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


Eighth in the series, this detective mystery begins at a New Year's Eve seance in London in December 1919 and takes Inspector Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard to a quaint village in Northampton, where a former Scotland Yard employee has been shot in the back with an arrow in a supposedly haunted bit of woods. Well integrated Gothic touches include an imposing bell tower in the parish church, a mysterious woman seemingly gifted with second sight, a missing village beauty. Rutledge himself is being pursued by some tormentor who keeps leaving clues suggesting he is toying with the detective before finishing him off, and as more and more villagers start to suffer suspicious deadly accidents the tale works itself into a frenzy of a finish. This is stronger than the last installment, with a conclusion that made me want to read on.


Plot in this one was a little over the top. Not only is the Inspector trying to find out why a constable was shot with an arrow but there is also a stalker leaving bullet casings where he can find them. Although this series continues to be a statement against war this seems a little far fetched. The main plot is very good and makes another sort of statement - a new definition for "family values".

Julie Barrett

Wow, we actually see Rutledge in London having a bit of a social life. That's a first. Hopefully that development will continue in later books. I liked the inclusion of Mrs. Channing as a potential love interest. She better be in the next book. The mystery itself was fine. I guessed who did it pretty early on in the book. I liked the book enough to keep reading the series but not enough to go gushing about it.

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.


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!

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 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.


The balance of too obvious/too confusing is better this time around, although the addition of a subplot tying back to WWI means the main plot wrapped up a little more abruptly than I expected. Ian's relationship with "Hamish" continues to be the most engaging thing about this series, and it's continuing to evolve in interesting ways. There's a fantastic and horrific moment in the middle of the book where a sniper shoots and Ian in his car and misses, but the bullet passes through the spot in the back seat where he imagines Hamish always is, and for a moment reality and delusion collapse for Ian in terrifying ways. As usual with this series, don't come for the mystery, come for the psychology.

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.


I think I am giving this three stars because I am just a bit tired of the series. I need to see some change in Inspector Rutlidge. Hamish is getting a bit tiresome by the 8th book.


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).


Ian Rutledge breaks my heart. On the surface, he's an upper class British officer returned from the front after WWI to resume his position as an inspector at Scotland Yard. Underneath the handsome facade, he is the ultimate casualty of a terrible war-- tortured by his memories, haunted by a decision made in the heat of battle and abandoned by his fiancée, he throws himself full force into solving the cases he's assigned. Instead of a partner or a sidekick, Rutledge has only the ghostly specter of a dead colleague and brother-in-arms, Hamish McCleod, to help him sort out the details. Smart and original.

Pris robichaud

and Tormented Inspector, 11 Feb 2006 "I don't want you to die," she said bluntly. "I've seen enough of death and destruction. I want to hold my séances and bring back dead kings and silly jesters and the ghost of Hamlet's father. There is no harm in that and it makes people laugh. And, it keeps my mind from dwelling on what it should not be remembering. You were the soldier, Inspector but I put soldiers back together. Or tried to help others do that. I don't know which is worse." In the New Year of 1919, Scotland Yard's Inspector Rutledge has gone to a dinner party with his sister. While there he finds a spent brass cartridge casing as he is leaving the party to answer an emergent call. Then a while later he finds another. What do these spent cartridges foretell, and why do we care? Inspector Rutledge is sent by his superiors to a tiny hamlet called Dudlington. He is to investigate the attempted murder of an ex-inspector Hensley. As he arrives Inspector Rutledge feels an odd aura that he suspects is a fore warning of what is to come. The hamlet is suspicious of this Scotland Yard man and is not as welcoming as they could be. But as events unfold Inspector Ian Rutledge makes a name for himself, and the towns people begin to believe that maybe this man can solve some of the mysteries that have just begun. A young girl is missing and their Constable attacked. A Mrs Charlston, a soldier who had misfortunes, a pub owner and others who all come into play and Inspector Ian Rutledge will put the clues all together, and then find out who may be stalking him. Charles Todd is the mother/son team of Charles and Caroline Todd. Inspector Rutledge mysteries are set in post World War I England. "A Long Shadow" is the eighth novel for this team. In the previous seven novels we learn that Inspector Rutledge was in the Great War and, as many before him have, he suffered 'shell shock'. He is hiding this and it is a heavy secret. One of the most unusual aspects of this series is that Inspector Rutledge has a friend or a voice who is with him almost constantly, Hamish MacLeod. A young Scotsman who plays a large part in this Inspector's history; now and then. The Charles Todd duo's new mystery series is a must read for anyone who love English Mysteries and a thriller. A real find for me and recommended by a friend. Highly Recommended. prisrob 2-10-06


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.


So far, this is the best of the series. Highly recommended.

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