“Full of suspense, surprises, and sympathetic characters.”
—Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
“No mystery series I can think of captures the sadness and loss that swept over England after World War I with the heartbreaking force of Charles Todd’s books about Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge.”
The remarkable Charles Todd has created one of the most unforgettable characters in mystery and crime fiction: Inspector Ian Rutledge, shell-shocked veteran of “the Great War.” A False Mirror is one of Todd’s most powerful novels, plunging his tormented protagonist into the center of a brutal crime that painfully echoes events in Rutledge’s own past. Poignant, evocative, and continually surprising, A False Mirror is further proof that Charles Todd is well deserving of the critical acclaim the Rutledge novels have earned; a New York Times bestselling author who belongs among the acknowledged masters of the genre, including P. D. James, Elizabeth George, Ruth Rendell, and Jacqueline Winspear.
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.