A Long Shadow (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #8)

ISBN: 006078671X
ISBN 13: 9780060786717
By: Charles Todd

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About this book

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?

Reader's Thoughts


Inspector Rutledge attends a New Year's Eve gathering with his sister. He leaves early and finds a cartridge casing on the steps as he is leaving. The cartridge is beautifully carved and within the next few days, he finds other cartridge casings in strategic places for him to find. He is sent to investigate a bow and arrow shooting of a previous Scotland Yard policeman in a small village. While the injured policeman is still alive though badly injured, Rutledge believes the mystery revolves around a missing teenage girl. Surprisingly he finds more cartridge casings left in places he least expects. The occupants of the small town are protective of the other inhabitants and only his careful questioning can help him find the mystery of the missing girl and the person who injured the policeman.


This is the first Ian Rutledge mystery. I have read at least one other book later in the series. Ian Rutledge was a London police officer who was called to serve in WWI and saw awful duty in the trenches in France. He wasn't wounded except in his mind. He has the 'spirit' of Hamish, one of his men, in his mind and Hamish is always 'talking' to him and giving him advice. This story is 2 mystereis in one. Ian is asked to solve the case of the wounding of a small village constable when Ian seems to be being stalked by someone from his past,probably his war past. I loved the story though everyone ending up in the same small village is a little unplausable it was well done!


Another terrific entry into the Inspector Rutledge saga. Rutledge is investigating an attack on Constable Hensley, who was shot in the back by an arrow in a forbidding forest. Was the constable attacked because the villagers suspected him of murdering a missing woman? And who is stalking Inspector Rutledge, leaving mysterious shell casings in his path? Rutledge himself is attacked by an unknown assailant. During the course of his investigation, Rutledge gains some valuable information about his superior Superintendent Bowls that will probably figure in future installments.


This is the second I've read in the series. The books are well written, atmospheric, and feature a detective haunted by his World War I experiences. I found it perhaps a little too similar to the first (but subsequent) one I had read--in both cases Rutledge investigates strange doings in a remote and not particularly friendly village. This time a constable ventures into an ill-famed wood (the alleged site of a Saxon massacre) and is shot in the back with an arrow. Barely surviving, he then claims someone must have dragged him there.The ending is rather improbable, but the book holds one's interest and is complicated by events that may be linked but may not be (it is ultimately revealed which).

Jill Hutchinson

This is the first of the Inspector Ian Rutledge books I have read and, although I liked it, I think I should have read the ones preceding it to get an overall understanding of the main character. Throughout the book, Inspector Ian Rutledge, tormented by his time in the trenches in WWI, holds conversations with the spirit of Hamish (who I assume was his batman) who died in that war....but circumstances surrounding his death are sketchy and appear to be somehow the fault of Rutledge. That may be have been explained in the earlier books.That aside, the story is well done as Rutledge finds an engraved cartridge casing identical to the ones he saw in the war......and when others appear, he wonders if he is being stalked. He is then sent to an isolated village to investigate the shooting of a constable with an arrow (!) and finds himself involved in more than he bargained for.....and the cartridges continue to show up. There are plots within plots and are all tied together rather tidily in the end. Enjoyable but sometimes puzzling.

Jim Kelsh

The 8th in the Ian Rutledge series by this mother, son writing team. Rutledge is a WW I survivor returning to Scotland Yard with an imaginary associate, Hamish. This episode sends the team into the hinterlands to investigate the shooting, by arrow! of a local constable. He uncovers several other mysteries, as well as a plot against himself. Rich in character and atmosphere, the myster holds you until the rolicking climax. Comfort reading.


Another excellent bookcan't get enough of these books. so sorry about such a devastating war. starting the next one right now and have downloaded the one after that.


I love slipping back into a good mystery series. Like catching up with old friends. Mother and son authors writing as Charles Todd spin some dark, complex mysteries set right after WWI and featuring Ian Rutledge, a Scotland Yard detective. Rutledge is still very much haunted by his experiences on the Front, personified by his ever-present hallucinatory companion, Hamish McLeod, a dead Scottish soldier whose death he carries with him like the albatross. The Long Shadow finds Rutledge in a remote village stalked by an unseen adversary as he tries to unravel a puzzle involving an attack on the local constable and how it may be involved with a long missing girl. A haunted forest, an enigmatic woman who claims to talk to the dead and mysterious attacks add to the fun. A good read, with complex characters and z well plotted tale. I’d recommend starting at the beginning with A Test of Wills, but you can jump in anywhere and have a good, thoughtful, time.

Will Byrnes

This is the 8th novel in a series centering on Inspector Ian Rutledge. That presents some difficulty, mostly in having to cope with a large number of characters who are all new to me as a first-timer. But readers of the series will face less of a challenge as many of the names here will already be familiar.It is 1919, and the inspector is about to testify in a case in Hertford. He begins to find machine gun shell casings with patterns carved in them, first a single, then two, then three. The third was accompanied by a gunshot through the windshield of the car he was driving. Is he being warned to not testify? Is there something else going on? In another town a constable who has been doing some investigating in a spooky local woods is shot in the back with an arrow, narrowly averting death. Todd gives us some flavor of the time. Rutledge suffers from shell shock, what we would call today post traumatic stress disorder. He is haunted by the image of a young man he dispatched in the field in order to spare him further suffering. A soldier at a social gathering is missing a limb. (The parallels to contemporary times are unavoidable). There is also an occult fad in the land, epitomized by Mrs Meredith Channing, who is supposed to be able to raise spirits.There are many, many characters. I confess I found it a challenge to keep them straight, but it was a fun read. This is no one’s notion of literature, but it was enjoyable, light, entertaining. It made me interested to read more books in the series. A good book to read while sitting in the back yard of one’s Cotswolds cottage on a spring day.


Charles Todd's series about shell-shocked Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge continues to improve. In this one, we are introduced to the charming widow Meredith Channing, who may or may not be psychic. I hope she returns. There's also more information about Rutledge's evil superior, Bowles. I hope that's resolved soon. Book after book of an incompetent vengeful superior is going to get old.


That was one of the sadder books in this series, I think. I couldn't really believe the end. It was brilliant, too. I've been reading this series out of order and I must say I hated Mrs. Channing. I've changed my mind now. I like her a lot better after reading this.

Julie Matern

I was impressed with the style. Having not heard of this author (mother and son duo ) I had to check to see when it was written as it certainly had the feel of an early 20th century novel.I love this genre and was not disappointed I will definitely read others from these authors.


A fascinating series.

Lisa Johnson

Title: A Long Shadow (Inspector Ian Rutledge #8)Author: Charles ToddPages: 341Year: 2006Publisher: William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins PublishersInspector Ian Rutledge wants nothing to do with the woman performing the séance. She seems to know his secret. He can’t let anyone find out about Hamish. His war memories threaten to overwhelm him if he doesn’t escape. Respite comes in the form of a phone call from the Yard on a minor matter, but Ian uses it as an excuse to leave the dinner party. As he leaves, he makes an interesting discovery of a shell casing from a machine gun used during WWI. Wonder what it is doing outside the home of his dinner hostess?He soon is assigned a case of a former constable from the Yard being shot with a bow and arrow. Ian leaves to investigate and stays in the small village while investigating. His investigation keeps linking up with the name of Emma Mason. He finds out the young girl is missing and has been for some time with no one knowing what happened to her. The shot constable seemed unusually enamored of her, but did he have anything to do with her disappearance? Ian finds more shell casings in his travels and has the uncanny feeling he is being followed, but he can never see anyone. An attempt is made on his life, but he is no closer to finding out who is leaving the shell casings. He also is no closer to finding out who shot the constable and how Emma Mason ties in with everything. As he discovers small bits of information, he begins to put together who is responsible. Can he bring the criminal to justice before he himself is killed by the person leaving the shell casings?One thing I really like about this series is that I almost never figure out the guilty person! I so enjoy the mystery and suspense and journey to the end that I don’t even mind guessing incorrectly! This story pulled me in from the get-go. I feel like Ian is a close friend almost. I know his foibles, some of his faults, some of his fears and his strengths. I enjoy each story in the series as I get to know Ian better, how he thinks, how he goes about searching for clues and arriving at an answer as to who is guilty. There is nothing like a good British mystery and this is another feather in the cap of Charles Todd.My rating is 5 stars.Note: The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspo.... Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson...

Mary Aubuchon

Another great read! As soon as I get done with the series, I may start them all over again. This one was especially good. Great plot and subplot.

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