A Fine Summer’s Day by Charles Todd-a review

A FINE SUMMER’S DAY (Inspector Ian Rutledge #17) by Charles Todd

A Fine Summer's Day

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date January 6, 2015

New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd takes readers into Scotland Yard detective Ian Rutledge’s past–to his perplexing final case before the outbreak of World War I.

On a fine summer’s day in June, 1914, Ian Rutledge pays little notice to the assassination of an archduke in Sarajevo. An Inspector at Scotland Yard, he is planning to propose to the woman whom he deeply loves, despite intimations from friends and family that she may not be the wisest choice.

To the north on this warm and gentle day, another man in love–a Scottish Highlander–shows his own dear girl the house he will build for her in September. While back in England, a son awaits the undertaker in the wake of his widowed mother’s death. This death will set off a series of murders across England, seemingly unconnected, that Rutledge will race to solve in the weeks before the fateful declaration in August that will forever transform his world.

As the clouds of war gather on the horizon, all of Britain wonders and waits. With every moment at stake, Rutledge sets out to right a wrong–an odyssey that will eventually force him to choose between the Yard and his country, between love and duty, and between honor and truth.

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REVIEW: A FINE SUMMER’S DAY is the seventeenth installment in Charles Todd’s murder mystery/ suspense Inspector Ian Rutledge series. A FINE SUMMER’S DAY can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty- each storyline is independent of one another focusing on Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge. There are some secondary and supporting characters that cross over throughout the series but I will point out that the numerical order of release does not necessarily reflect the historical order of events in the series e.g. the events of book #17 (1914) take place six years prior to the events of book #12 (1920).

Charles Todd (mother and son writing team of Charles and Caroline Todd) pulls the reader into a storyline of revenge, betrayal, family and heartbreak. Just prior to the outbreak of World War I, a grieving son will uncover a collection of newspaper clippings and information that will lead Inspector Ian Rutledge on the trail of a serial killer determined to avenge the death of both his mother and father. A twenty five year old murder lead to the hanging of a man whose family has never recovered from the grief and guilt, and it is the resulting hanging that will be the fuel that fires an act of revenge against everyone involved.

A FINE SUMMER’S DAY looks at one man’s overwhelming grief; his inability to forgive; and a perceived act of betrayal against his mother and his younger self. As the storyline unfolds, the reader is front and center as Inspector Ian Rutledge uncovers the clues, key witnesses and potential victims in a crime spree that has all but been ignored by Scotland Yard. As War encroaches upon Europe, Ian Rutledge’s investigation takes on a more urgent note. With only one witness remaining, Ian’s own family will be targeted by a vengeful son looking for vindication and retribution.

There is a secondary, more personal storyline, that runs throughout A FINE SUMMER’S DAY-that of Ian’s relationship and impending nuptials with Miss Jean Gordon; his devotion to his sister Francis; his friendship with Melinda Crawford; and his complicated relationship with Chief Inspector Bowles. These relationships show a kinder, softer side to a man who is witness to so many murders and deaths but also reveal a vulnerability and possible chink in the armor of Inspector Rutledge.

A FINE SUMMER’S DAY is an intriguing and sensational mystery/suspense tale that is wrapped up a little too neatly considering the number of murders and horrendous acts of destruction. The guilty party is revealed to the reader very early in the storyline but builds up the suspense as Ian Rutledge must discover the connection between a twenty five year old murder and a recent series of suicides and unexplained deaths.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley.

Reviewed by Sandy

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