The Gate Keeper
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The Gate Keeper : An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery

4.14 (2,590 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 27mm | 462g
  • WILLIAM MORROW
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 006267871X
  • 9780062678713
  • 517,519

Back cover copy

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 dangerous recesses of his own memories even as he hunts a killer

Since the end of the Great War, Inspector Ian Rutledge has barely managed to hold memories of the trenches at bay, struggling to cope with shell shock and the voice of a dead soldier, Hamish MacLeod, that he carries in his head. Two constants have buoyed him: his police work and his only sister, Frances. But he's just given Frances away in marriage, and while he wishes her every happiness, he cannot shake a deepening sense of loss.

Restless and unable to sleep, Rutledge decides to take a short drive. Hours later he's far from London in dark, unfamiliar countryside. The war, which he's kept rigorously in check all day, overwhelms him, and he has only a vague impression of the road unwinding before him. In a particularly desolate stretch, he's jolted out of his nightmare when his headlamps suddenly pick out a motorcar stopped in the middle of the road, and he narrowly misses it. Standing next to the vehicle is a woman in evening dress, with blood on her hands and a dead man at her feet.

She swears she didn't kill Stephen Wentworth, telling Rutledge that a stranger stepped in front of their motorcar and without warning fired a single shot before vanishing into the night. But Rutledge can find no trace of this man or the weapon. The shaken woman insists she never saw the killer's face. Although he is a witness after the fact, Rutledge persuades the Yard to give him the inquiry, but even he isn't sure whether he's seeking justice--or fleeing the emptiness that awaits him back in London.

Probing the victim's background, the Inspector uncovers conflicting views of the dead man. Wentworth appears to have been well liked by most people, yet his bitter family paints a malevolent portrait, calling Wentworth a murderer. But who, exactly, did Wentworth kill? Is his death retribution for that crime? Or has his dinner partner lied?

When a second suspicious death occurs, the evidence suggests a dangerous predator on the loose, carefully stalking his victims. But where is he?
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Review quote

"As always in this singular series... the melancholy tone that distinguishes the Rutledge series is a reminder that war never ends for the families and friends of lost loved ones. It just retreats into the shadows." -- Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review TOP PICK IN MYSTERY: "Readers can't ask for more than Todd's masterful plotting, terrific characters and one of the finest protagonists in modern suspense." -- BookPage.com "The best one yet... It is a rare case when a book this far into a series can still surprise, but that is exactly what The Gate Keeper does. Highly recommended for historical mystery fans." -- The BOLO Books Review "In a series known for intelligent plots, Todd's 20th novel about Ian [Rutledge] excels. The Gate Keeper delivers an emotional novel... as well as an involving story about how the war affected other former soldiers and the families and towns to which they came home." -- SouthFlorida.com "Exceptionally clever plot... As always, Todd... deepen[s] their crafty whodunit with a moving exploration of their astute sleuth's inner torments." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review) "For Todd fans, it's another excuse to keep reading." -- Wilmington Star News "This mystery is one of the finest in the series... One of the best I have read by Charles Todd-very highly recommended!" -- Historical Novels Review "Charles Todd (actually a mother-son writing team) pulls off the voice-in-the-head device exquisitely. Moreover, the series is populated with highly nuanced characters, and the historical research is spot on. In Racing the Devil, the pacing is compelling." -- Newark Star Ledger "Inspector Rutledge shares the pantheon with Morse, Rebus, and even Sherlock Holmes--a fascinating, complex, and heartbreaking hero we admire, respect, and cannot forget. Charles Todd's brilliantly evocative and historically revealing mysteries are top shelf, top drawer, and top of my list." -- Hank Phillippi Ryan, Anthony, Agatha and Mary Higgins Clark award-winning author of Say No More "Todd writes a rich mystery, but in investigating the murder Rutledge also probes the psychic wounds of the village and tries to minister to the collective survivor guilt of the living. `The dead,' as the voice in his head tells him, `still believe it was worth dying for.'" -- Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review "Todd's rich storytelling shines in Racing the Devil, showing an England forever changed by The Great War, yet determined to survive." -- South Florida Sun Sentinel
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About Charles Todd

Charles Todd is the New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. Among the honors accorded to the Ian Rutledge mysteries are the Barry Award and nominations for the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association's Dilys Award, the Edgar and Anthony Awards in the U.S., and the John Creasey Award in the UK. A mother-and-son writing team, they live on the East Coast.
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Rating details

2,590 ratings
4.14 out of 5 stars
5 37% (970)
4 43% (1,118)
3 16% (422)
2 2% (62)
1 1% (18)
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