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The Red Door: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery by [Todd, Charles]
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4.3 out of 5 stars 136 customer reviews

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Length: 510 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Set in 1920, bestseller Todd's 12th mystery to feature the shell-shocked WWI veteran and Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge (after 2008's A Matter of Justice) is one of the strongest entries yet in a series that shows no sign of losing steam. Rutledge first looks into the disappearance of missionary Walter Teller, who suddenly fell ill in London and later apparently walked out of the clinic where he was being treated. Rutledge questions members of Teller's immediate family, including his brothers, Peter and Edwin. After the resolution of the case of the missing missionary, Rutledge investigates the bludgeoning death of Florence Teller, apparently the wife of another Peter Teller, in Lancashire. Once again Todd (the pseudonym of a mother-son writing team) perfectly balance incisive portraits of all the characters, not just the complex and original lead, with a tricky puzzle in which the killer is hidden in plain sight for the discerning reader to discover. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“The book is more than a whodunit. Todd’s characters are well-wrought, his settings evocative, and the book a pleasure to read.”

Product Details

  • File Size: 1254 KB
  • Print Length: 510 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; Reprint edition (December 10, 2009)
  • Publication Date: December 29, 2009
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002VJ9HRA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,167 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Crowley on February 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Charles Todd's THE RED DOOR is one of the best in the 12 book series. Walter Teller, a missionary in China and Africa and a chaplain in WWI, is suddenly stricken with a paralysis. He is taken to an exclusive clinic in London where his wife, his brothers, Edwin and Peter, and their wives wait for some sign of improvement. The doctors are stymied and the family fears that Walter is dying. Then, as suddenly as the paralysis came on, it disappears and so does Walter. Ian Rutledge is assigned another impossible task: find Walter Teller before the press learns of his disappearance. The Tellers are not a family to be discussed in the press.

As Rutledge begins what he believes will be a fruitless search, Walter reappears with no memory of where he has been.

In Lancashire, a woman has been waiting two years for the return of her husband from the war. Rutledge is sent to the village of Hobson because the dead woman is Florence Teller whose husband was named Peter. Somehow, in some way, Florence is tied to one of the brothers who has been living a lie with a wife in London.

The book is the story of the visible and invisible wounds left by the war. It is the story of money, class, privilege, inheritance, and secrets. And it is the story of the destruction of a powerful family who are the victims of the control exerted by their father from beyond the grave.

I liked THE RED DOOR for all the reasons that many other reviewers didn't. Rutledge is changing. Hamish is ever present but his voice is more hushed. The 12 books in the series represent a year in Rutledge's life and he is moving slowly back to the people who love him and whom he loves. He is becoming less a victim of the war and more a survivor of the carnage.

I eagerly await book 13.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've been a fan of Charles Todd's grim but literate mysteries for a while now. Todd's protagonist is Ian Rutledge, a shellshocked WWI veteran who has joined Scotland Yard after suffering from a combat-induced nervous breakdown. Rutledge is a thoughtful, sober sleuth, still suffering violently from the post-traumatic stress caused by brutal trench warfare. After nearly a dozen Rutledge novels, Todd still manages a few surprises. The puzzle Rutledge faces this time out is unusual: n English gentleman goes missing and is promptly found alive by Rutledge. Shortly thereafter, Rutledge begins investigating the murder of a woman in a different county who shares the same last name as the missing-but-found man but is not directly related to him. Are the events connected or coincidence?

While Todd keeps the mysteries fresh, the bizarre form that Rutledge's PTSD takes -- the voice of a dead Scot infantryman ringing in his ears, heard only by Rutledge, as a kind of Greek chorus commenting on the action -- is now starting to get a bit worn. It's time to put Hamish to rest, and take the Rutledge character in a new direction. Fans of the series no doubt will enjoy the book anyway, and certainly "The Red Door" is a good solid mystery, entertaining and vastly better than the majority of detective novels being produced today.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
We pick up this historical mystery series once again as it has reached 1920, well past the Armistice that ended World War I, but that "War to End All Wars" still casts its long and dismal shadow over Britain and Europe at large.

Inspector Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard continues to bury himself in his work in an attempt to forget his traumatic war experiences. It is a futile effort, as the voice of the Scots soldier, Hamish, whom Rutledge had had to execute in the field because of his failure to obey a direct order, lives on in Rutledge's head, both advising him and criticizing his actions. At times, he expects to see Hamish materialize. He can't be sure that he isn't real. Yes, Rutledge still suffers mightily from PTSD, or shell shock as it was known at the time. It was considered a shameful thing. Its victims were thought to be cowards.

Rutledge is never the flavor of the month as far as his boss, Superintendent Bowles (known to his subordinates as Old Bowels), is concerned. Bowles spends his career making sure that Rutledge gets out of town and out of Bowles' sight as often as possible.

I've never completely understood Bowles' enmity. If it was explained in an early book, I must have missed it or I've forgotten it. But whenever there is crime in the provinces that requires help from Scotland Yard, Bowles' preference is to send Rutledge.

In The Red Door, Rutledge is sent to investigate various crimes. He gets involved in a local crime "wave" featuring a young man who attacks passersby on a bridge, holding a knife on them and demanding their money and valuables. He attacks Rutledge, who tries to arrest him and is injured in the process. Rutledge was unable to stop him and he can't be found in the search that follows.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Some mysteries are just "who done it"; others are a story that happens to involve a murder or a crime.. Charles Todd writes books that are the latter. The Red Door has several story lines, and a story within a story. I came to know his characters; liked some, disliked others. They were real people to me. Ian Rutledge is a flawed person who functions perfectly at the inspector level, but cannot accomplish much on a personal level. His alter-ego Hamish makes some interesting comments on situations and I often found myself thinking that he was a good companion rather than a disturbing influence. We are not told much about how Hamish tortures Rutledge, only that he does. Learning the circumstances of Hamish's death one can see how his death would haunt Rutledge. Rutledge is very afraid that someone will detect the fact that he was shell-shocked in the war and is suffering consequences. Seems to me he would be better off admitting his problem than leaving people wondering at his behavior.
Anyhow, the plot is about the Teller family and their history and how they deal with the disappearance of a brother, the death of another brother and a sister-in-law. There are unexpected twists. I think you will enjoy the book.
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