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Watchers of Time: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Novel: 5 Mass Market Paperback – 15 July 2002

4.4 out of 5 stars 422 ratings

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Review

"If anyone can turn a simple village mystery into a brooding Greek tragedy, it's Charles Todd. . . . Todd handles grave issues with great compassion"--The New York Times Book Review

"One of the best historical series being written today . . . In the grand tradition of English murder mysteries."--The Washington Post Book World

"With his tortured detective Ian Rutledge and the ghost who inhabits his mind . . . Charles Todd has swiftly become one of the most respected writers in the mystery genre. . . . The pair is unique among sleuths."--The Denver Post

"Outstanding. Todd's portrait of Rutledge and postwar England remains powerful."--Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine

From the Back Cover

In his latest novel, bestselling author Charles Todd brings his classic mystery series to a new level of intensity and intrigue. The year is 1919, and Ian Rutledge is a fragile yet courageous former soldier searching for his place in a postwar world. Now a Scotland Yard investigator, Rutledge is called upon to probe a small-town murder -- and discovers that it may be connected to one of the greatest disasters of all time....
Watchers of Time
In Osterley, a marshy Norfolk backwater, a man lies dying on a rainy autumn night. While natural causes will surely claim Herbert Baker's life in a matter of hours, his last request baffles his family and friends.
Baker, a devout Anglican, inexplicably demands to see the town's Catholic priest for a last confession. The old man dies without knowing that the very priest who gave him comfort will follow him to the grave just a few weeks later -- the victim of an appalling murder.
The local police are convinced the evidence points to an interrupted robbery, and have named a suspect, Matthew Walsh. But the dead priest's bishop insists that Scotland Yard oversee the investigation. A simple task for Rutledge, a man not yet well enough to return to full duty.
The Inspector draws on years of experience and a war-honed intuition as he finds himself uncovering secrets that the local authorities would prefer not to see explored. Surely, they reason, it is better to charge an outsider -- Matthew Walsh -- with murder than to learn that someone in this tightly knit community would commit such a horrendous crime. And yet there are those, Rutledge soon discovers, who held grudges against the priest that had little to do with God or theChurch.
No one in Osterley is aware that Rutledge hears voices -- or, rather, one haunting voice: that of a soldier he was forced to execute during the War. It is with the voice of Hamish MacLeod, by turns second-guessing and taunting him, that Rutledge begins a journey toward the devastating truth that will unlock the secrets of Osterley and pare away its layers of deception.
And in piecing together a different story, Rutledge encounters a chain of events that stretches from these brooding marshes to one of the greatest sea disasters in history -- the sinking of the "Titanic. Who is the mysterious woman who may have boarded that ship ... and who is the secretive woman who survived it? Rutledge comes to believe that he alone can stop a killer from striking again.
Deftly capturing the anguish of a man haunted by his tragic past, Watchers of Time delves beneath a cast of unforgettable characters to examine a mystery even greater than murder: the mystery of what is right and what is wrong after the world has committed the sin of war.

"From the Hardcover edition.


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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ BANTAM DELL; 1st edition (15 July 2002)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 448 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0553583166
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0553583168
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 10.67 x 2.54 x 17.27 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 422 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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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
422 global ratings
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Top review from Australia

Reviewed in Australia on 31 August 2015
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Top reviews from other countries

Johnny G
4.0 out of 5 stars On par
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 March 2013
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Maureen G.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 May 2017
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Fiona Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written. Holds the attention until the end.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 April 2015
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Guy Gaudrault
1.0 out of 5 stars ... Todd book is the only one I did not like. It was long
Reviewed in Canada on 20 November 2017
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Patty R.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully written.
Reviewed in Canada on 17 September 2015
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