Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
A False Mirror: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery (Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries) Paperback – June 5, 2012
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The complex, evocative ninth installment in Todd's series set in post-WWI England (after 2006's Long Shadow) showcases the pseudonymous author's usual subtle understatement and deft characterization. Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge, who has returned from the trench warfare of France haunted by the carnage (and in particular by his order to execute one of his own men), heads to the seaside village of Hampton Regis to defuse a hostage situation. Stephen Mallory, who served under Rutledge's command in the war and is suspected of viciously assaulting his ex-lover's husband, demands Rutledge's presence before he will release his ex-lover and other hostages. To manage the crisis, Rutledge must weather the suspicions of the local police and identify the person responsible for the assault and two subsequent murders. Todd, a mother-and-son writing team, seamlessly melds a fair-play whodunit with psychological suspense in the tradition of P.D. James's best. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Motive, motive, motive. Is it jealousy? Money? Or something entirely different? Scotland Yard Inspector Rutledge must find the answer when he's summoned to the small town of Hampton Regis at the behest of Stephen Mallory, accused of viciously attacking one Matthew Hamilton. Afraid of being railroaded for a crime he insists he didn't commit, Mallory holds Hamilton's wife and her housekeeper hostage, hoping Rutledge can prove his innocence. It's tough going for Rutledge, who is dogged by unpleasant memories of Mallory, whom he knew while soldiering in the Great War, and by the echoing voice of Hamish, also a fellow soldier, whose imagined counsel steadies the investigator as he casts about for suspects. Todd, the pseudonym of a mother-son writing team, incorporates touches of both Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie in this character-driven mystery, which builds smoothly but not simply to a climax that is likely to be a genuine surprise. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 73%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
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.