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Hunting Shadows (Ian Rutledge) Hardcover – January 21, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 248 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

It’s the summer of 1920, and Scotland Yard’s Inspector Ian Rutledge has a tricky case on his hands. Someone has murdered two men in the city of Ely in Cambridgeshire. Try as he might, Rutledge can’t seem to find any connection between the victims—a military man from out of town and a local political candidate—although it does appear that the killer is a sharpshooter, a fact that does not sit well with Rutledge, a war veteran himself, or with Hamish, Rutledge’s interior companion (the manifestation, series fans know, of Rutledge’s guilt over the death of a friend in the war). There are a lot of questions, but perhaps the most pressing is whether Rutledge’s memories of war, sparked by these recent murders, are distracting annoyances or the key to solving the case? Another well-written, well-plotted entry in this always engaging mystery series. --David Pitt


“Tricky plotting and rich atmospherics distinguish bestseller Todd’s 16th novel featuring Scotland Yard’s Insp. Ian Rutledge....Todd (the pen name of a mother-son writing team) has rarely been better.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review) on HUNTING SHADOWS)

“Another well-written, well-plotted entry in this always engaging mystery series. (Booklist on HUNTING SHADOWS)

“Another winner…Strong atmosphere and a complicated mystery make this book one that readers won’t be able to put down.” (Romantic Times 4 1/2 stars on HUNTING SHADOWS)

“As always, the North Carolina-based mother and son who write under the pseudonym Charles Todd do a beautiful job with the period detail, making these books a nostalgic outing to England between the world wars.” (Raleigh News & Observer)

“Readers who stick with the chase, though, should be enthralled, as Rutledge sorts through a fascinating portrait gallery of witnesses and suspects, most of whom aren’t telling him the whole truth.” (Wilmington News Journal)

“Of all the places where Inspector Ian Rutledge’s Scotland Yard assignments have taken him, the desolate Fen country must surely be the eeriest. [This is an] excellent historical series.” (New York Times Book Review on HUNTING SHADOWS)

“Elusive clues, suspense and excellent writing make for reading pleasure.” (Oklahoma City Oklahoman on HUNTING SHADOWS)

Product Details

  • Series: Ian Rutledge (Book 16)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (January 21, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062237187
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062237187
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (248 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #392,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charles and Caroline Todd are a mother-and-son writing team who live on the east coast of the United States. Caroline has a BA in English Literature and History, and a Masters in International Relations. Charles has a BA in Communication Studies with an emphasis on Business Management, and a culinary arts degree that means he can boil more than water. Caroline has been married (to the same man) for umpteen years, and Charles is divorced.

Charles and Caroline have a rich storytelling heritage. Both spent many evenings on the porch listening to their fathers and grandfathers reminisce. And a maternal grandmother told marvelous ghost stories. This tradition allows them to write with passion about events before their own time. And an uncle/great-uncle who served as a flyer in WWI aroused an early interest in the Great War.

Charles learned the rich history of Britain, including the legends of King Arthur, William Wallace, and other heroes, as a child. Books on Nelson and by Winston Churchill were always at hand. Their many trips to England gave them the opportunity to spend time in villages and the countryside, where there'a different viewpoint from that of the large cities. Their travels are at the heart of the series they began ten years ago.

Charles's love of history led him to a study of some of the wars that shape it: the American Civil War, WWI and WWII. He enjoys all things nautical, has an international collection of seashells, and has sailed most of his life. Golf is still a hobby that can be both friend and foe. And sports in general are enthusiasms. Charles had a career as a business consultant. This experience gave him an understanding of going to troubled places where no one was glad to see him arrive. This was excellent training for Rutledge's reception as he tries to find a killer in spite of local resistance.

Caroline has always been a great reader and enjoyed reading aloud, especially poetry that told a story. The Highwayman was one of her early favorites. Her wars are WWI, the Boer War, and the English Civil War, with a sneaking appreciation of the Wars of the Roses as well. When she's not writing, she's traveling the world, gardening, or painting in oils. Her background in international affairs backs up her interest in world events, and she's also a sports fan, an enthusiastic follower of her favorite teams in baseball and pro football. She loves the sea, but is a poor sailor. (Charles inherited his iron stomach from his father.) Still, she has never met a beach she didn't like.

Both Caroline and Charles share a love of animals, and family pets have always been rescues. There was once a lizard named Schnickelfritz. Don't ask.

Writing together is a challenge, and both enjoy giving the other a hard time. The famous quote is that in revenge, Charles crashes Caroline's computer, and Caroline crashes his parties. Will they survive to write more novels together? Stay tuned! Their father/husband is holding the bets.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Now this is what I call an excellent addition to the Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery series. It was set up exactly the way I prefer my mysteries. The plot and the investigation took center stage without the distractions of trying to involve Rutledge in a romance and Hamish McLoed was present, but only minimally. If you prefer to read about Rutledge fighting the psychological battle of the presence of Hamish in his mind or if you want to read of romantic attachments for the main characters you might not be quite as pleased as I was.

Scotland Yard is called in when two murders take place within a two week period in the Fen country of England. The time is August and September of 1920, so almost every incident which takes place has some relation to the recently ended war. In this case a rifle is being used to kill men who seem to have absolutely no connection with each other. There is a new Acting Chief superintendent at Scotland Yard and he is impatient with the slow progress Rutledge is making in the two cases, but he also doesn't take into consideration how tangled the relationships are between all the concerned parties and how deeply the secrets are buried. Rutledge solves the problem of how to deal with his boss by simply staying away from London.

The writing in this novel is absolutely first class. Reading the description of the fog Rutledge runs into on his journey from London was so realistic it almost made me claustrophobic myself! Especially when I looked out my own windows and saw everything coated with ice and nothing moving about except the freezing rain. Talk about the right weekend to read this book!
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I've read every single Charles Todd book to date and what started off as a promising series has fizzled into just an adequate one.

Hunting Shadows is better than some of the other recent Ian Rutledge books in terms of the actual mystery, but what is sorely missing in this series is an evolution of Rutledge's character. When we are first introduced to Rutledge, he is an emotionally wrecked survivor of the first World War. In the early books, the authors vividly portray his anguish and the events leading up to its causation. They also give us hope that Rutledge will find a new love interest and insight into his relationship with his sister. But in later books, Rutledge is turned into something of an automaton who traverses the English countryside and interrogates witnesses and suspects. He never moves forward on any personal level, except perhaps for a lessening of the role that Hamish plays in his life. A completely mesmerizing character has turned into one who is dry and lifeless.

I still have hope for the series because the authors write beautifully. If only they could find a way to bring some sparkle back into their main character.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It's August of 1920, in the Fen country of England. World War I is barely over, and the soldiers who survived will never be over it. As wedding guests gather outside a cathedral, an unseen gunman picks off a wedding guest with a rifle and a German sighting device that only a soldier would use. The following month, a local aspiring parliament candidate is killed, again with a single rifle shot by an unseen assailant.

Scotland Yard is called, and Ian Rutledge is on the case. He takes to his motorcar, as much to avoid a new impatient superintendent as to get to the root of things, and sets out on a quest to find out how the victims are related, and who the culprit could be.

Poor Ian Rutledge. He's a brilliant Scotland Yard detective yet he's haunted by his past, is shell-shocked (which is seen as a shameful affliction), has the talking ghost of deceased soldier Hamish MacLeod always in his head, is loathed by most everyone in the department, has no love life, and is apparently the person to whom everyone tells lies.

Yet he perseveres.

He's nothing, if not stubborn. Rutledge perseveres and unravels a tale so complex that you might need to make a chart of the characters to keep them straight. Yet Todd takes all those threads and storylines and subplots and weaves them and weaves them until the mysteries (because there are many) are solved.

This is the 16th of the Todd's Ian Rutledge series. But fear not. You don't need to read all the previous ones to understand the characters or what is going on. You can jump in at book 16 and, if you become addicted as I have, you can go back and read the previous works, in no particular order.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I always find myself being drawn into any Charles Todd book I begin to read. I prefer the Inspector Rutledge mysteries over the Bess Crawford series, but I enjoy them both. I love the suspense that builds and builds, and I just have to find out how it ends. I also appreciate that while there are deep, dark topics in these books, there is no explicit sex or gore.

In this installment, there is a sniper shooting people in remote villages. Scotland Yard is dispatched because the local police are getting nowhere. Rutledge is placed in charge of this case and it is his job to figure out how the two murdered men are connected, if they are at all, and of course the secrets the village people are hiding from him. He is afraid there will be a 3rd murder before he can learn enough to prevent it.

The spookiness in this book is enhanced greatly by the isolation of the villages and by the dense fog in much of the book. Strangers who get caught in the fog may not make it out alive. He spends most of his time away from London in this novel, and the interviews with retired soldiers make it harder and harder for him to conceal his shell-shock.

These novels do a great job portraying shell-shock, and the loneliness and isolation that these survivors of war must feel. I always end up feeling so depressed for Rutledge as I read them. One thing I do appreciate about this novel in the series, is that even though things look very dark for Rutledge, he does meet some people in this novel who turn out to be kind and friendly to him. There is a grim but satisfying conclusion.

It was difficult for me to put this novel down. I enjoyed it and plan to read the next in the series.
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