The Gatekeeper (Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries) by Charles Todd

A good mystery is a page turner that can’t be put down and that has many plot twists. Charles Todd’s The Gate Keeper meets those qualifications.

The book is the 20th in the Ian Rutledge series written by mother and son duo Caroline and Charles Todd.  As those who have read the series know, Inspector Ian Rutledge is the protagonist. However, several characters (suspects?) are introduced and the authors keep you guessing on who the murderer could be. They introduce doubt into your mind about almost all of the suspects.

Hamish – the voice of a corporal that Rutledge shot during World War I because he refused a direct order – haunts Rutledge’s mind throughout the books, including this one. Hamish focuses Rutledge on the questions to ask and the leads to follow.

Although it may seem odd to have Hamish’s voice in Rutledge’s head, it highlights the struggles of men in previous wars. Rutledge is suffering from shell shock (now called PTSD) from the horrendous things he saw when he was in France. Not only did he have to shoot a man in cold blood, but he also saw his men slaughtered by the bunches. I think it is fascinating how the authors incorporate the shell shock into the story and how it influences Rutledge and some of the other characters that survived the war.

The authors highlight the dogged nature that detectives need in order to solve a case. Rutledge is no different. He ceaselessly looks at all angles until he solves the case.

An excellent mystery that piques my curiosity on the other books in the series.

The Gate Keeper Book Cover The Gate Keeper
Charles Todd
William Morrow
February 6, 2018

On a deserted road, late at night, Scotland Yard’s Ian Rutledge encounters a frightened woman standing over a body, launching an inquiry that leads him into the lair of a stealthy killer and the dangerous recesses of his own memories in this twentieth installment of the acclaimed New York Times bestselling series.

Hours after his sister’s wedding, a restless Ian Rutledge drives aimlessly, haunted by the past, and narrowly misses a motorcar stopped in the middle of a desolate road. Standing beside the vehicle is a woman with blood on her hands and a dead man at her feet. She swears she didn’t kill Stephen Wentworth. A stranger stepped out in front of their motorcar, and without warning, fired a single shot before vanishing into the night. But there is no trace of him. And the shaken woman insists it all happened so quickly, she never saw the man’s face.

Although he is a witness after the fact, Rutledge persuades the Yard to give him the inquiry, since he’s on the scene. But is he seeking justice—or fleeing painful memories in London? Wentworth was well-liked, yet his bitter family paint a malevolent portrait, calling him a murderer. But who did Wentworth kill? Is his death retribution? Or has his companion lied?

Wolf Pit, his village, has a notorious history: in Medieval times, the last wolf in England was killed there. When a second suspicious death occurs, the evidence suggests that a dangerous predator is on the loose, and that death is closer than Rutledge knows.

About the author

Jeff Grim

Jeff Grim has been a reader all of his life. He has had a particular interest in military history, any war at any time. His fascination with military history has brought him to an interest in historical fiction where the history comes alive with fictitious heroes and villains. Recently, Jeff has become interested in historical mysteries set in various time periods.

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