cover image The Gate Keeper: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery

The Gate Keeper: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery

Charles Todd. Morrow, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-267871-3

A chance encounter on a country road late one night in December 1920 kicks off the exceptionally clever plot of bestseller Todd’s 20th mystery featuring Insp. Ian Rutledge (after 2017’s Racing the Devil). Rutledge, an emotionally scarred WWI veteran, is driving in Suffolk, with no particular destination in mind, when his headlamps catch a car stopped in front of him. Next to the car, a woman with bloodstained hands is bending over a man lying in the road. Rutledge stops to investigate. The man, Stephen Wentworth, is dead. The woman explains that Stephen was driving her home after a dinner party when a man stepped out in front of them. After Stephen got out of their vehicle and exchanged a few words with him, the man shot Stephen. Over local opposition, Rutledge successfully lobbies to take charge of the inquiry, and then struggles to learn why anyone would want to murder Stephen, a popular local bookseller, resisting the theory that the violence was random. As always, Todd (the mother-and-son writing team of Caroline and Charles Todd) deepen their crafty whodunit with a moving exploration of their astute sleuth’s inner torments. Agent: Lisa Gallagher, DeFiore and Co. (Feb.)