Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Red Door by Charles Todd

In The Red Door, Inspector Ian Rutledge becomes involved in two cases. In one, a woman is found at home bludgeoned to death. Rutledge must figure out who the killer is as well as figure out what happened to the woman's husband a few years earlier. The other case involves an ill man who goes missing then suddenly reappears without warning or any sign of his illness. As Rutledge works the cases, he finds some disturbing details that might suggest the cases are bizarrely related.

This book is the twelfth in the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries series. It's the first one I read, so I wasn't sure what to expect. It was just wonderful! It's a post WWI British mystery with a terrific storyline. I generally don't read books set around either of the World Wars because that time period and details of the fighting don't interest me that much. However, this one focused on the mysteries and had very little to do with the war itself. That was fine by me.

Anyway, the different storylines were interesting and kept me going until the very end. The characters were great, too. There were lots of them, though, so after awhile I started writing them down to better keep track. I especially loved Inspector Rutledge. The more I read, the more I wanted to know about him. Even his flaws were intriguing as was his relationship with Catherine. I'm anxiously awaiting the next book considering how his one ended with them.

The ending brought a few surprises to the book. I was so caught up in who the killer was that after the identification was made I forgot that there were a bunch of loose ends to tie up. I'm glad the author didn't forget and found a great ending to tie it all together.

Despite not having read any of the others in the series, I only felt lost a few times. For example, I couldn't figure out how old Rutledge was. At times he felt middle aged, other times he seemed younger. I also wasn't quite sure about Hamish, the voice Rutledge seemed to be carrying around from the war. Those missing things made me want to start at the beginning of the series and get that background information I missed. Other than those few things, the book could stand on its own.

New words:
cadged (page 46): beg something from somebody
anathema (page 55): abhorrence
costermonger (page 57): fruit and vegetable seller from a stall in the street (UK)
bruited (page 129): rumored
subaltern (page 180): junior officer
sonorous (page 297): loud
providential (page 311): lucky
ululation (page 323): howl

Highly Recommended.  There are a number of Inspector Rutledge mysteries on Todd's backlist. I hope to read some of the earlier ones to get a more thorough picture of the Inspector himself.

For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit the HarperCollins Canada website.

Charles Todd is actually the nom de plume of Charles and Caroline Todd. They are a mother and son writing team who live on the east coast of the United States. For more information about them and their other books, please visit the Charles Todd website.

I'd like to thank those nice people at HarperCollins Canada for this review copy. Sorry it took me so long to get to it.

The Red Door by Charles Todd, William Morrow (HarperCollins), ©2010. ISBN 9780061726163(Hardcover), 344p.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like my kind of book - although I usually avoid the WWII era also. But I love British mysteries. Thanks for telling me about a new author. (new to me)


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