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A Fearsome Doubt Mass Market Paperback – 15 July 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 364 ratings

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Review

"Todd's mysteries are among the most intelligent and affecting being written these days."--The Washington Post Book World

"Brilliant . . . Who'd have thought that Charles Todd's brilliant concept for a mystery . . . would not only continue but grow stronger from book to book."--Chicago Tribune

"Todd raises the stakes in this series to new and nearly unbearable levels."--The New York Times Book Review

"A brilliant and gripping whodunit . . . an outstanding historical mystery and literate period fiction."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

From the Back Cover

Bestselling author Charles Todd has earned a special place among mystery's elite writers with his acclaimed series featuring Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge, a former soldier seeking to lay to rest the demons of his past in the aftermath of World War I. But that past bleeds into the present in a complex murder case that calls into question his own honor...and the crimes committed in the name of God, country, and righteous vengeance.
A Fearsome Doubt
In 1912 Ian Rutledge watched as a man was condemned to hang for the murders of elderly women. Rutledge helped gather the evidence that sent Ben Shaw to the gallows. And when justice was done, Rutledge closed the door on the case. But Shaw was not easily forgotten.
Now, seven years later, that grim trial returns in the form of Ben Shaw's widow Nell, bringing Rutledge evidence she is convinced will prove her husband's innocence. It's a belief fraught with peril, threatening both Rutledge's professional stature and his faith in his judgment. But there is a darker reason for Rutledge's reluctance. Murder brings him back to Kent where, days earlier, he'd glimpsed an all-too-familiar face beyond the leaping flames of a bonfire. Soon an unexpected encounter revives the end of his own war, as the country prepares for a somber commemoration on the anniversary of the Armistice. To battle the unsettled past and the haunted present at the same time is an appalling mandate.
And the people around him? among them the attractive widow of a friend, a remarkable woman who survived the Great Indian Mutiny; a bitter, dying barrister; and a man whose name he never knew--unwittingly compete with the grieving Nell Shaw. They'll demand morethan Rutledge can give, unaware that he is already carrying the burden of shell shock? and the voice of Hamish MacLeod, the soldier he was forced to execute in the war. The killer in Marling is surprisingly adept at escaping detection. And Ben Shaw's past is a tangle of unsettling secrets that may or may not be true. Rutledge must walk a tortuous line between two murderers...one reaching out to ruin him, the other driven to destroy him.

"From the Hardcover edition.


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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ BANTAM DELL; 1st edition (15 July 2003)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0553583174
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0553583175
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 10.8 x 2.03 x 17.27 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 364 ratings

About the author

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Charles and Caroline Todd are a mother-and-son writing team who live on the east coast of the United States. Caroline has a BA in English Literature and History, and a Masters in International Relations. Charles has a BA in Communication Studies with an emphasis on Business Management, and a culinary arts degree that means he can boil more than water. Caroline has been married (to the same man) for umpteen years, and Charles is divorced.

Charles and Caroline have a rich storytelling heritage. Both spent many evenings on the porch listening to their fathers and grandfathers reminisce. And a maternal grandmother told marvelous ghost stories. This tradition allows them to write with passion about events before their own time. And an uncle/great-uncle who served as a flyer in WWI aroused an early interest in the Great War.

Charles learned the rich history of Britain, including the legends of King Arthur, William Wallace, and other heroes, as a child. Books on Nelson and by Winston Churchill were always at hand. Their many trips to England gave them the opportunity to spend time in villages and the countryside, where there'a different viewpoint from that of the large cities. Their travels are at the heart of the series they began ten years ago.

Charles's love of history led him to a study of some of the wars that shape it: the American Civil War, WWI and WWII. He enjoys all things nautical, has an international collection of seashells, and has sailed most of his life. Golf is still a hobby that can be both friend and foe. And sports in general are enthusiasms. Charles had a career as a business consultant. This experience gave him an understanding of going to troubled places where no one was glad to see him arrive. This was excellent training for Rutledge's reception as he tries to find a killer in spite of local resistance.

Caroline has always been a great reader and enjoyed reading aloud, especially poetry that told a story. The Highwayman was one of her early favorites. Her wars are WWI, the Boer War, and the English Civil War, with a sneaking appreciation of the Wars of the Roses as well. When she's not writing, she's traveling the world, gardening, or painting in oils. Her background in international affairs backs up her interest in world events, and she's also a sports fan, an enthusiastic follower of her favorite teams in baseball and pro football. She loves the sea, but is a poor sailor. (Charles inherited his iron stomach from his father.) Still, she has never met a beach she didn't like.

Both Caroline and Charles share a love of animals, and family pets have always been rescues. There was once a lizard named Schnickelfritz. Don't ask.

Writing together is a challenge, and both enjoy giving the other a hard time. The famous quote is that in revenge, Charles crashes Caroline's computer, and Caroline crashes his parties. Will they survive to write more novels together? Stay tuned! Their father/husband is holding the bets.

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Top review from Australia

Reviewed in Australia on 31 August 2015
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V J Goodwin
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 April 2014
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Andrew Bartlett
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 July 2014
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Vesper
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable mystery
Reviewed in Canada on 6 December 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars I thoroughly enjoy this series
Reviewed in Canada on 13 October 2017
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Nancy
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Series
Reviewed in Canada on 20 July 2016
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