Mary's Library

Sunday, November 12, 2006

November Books - 6 - 14

Charles Todd is the pseudonym of mother-son writers who have just published the ninth in a provocative series of mysteries that take place in post-WW I England. So far so good.

But these books are unique. The protagonist, Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge, is suffering from shell shock. World War II called it combat fatigue and we now call it post traumatic stress syndrome. Rutledge’s problem manifests as a hallucination.

He hears the voice of one of his men whom he was ordered to shoot just before the end of the war. This Scotsman offers criticism and sometimes useful advice as Rutledge goes about his job, whether it’s finding a murderer, solving a disappearance, or defusing a hostage situation. Never does the author forget that it is actually Rutledge’s subconscious that is speaking to him. His unwanted companion never reveals information that Rutledge has not himself discovered or deduced from what he observes.

These are mysteries in that category I’ve called Crossovers. They are superb novels. The mystery part is simply a vehicle that helps carry the story along. Every one of these nine novels is worth reading. (I’m assuming the last is worthy as it is not yet published and I haven’t read it, but PW gives it the red star treatment and I am a believer.)

A Test of Wills (1996)
Wings of Fire (1998)
Search the Dark (1999)
Legacy of the Dead (2000)
Watchers of Time (2001)
A Fearsome Doubt (2002)
A Cold Treachery (2005)
A Long Shadow (2006)
A False Mirror (2007)


At 1:13 PM PST , Blogger jenclair said...

I'm a great fan of this series!

At 5:31 PM PST , Blogger Eva said...

Thanks for the reviews. My mom likes mystery novels, and I'm often at a loss for what to get her for the holidays as it is a genre I don't read, usually. Your recommendation will come in handy!


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