- Taschenbuch: 400 Seiten
- Verlag: William Morrow Paperbacks; Auflage: Reprint (5. Juni 2012)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0062103229
- ISBN-13: 978-0062103222
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,5 x 2,3 x 20,3 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 492.521 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
A False Mirror: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery (Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries, Band 9) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 5. Juni 2012
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Hampton Regis is a small harbour town on the southern coast of England, a place with an ancient history but long since passed over by its larger neighbours. There, in the year after World War I has ended, a tragedy is in the making - a woman's husband has been attacked and badly injured and the suspect, the man she loved before he left to go to war, has taken the wife and her maid as hostages. The desperate man, Stephen, threatens to kill the hostages unless the local police bring in a man he knew in the trenches-Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge.Rutledge, still struggling with his own demons from the war, fears that in stepping into the emotional struggle of these three people, he can't be objective. Their situation in a sense mirrors his own. As a result of Rutledge going off to fight, he too lost the woman he loved to another man. If, as Stephen claims, he didn't try to kill his lover's husband, then who did? And what has happened in this little town that is worth killing for? Once again, Charles Todd has placed the tormented, yet brilliant policeman into a situation that, while it brings back his haunted past, must be solved before a killer strikes again.
Unhealed scars of the Great War still torment Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge. A haunted, damaged shell of a man, he has been sent to the small coastal town of Hampton Regis to solve a violent crime and to confront his own tragic past.
An officer who served with Rutledge in the trenches of France before being sent backto England under suspicious circumstances has now been accused of savagely beatingthe husband of the woman he still loves. The suspect has taken the wife hostage, threatening to kill her and her maid unless Rutledge takes charge of the investigation.Although the case painfully mirrors Rutledge's own past and the love he lost to another man, he cannot refuse it. When the unconscious brutalized victim vanishes without a trace,it's clear that this peaceful little town hides a vicious murderer and secrets powerful enough to kill for.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
I would prefer some more background-story on Rutledge, but the time is vividly portrayed and captivating.
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Rutledge is ordered by Chief Superintendent Bowles to leave a case he is working on in London to go immediately to the small town of Hampton Regis on the south coast. A telephone message has come in to Scotland Yard that a situation has developed there with hostages taken and the man will only speak to Rutledge. What he finds when he arrives is that the trouble is just beginning for everyone in this small town.
This series of stories set in England just after the end of World War I has been a favorite of mine since I fist discovered them. Sadly this particular book did not live up to the standards set in other Rutledge novels. For one thing, the hostage situation was completely unbelievable. After all, who was the one in charge of that situation? Why did Rutledge allow Stephen Mallory, the man holding two women hostage, to dictate what would and would not happen in the unfolding situation? And that went on for days. It really was a circumstance which did not even come close to feeling believable. There are all the usual characters from a small village represented in the novel including policemen, nosy women, village gossips, the local doctor and his wife, the local clergyman, people who had moved down from London, many characters with secrets and "a past", and local fishermen, but I never seemed to feel much empathy or even compassion for any of them. One particularly noticeable phrase was used four times in the novel ("like all the imps of hell") and that simply doesn't usually happen in a Charles Todd novel. It was very disconcerting to see it so many times because it seemed to go along with all the other things which just kept repeating over and over, as if the authors had simply run out of ideas and had to recycle what had worked pretty well so far in the book.
This novel will not be counted as one of my favorite Inspector Rutledge stories in the series, but I am glad that I read it. It had a slightly different feeling to it, almost the same as previous books yet not quite. By having Mallory be one of the soldiers who was in France and under Rutledge's command we were able to find out some new bits of information regarding what Rutledge and Hamish MacLeod went through during the fighting. Rutledge is still fighting to gain control over his shell shock suffered in the war, and the voice of Hamish is very active within his mind in the book. If you are new to the series, I would suggest starting with a more recent book, perhaps The Red Door: An Inspector Rutledge Mystery (Ian Rutledge Mysteries) or A Lonely Death. Both are excellent stories and will give you a very firm understanding of the mental relationship going on between Rutledge and Hamish - the fatality which haunts Rutledge night and day.
As always, the plot is tied to the experiences of World War I. In this instance, the connection is through a man with whom Ian Rutledge had served in the war, a man who returned from the war to find the woman that he had been in love with now married to another older, richer man of a higher social class. When that man is severely beaten and left for dead, suspicion falls upon Rutledge's former comrade in arms.
When the police go to question the man, he goes a bit off the tracks and runs over the constable's foot with his car as he makes his escape. Instead of leaving the area, he makes his way to the house of the victim where, in a strange encounter with the man's wife, she gives him her husband's gun and essentially invites him to hold her and the housekeeper hostage!
When the police inevitably come calling, he tells them that he will not talk to anyone except Inspector Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard. Rutledge is involved in investigating another case at the time and is very reluctant to head out to the hinterlands to deal with this new crime, but his superiors do not give him a choice in the matter. He's instructed to go and sort it out.
As he goes, he is still accompanied by the presence of Hamish, the Scottish soldier whom he executed during the war for refusing to obey a command. Hamish is an ever-present reminder of the horrors of war, but his contribution to this story seems subdued at best.
After Rutledge arrives on the scene, things seem to go from bad to worse. The suspect, the grieving wife, and the housekeeper are still holed up in the house with the suspect brandishing his revolver. Soon another body is added to the death toll as the housekeeper is smothered in her bed. Then the victim, who had apparently been in a coma at the local doctor's surgery, mysteriously disappears. Did he leave on his own or was he spirited away?
In the contretemps caused by the missing patient, it isn't noticed at first that the doctor's wife has been bludgeoned to death, her body left behind a desk. So, the tally becomes three dead bodies and one missing, either dead or alive, body.
At this point, the tale seemed to be descending into parody. I could not work up any empathy or interest in the two main characters, the wife and the suspect. They both seemed utterly unsympathetic and undeserving of my time. I really didn't care what happened to either of them.
The list of possible suspects, once we had pretty well established that the man in the house was not guilty, was long and scattered. Moreover, the denouement, when it came, was particularly unsatisfying and didn't really wrap things up for me. Too many loose ends were left hanging.
In a long series like this, there are bound to be times when the writer(s) is/are not at his/their best. The mother and son duo that make up "Charles Todd" have maintained a high standard of quality and this book didn't meet that standard. It was not terrible and there were bits that were entertaining, but, overall, it certainly was not one of their best.
The unlikely storyline involves the beating half to death of one resident of Hampton Regis (an English coastal village); the hostage taking of the man's wife by the victim's love rival and subsequent deaths related to the first assault. Ian Rutledge is brought into the case at the insistence of the hostage-taker, who (ironically) hates the inspector because of their relationship in the trenches in France during the recent war. There is a netful of red herrings spread throughout the story, which inches ahead in fits and starts. The authors have inserted the usual resentful colleagues, loathsome Scotland Yard Superintendent, prissy old maids and stalwart village matrons. And with the emphasis on "the usual", these characters do sound like warmed over cliches in this tale.
"A False Mirror" was written in 2007 and I'd like to believe that the Rutledge character has grown, healed, whatever since the book was published. Anyone have thoughts on that possible progress?
Ian must still deal with the strict Victorian social rules of class distinction, and at the same time deal with people on the lower classes and the "new mercantile class". This is fun reading as it is historically correct as to the social and economic mores of the time. And it complicates Ian's investigations but makes the plot more enjoyable.The plot is as always ingenious and one needs to keep ones wits sharp as the numerous suspects are brought up and involved in the story until the very end.
Ian Rutledge has a sister and aunt who make a cameo appearance in this book. Ian works alone in the series so far and I am beginning to wish that he develops a bigger role for the aunt and sister. And most of all that maybe another figure befriends him and becomes more then a bit player as Ian continues his role in Scotland Yard.
The man bolts, hits the policeman with his car, and 'flees' to the victim's wife -- a woman he had once dated and lost. In the stress and in confusion, the woman shoves her husband's revolver into her former lover's hands and tells the police that she is being held against her will. The only man her capturer will deal with: Insp. Rutledge.
The action buys the couple some time but nothing else -- the town now believes they are both guilty and brings Rutledge into contact with his memories of war. Rutledge must hold those memories at bay as he investigates what goes beyond rumors and deep-seated hatred. Once again, Charles Todd has written a masterful and exciting story that holds interests from the beginning to the end. A very good book.
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