Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Review: Proof of Guilt by Charles Todd (w/ giveaway)

Proof of Guilt by Charles Todd, Virtual Blog Tour

An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery

An unidentified body appears to have been run down by a motorcar and Ian Rutledge is leading the investigation to uncover what happened. While signs point to murder, vital questions remain. Who is the victim? And where, exactly, was he killed?

One small clue leads the Inspector to a firm built by two families, famous for producing and selling the world's best Madeira wine. Lewis French, the current head of the English enterprise is missing. But is he the dead man? And do either his fiancĂ©e or his jilted former lover have anything to do with his disappearance—or possible death? What about his sister? Or the London office clerk? Is Matthew Traynor, French’s cousin and partner who heads the Madeira office, somehow involved?

The experienced Rutledge knows that suspicion and circumstantial evidence are not proof of guilt, and he's going to keep digging for answers. But that perseverance will pit him against his supervisor, the new Acting Chief Superintendent. When Rutledge discovers a link to an incident in the family’s past, the superintendent dismisses it, claiming the information isn't vital. He’s determined to place blame on one of French’s women despite Rutledge's objections. Alone in a no man's land rife with mystery and danger, Rutledge must tread very carefully, for someone has decided that he, too, must die so that cruel justice can take its course.

My thoughts: Don't let the fact that this is the 15th Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery scare you off from jumping in.  This was the first one that I have read and it read very well as a stand alone.

Set at the end of WWI in England, the country is still shadowed somewhat by the memory of the war, and it still plagues Inspector Rutledge as well.  He was forced to kill a man, Hamish, under his command, for failure to follow orders.  Minutes later, Hamish's body is what saves him from an explosion.  He now hears Hamish in his head, giving advice, giving opinions, giving warnings.  Sometimes he listens, sometimes he doesn't.  He also suffers from claustrophobia as a result of the war and struggles to keep it hidden from his peers.

Rutledge is a likable character though.  He is fair and exhausts all avenues before drawing his conclusions.  He is working for a new Superintendent though, and nobody knows much about the man.  He seems to be pushing for a quicker close to this case than Rutledge would like.  As Rutledge likes to follow the rules (or at least give that appearance), he does what Markham wants him to, while also pursuing his own agenda.

There is much going on in this novel and if you are not paying attention you are sure to miss a clue, or two, or five!  There are unidentified bodies, missing businessmen, and enough suspicious characters to keep you guessing to the end.  I think I might like to go back to the beginning of this series and see how it all started!

Purchase Links

About the author:  Charles Todd is the author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, two stand-alone novels.  A mother and son writing team, they live in Delaware and North Carolina, respectively.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Proof of Guilt
Publisher/Publication Date: William Morrow, Feb 2013
ISBN: 978-0-06-201568-6
352 pages
Genre: Mystery


CMash said...

Very nice review and post. Thank you fr sharing.

holdenj said...

Glad to know you can jump right in...fifteenth means there would be a lot of catching up!

Unknown said...

Dear Kristi,

I read your review of Charles Todd book Proof of Guilt and feel that you did a great job. In my judgment, your review was balanced, fair and well-thought out. You have demonstrated a justified objectivity, giving a reader a clear impression of what to expect from the novel. I will be following your other reviews with interest.



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