th: Review & Giveaway~Kristi @ Books and Needlepoint
January 27th: Review & Giveaway~Inga @ Me and Reading
January 28th: Review & Giveaway~Eileen @ Books R Us
January 29th: Review & Giveaway~Ruth @ My Devotional Thoughts
January 30th: Review & Giveaway~J.C. @ JC Martin Fighter Writer
January 31st: Review & Giveaway~Stephanie~Curling Up By The Fire
February 1st: Review & Giveaway~Alan @ Electronic Scrapbook
February 2nd: Review & Giveaway~Cheryl @ Sweeping The USA
February 3rd: Review & Giveaway~Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews
February 4th: Review & Giveaway~Misty @ The Top Shelf