Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Book Review: A Lonely Death

Book Review:  A Lonely Death by Charles Todd | Alexia's Books and Such A Lonely Death by Charles Todd

Source:  ARC received from the publisher, via Shelf Awareness

Rating: 3/5

...three men have been murdered in a Sussex village, and Scotland Yard has been called in. It's a baffling case. The victims are soldiers who survived the horrors of World War I only to meet a ghastly end in the quiet English countryside two years later. Each had been garroted, with small ID discs left in their mouths.

But even Scotland Yard's presence doesn't deter this vicious and clever killer. Shortly after Inspector Ian Rutledge arrives, a fourth soldier is found dead. With few clues to go on and the pressure building, Rutledge must gamble everything - his job, his reputation, and even his life - to find answers.(Goodreads)

My Thoughts:
This isn't my usual genre, as I'm not a big fan of police drama, mysteries, or historical fiction. This story is about a Scotland Yard police inspector, trying to solve a murder mystery, shortly after WWI. Not my usual, but still an interesting, well written story that I'm glad I read.

Inspector Ian Rutledge works for Scotland Yard, and seems to have a slight problem with authority. Despite being good at his job, I got the impression that he didn't indulge in office politics or 'play the game' in order to get ahead. Reminded me a little bit of John Rebus, but they inhabit different worlds.

Because of the time period, this struck me as more of a gentle read. There were cars and phones, but the cars had to be hand cranked and there was only one phone in the entire village where the murders took place. Every reminder of the time period sort of took me by surprise, as I'm not used to stories set in the past. Every now and again I'd wonder why he didn't just call such-and-such on his cell. Well, duh! Makes me think I either need to pay better attention or read more historical fiction!

This was a good, old-fashioned story where the crime had to be solved without all of the modern CSI advantages. I liked Inspector Rutledge, but the mystery didn't really grab me and I was more interested in the characters than finding out the whodunnit. Gave it a 3/5 as I liked it, but didn't love it. Think mystery lovers would enjoy this more than I did, and most of the reviews I've seen have given it 4/5 and 5/5 ratings. If you've read this one, please let me know what you thought!


  1. Yeah...wasn't feeling this title either (not that I've read it, I just mean from the synopsis)....though the description of it as a "gentle read" is rather interesting. Who'd have thought? Great review Alexia...thanks for sharing!

  2. I think I would love this one. Thanks for the review and the heads up.