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


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.


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


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 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.


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.

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.


A LONG SHADOW (Police Procedural-England-1919) – VGTodd, Charles – 8th in seriesWilliam Morrow, 2006-HardcoverInspector Ian Rutledge, still haunted by his past and the spirit of Hamish, keeps finding cartridge shells, etched with poppies, left for him, first in London and still after he is sent to a remote country village where local Constable Hensley has been shot in the back with an arrow and left in a wood shunned by the locals. But Rutledge wonders whether the attack is revenge and associated with the disappearance of Emma Mason, a young local woman.*** This is not a slap-bang procedural, but dogged, follow-the-clues investigation by Rutledge who stands for the dead. He is a complex, realistically drawn character whose past and the impact of WWI plays a major role in his present. The supporting characters are just as strong, each with their own history woven together into an atmospheric story with excellent sense of place, very good suspense and unexpected twists at the end. Highly recommended, but start with the first book.


A fascinating series.

Mary Ellen

I'm not sure why I found this more satisfying than the typical Ian Rutledge mystery (usually 3 stars), but I did. (PERHAPS because I cheated, skimmed to the end to learn whodunit, then went back & read at a normal pace - a study showed people enjoyed reading stories more when they knew how they ended!)This despite the fact that the solution to the mystery is a bit...incredible. But I liked the mix of characters, the believable setting - where despite the mysterious attack on the local constable, people still keep their doors unlocked - and the odd subplot involving someone leaving bullet casings in Rutledge's car, rooms, etc. This book also introduces a female character - Mrs. Channing - whom I hope we'll see again; some new info on Rutledge's thick-headed, resentful boss (you'd think he'd appreciate the fact that Rutledge, time and again, solves the crime and makes the department look good!) and used the Hamish factor (I refuse to call him a character!) in slightly different ways. (Any change regarding Hamish is good, IMO; after the first mystery, where it was something novel, it has become a somewhat annoying crutch and I sometimes wonder whether the authors have a settled idea of what "the voice in Rutledge's head" is supposed to be: his guilty conscience; hallucination; or a "real" spectral presence. The lack of consistency in the Hamish voice really drives me up a wall.)I look forward to seeing where the authors go from here in subsequent installments.


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.


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.


I love Inspector Rutledge! I feel so sorry for him and wish he could find peace and a woman to love. Only thing is, when he does find peace and Hamish is gone, then the series will most likely be over, and I don't know if I want that.

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

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.

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