Proof of Guilt

Proof of Guilt : An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery

3.8 (2,705 ratings by Goodreads)
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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 fiancee 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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 162.56 x 231.14 x 33.02mm | 498.95g
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0062015680
  • 9780062015686
  • 675,248

Review quote

"There's a grand design to Charles Todd's period novels featuring Inspector Ian Rutledge...elegant mysteries." -- Marilyn Stasio in the New York Times Book Review.
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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. A mother-and-son writing team, they live on the East Coast.
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Rating details

2,705 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 24% (642)
4 42% (1,138)
3 26% (704)
2 7% (185)
1 1% (36)

Our customer reviews

Inspector Ian Rutledge was the only man in his army unit to have survived the World War I. One of the most traumatic moments of the war involved having to order the execution of his second in command, Hamish MacLeish, for disobedience when he refused to order them men on what proved to be a suicide mission. By the time that the series begins Rutledge has returned to his prewar occupation as a Detective Inspector at Scotland Yard. Having survived the horrors of the war, he carries much of the trauma with him but as PTSD or "shellshock" was seen as cowardly, Rutledge struggled to keep the effects of war hidden from everyone around him. He'd been able to repress the trauma although it would sometimes surface in the person of Hamish whose voice would sometimes speak out, much like an angry and resentful conscience or guide. Inspector Rutledge is dogged, reckless, and a brilliant detective although he's not popular with his superiors. Aside from the unusual and perplexing cases that he draws, Rutledge has the added challenge of his war baggage and the petty grievances and orders from his superior at Scotland Yard. All of these obstacles give Inspector Ian Rutledge novels an added texture and drama - so much so that I find them addictive. In Proof of Guilt, we find Inspector Ian Rutledge's with a new superior officer, Chief Superintendent Markham, as Inspector Bowles has been temporarily removed. We're not sure whether the new boss will be better or worse, for while he hasn't been overtly prejudiced against Rutledge, there are indications that he could be difficult, perhaps even more difficult than Bowles. A well dressed and unidentified man is found on a well kept street in London. Though his body has been dragged and all his papers have been taken, he carries a distinctive and expensive French pocket watch and the street is undisturbed - no trace of a body having been dragged. An unidentified body doesn't usually merit a visit from Scotland Yard, but Rutledge is assigned to the task. Careful detective work leads Rutledge to find the owner of the watch and to look into the secrets of a respectable and successful merchant family. He finds a family fortune made in Madeira, an attempted murder by the son of a business associate, a jilted lover, prominent business partners missing. As Rutledge sifts through the conflicting evidence, through interviews and testimonies, "weighing every expression and every word", he takes us with him to a complex investigation. The novel has the fluid and understated prose that I associate with the best of British mysteries (although the authors of this series are Americans!). I savored Proof of Guilt and am almost disappointed that I've finished reading it and it'll likely be another year until the next Inspector Ian Rutledge novel comes out. ISBN-10: 0062015680 - Hardcover $25.99 Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (January 29, 2013), 352 pages. Review copy provided by the publisher and Partners in Crime more
by Gaby @ Starting Fresh
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