Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Gate Keeper: An Inspection Ian Rutledge Mystery by Charles Todd

The Gate Keeper by Charles Todd  
(Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries, Book 20)

  • ISBN-10: 0062791532 - Paperback $26.99
  • Publisher: HarperLuxe; Larger Print edition (February 6, 2018), 480 pages.
The Gate Keeper (Inspector Ian Rutledge #20)

The blurb:
On a deserted road, late at night, Scotland Yard’s Ian Rutledge encounters a frightened woman standing over a body, launching an inquiry that leads him into the lair of a stealthy killer and the dangerous recesses of his own memories in this twentieth installment of the acclaimed New York Times bestselling series.
Hours after his sister’s wedding, a restless Ian Rutledge drives aimlessly, haunted by the past, and narrowly misses a motorcar stopped in the middle of a desolate road. Standing beside the vehicle is a woman with blood on her hands and a dead man at her feet.
She swears she didn’t kill Stephen Wentworth. A stranger stepped out in front of their motorcar, and without warning, fired a single shot before vanishing into the night. But there is no trace of him. And the shaken woman insists it all happened so quickly, she never saw the man’s face.
Although he is a witness after the fact, Rutledge persuades the Yard to give him the inquiry, since he’s on the scene. But is he seeking justice—or fleeing painful memories in London?
Wentworth was well-liked, yet his bitter family paint a malevolent portrait, calling him a murderer. But who did Wentworth kill? Is his death retribution? Or has his companion lied? Wolf Pit, his village, has a notorious history: in Medieval times, the last wolf in England was killed there. When a second suspicious death occurs, the evidence suggests that a dangerous predator is on the loose, and that death is closer than Rutledge knows.

The Gate Keeper by Charles Todd
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After his sister's wedding, Rutledge decides to drive to clear his mind and comes across the murdered young Stephen Wentworth. Wentworth survived World War I and seemed to be one of the least likely people to be murdered. He was independently wealthy and socially prominent. But when his local bookseller retired, Wentworth bought the bookshop and ran it, annoying his family that he "went into trade." But as Rutledge looks into Wentworth's life, his death makes less and less sense. When a second man is killed in cold blood, Rutledge realizes that he isn't just facing a ruthless killer but that he can't spot what links the two victims. The second victim also survived the War with an unblemished record and afterwards worked to help rebuild. He studied agriculture and looked for ways to improve yield, sharing his knowledge with neighbors and strangers alike.  The risk that another death is imminent raises the stakes.  And the choice of victims is particularly disturbing.

We get a deeper picture of Ian Rutledge. As he follows the lives and deaths of two former officers during World War I, Rutledge remembers the War. It's Rutledge's decency and tenacity that gets him close to the killer and along the way we encounter quite a lot of unsavory possible murderers as we mourn the deaths of the victims. As Rutledge hunts down his murderer through luck, skill and quick thinking, Charles Todd delivers a satisfying, engrossing read!  Overall, The Gate Keeper is one of my favorites in the series.

About the Authors:
Charles and Caroline Todd are a mother-and-son writing team who live on the east coast of the United States. Caroline has a BA in English Literature and History, and a Masters in International Relations. Charles has a BA in Communication Studies with an emphasis on Business Management, and a culinary arts degree that means he can boil more than water. Caroline has been married (to the same man) for umpteen years, and Charles is divorced.

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