Thursday, May 27, 2010

Book Review: The Red Door

A wife paints her farmhouse door bright red to welcome home her returning-soldier husband at the end of the Great War. But he never comes.

An upstanding family man disappears in London, and then reappears with apparent amnesia.

A woman with the same surname is found dead in another part of the country.

These are the threads which Charles Todd weaves into the murder mystery The Red Door (William Morrow, 2010). This is the twelvth installment of the Inspector Rutledge Mysteries. I usually like to start a series at the beginning but this is my first introduction to Ian Rutledge and the post-war trauma that fills his every waking - and sleeping - hour. I've already marked this series down to read more.

The structure and prose of this story are very well done. The dialogue was authentic and realistic. The descriptions and the manner in moving the story forward were reminiscent of the best of the true Golden Age detective fiction.

Rutledge is a sympathetic character, internally tormented by the voice of a dead Scottish soldier who served under him at the Somme. His immediate superior doesn't like him, the girl he likes will barely give him the time of day, and he is being pressured to reunite with his godfather, also Scotch, for the first time since the end of the war. He is intelligent and brave, a good brother to his sister, Frances, and he carries out his duties at the Yard to his best ability, despite the wrath of his boss.

Memorable Morsels
  • Dundee Cake
Links to Investigate Further:

Buy the Book: The Red Door: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery

Authors' Page on Wikipedia
Authors' Website
Authors' Page on LibraryThing
Book's Page on LibraryThing

The Final Analysis:

Full Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher, through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer Program. This did not influence my review.

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