A Cold Treachery (Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries)
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Charles Todd returns to the world of Scotland Yard’s Inspector Ian Rutledge in a series that the New York Times Book Review called “harrowing psychological drama” and the Washington Post Book World hailed as “among the most intelligent and affecting being written these days.” This time the embattled Inspector has met his match hunting a brutal killer across a frozen hell and the one witness who may have survived a crime of…
A COLD TREACHERY
“You’ll hang for this–see if you don’t! That’s my revenge! And you’ll think about that when the rope goes around your neck and the black hood comes down….”
Called out by Scotland Yard into the teeth of a violent blizzard, Inspector Ian Rutledge finds himself confronted with one of the most savage murders he has ever encountered. Rutledge might have expected such unspeakable carnage on the World War I battlefields, where he’d lost much of his soul–and his sanity–but not in an otherwise peaceful farm kitchen in remote Urskdale.
Someone has murdered the Elcott family at their table without the least sign of struggle. Was the killer someone the young family knew and trusted? When the victims are tallied the local police are in for another shock: One of the Elcotts’ children, a boy named Josh, is missing.
Now the Inspector must race to uncover a murderer and to save a child before he’s silenced by the merciless elements–or the even colder hands of a killer. Haunted and goaded by the soldier-ghost of his own tortured war past, Rutledge will discover the tragedy of war that splintered one marriage–and pulled together another.
Love, jealousy, greed, revenge–or was it some twisted combination of all of them? Any one could lead a man or woman to murder. What had the Elcotts done to ignite their killer’s rage? With time running out, Rutledge knows all too well that such a cold-blooded murderer could be hiding somewhere in the blinding snow…
preparing to strike again.
From the Hardcover edition.
the door wide.” She finally did as he asked, opening the door with some trepidation, and a wave of warm air thick with the smell of cooked porridge washed over them. The boy lay on the floor, his arms around the dog, the ax forgotten. But in the floor were raw gouges where he had pounded the edge into the wood. “Sybil has done more than I ever could,” Maggie said, a forlorn note in her voice. She stooped to brush the tear-wet hair out of the child's face and he flinched. Rutledge stepped in
although Rutledge wasn't aware of that—and settled down, still holding the boy. By the time Maggie had the porridge on the table, Josh was asleep. It was two o'clock in the afternoon before the boy woke up. Maggie had spent most of that time trying to persuade Rutledge to leave him where he was. He opened red-rimmed eyes, puffy from crying and sleep, and stared at Rutledge without emotion. For hours Rutledge talked to him. About Sybil, about the sheep, about Maggie, about Westmorland and
and she stared at him angrily as he came through the door. “What are you doing in my bedroom?” she demanded. “Leave at once or I'll scream the house down!” “I'm sorry to disturb you but there's been an emergency. I'm looking for your husband—” “He's downstairs, helping Elizabeth with the cooker. There's something wrong with it, she says.” He swore silently. “Then may I ask you to stay here, in safety, until we've finished—” “You've come to arrest Harry! Is that it?” She stared at him. “Is it
the first drive they turned into. But they found a cluster of men in the yard behind the house, drinking mugs of tea and talking among themselves. The farmer, red-faced and weary, was gesturing towards the land that rose in the watery sun like a heavy blanket of snow and stone. The sky was a hazy blue. The men turned at the sound of the motorcar, and came to greet Inspector Greeley, then to stare with curiosity at the stranger from London. “Well, I've brought no news,” Greeley began, raising
darkness, Hamish kept him company in the lonely silence. This part of the Lake District was bounded on the east by the Pennines and on the west by the sea where the high country fell away to coastal plains. It was a land of farming and sheep, where damsons ripened in August but apples were gnarled and sour, where a man's nearest neighbor might live out of sight in a fold of the great fells, and such roads as there were often became impassable in winter. Urskdale was not one of the famous