Wings of Fire (Inspector Ian Rutledge Series #2)

Wings of Fire (Inspector Ian Rutledge Series #2)

by Charles Todd

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Wings of Fire (Inspector Ian Rutledge Series #2) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Todd has insight into the effects of injury and combat fatigue on soldiers of WWI and their reentry into society in the early part of the 20th century. The story is good and Rutledge's involvement in it is believable without being heavy handed. I'm looking forward to No. 3.
Onthefly More than 1 year ago
A little predictable. Still long winded in conversation. Volume 3 is even better though.
nprfan1 More than 1 year ago
I was less than impressed with Todd's first Ian Rutledge mystery, primarily because his resolution (and the identity of the killer) came quite literally from nowhere. But Todd seems to have hit his stride with his sophomore entry. Rutledge is still on the outs - to put it mildly - with his superior in Scotland Yard, and is sent by him to fulfill a request made by an influential family in Cornwall. Were a series of recent deaths accidental or suicide? Everyone seems to think that they were one or the other, but the more Rutledge finds out the more he becomes convinced that the truth is quite different - and far more sinister - than what the Yard and the locals believe. Unlike the previous novel, the solution to this mystery is completely logical - but there are a lot of false leads and convolutions that didn't let me guess the truth until very close to the end. Rutledge's "alter ego" - Hamish, the Scotsman he had to have shot for cowardice during World War I, and who now "lives" inside Rutledge's head - is somewhat less annoying than in the first entry in this series, but in his way he assists Rutledge in arriving at the truth. I am definitely looking forward to reading more novels in this series, but I wish that Todd would get rid of Bowles, Rutledge's idiot of a superior officer. The man seems to serve no purpose other than to set up the conditions for Rutledge to travel to the scene of the crime, and his personality is nothing short of a pompous ass.
TravelerPS More than 1 year ago
This #2 book about Inspector Rutledge was very intriguing because it had me guessing until the very end of who killed the sister/writer and her brother and a second younger brother. Each clue was placed carefully throughout the book, yet I didn't guess the ending. I never read the ending first, like some readers do. I prefer to work the clues and see if my deduction is what the author intended. It is a pleasure to read of this post WWI time period that has no technology. TV was not invented until the 1940s,so it is not mentioned either. I envision the English countryside as well-described. The book takes me back to a time when people had 'real relationships/people interactions' and worked their gardens as both a hobby and for food production after WWI. A 'must read' for new Charles Todd fans. I have ordered book #3 and plan to read this series. I have read all four of the Bess Crawford books (#5 yet to be released). I know I will enjoy jotting down the Inspector's clues and see if I can 'deduct' his ending as he discovers it also. A great book that was hard to put down! I would recommend this book for a book club discussion group and it is for mystery readers who enjoy intricate details to a plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too many characters. Not as compelling as his first.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This 2nd Ian Rutledge novel is just as well written as the first.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The writing and characterization merit 5 stars, but the murderer is glaringly obvious very early in the book. So much so that it strains the reader's credulity to believe Rutledge could go so far wrong for such a long time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
enjoyed all the books I have read in the Inspector Rutledge series - very much
lotto53 More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book. Read all of this writers work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
in+the+style+of+Victorian+writers+with+that+insightful+poignancy+that%27s+relateable+in+the+souls+of+modern+readers%2C+this+story+captivates+beginning+to+end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my third Inspector Rutledge crime novel and I have not been disappointed yet. Masterful storytelling by Charles Todd, can’t wait to commence my next read.
Marshrat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While well written, I found this book to be less enjoyable to read than A Test of Wills. The characters' relationships were just confusing enough to make for slow reading for me. I look forward to reading the 3rd book in the series to see how Rutledge develops.
AdonisGuilfoyle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I still like Inspector Rutledge, and will definitely read more of the series, but there is just some vital spark lacking from this mystery. Still considered an embarrassment/potential threat by his superior at Scotland Yard, Rutledge is dispatched to Cornwall to solve an unusual trio of deaths in one family, two suicides and an apparent accident. He learns that one of the suicides was a famous poet whose insightful verse about the war helped Rutledge himself to survive the aftermath of the trenches, and this fact threatens to prejudice his investigation.The formula is there for a great story: the atmosphere and setting of a Du Maurier novel, Christie-esque characters and plotting, and a pitch-perfect reproduction of post-war England, but the tension is stretched too thin. Rutledge is lead to first one conclusion and then another as facts and secrets are revealed, but the clues are paced to intrigue and not confuse the reader - it's just that the resolution could have been tighter. I did finish, because I wanted to confirm my suspicions, but it took more of my time than a book of this size would normally demand.
bezoar44 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Second in a long series; better than the first. The main character, an inspector with a split personality as a result of having experienced the horrors of World War I, is more functional and more appealing in this volume. Both books require strenuous suspension of disbelief for the backstories to hang together, but the atmospherics and the sleuthing works. Still some problems with the wrap-up, which doesn't come out of left field this time, but turns back to a solution eliminated with some finality by the inspector -- and, here's the problem, by the authors as well -- much earlier in the story.
Joycepa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
2nd in the Inspector Rutledge of Scotland Yard series, set in post-World War I.Rutledge, having just come back from solving his last case in Warwickshire, is shuffled off to Cornwall by his jealous superior, Bowles, who doesn't want the possibility of Rutledge muscling in on the glory of finding a serial killer. There really isn't a case; a relative of two members of the landed gentry who have committed suicide has asked the Home Office to send an investigator to make sure that all has been handled properly. Rutledge has been assigned what looks like a fool's task so that he is out of London and away from a high-profile case as well as in the hopes that he will fall flat on his face and give Bowles something with which to damage Rutledge's career. Rutledge arrives in Borcombe to find yet another dead body, this time from an accident, and a baffling inability to make any sense out of the family of the suicides and what really might have happened. Was it a double suicide or was it really murder-suicide? Instead of the usual police procedures, Rutledge looks for motive as a way of determining if there was a murder and who, then was the killer.While better than the first book, Test of Wills, Todd still is unable to pull off what has the potential for a very good series. His background--post World War I Great Britain and his incorporation of the horrors of the Great War itself into his plots--is extremely well done. But the psychological approach simply does not come off. Rutledge in his mind is simply too analytical, too self-absorbed to make his character really credible. The voice in his mind, that of his dead corporal Hamish McCloud, which is the physical manifestation of his shell shock, is not well done. Todd can't seem to make up his mind if Hamish is the voice of Rutledge's conscience, his survivor's guilt, or some supernatural manifestation who comments on places and events that Rutledge can not possibly know about. Additionally, Hamish gets the worst writing in the book--he "grumbles" and "rumbles" a great deal, "growls'" too much, and "stirred" too restlessly. The character simply does not work.The minor characters are adequate, although Chief Inspector Bowles is really badly done as the villain--it's a poor imitation of Chief Inspector Racer in Grimes' Richard Jury series; Racer is a wonderful character in his own right, while Bowles is a stick figure.While the plot is good, Todd does some unfortunate things at the end, leaving gaps in the reader's understanding, loose ends that are never tied up, leaving a sense of dissatisfaction with the resolution.Despite its potential, there's just not enough to keep me reading this series.
FicusFan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the Ian Rutledge mystery series. I found the series because it was a choice of my RL Mystery book group. I read the first 2 for the group, but will continue the series on my own because they are well written and interesting.In this story Ian is sent to another village in the country, Cornwall this time. A poet and her brother commit suicide, and then another brother falls down the stairs and dies. Another family member asks a relation, a minor lord in the Home Office (?) to send someone to find out if the deaths were really what they seem. The family is age old local gentry, and the poet was famous for her war poetry, though she used an assumed name.Ian is sent by his superior Bowles, who is trying to sabotage him. Sent without all the information, Ian and his haunt/illness Hamish, a lasting present from WWI, are supposed to discretely determine if murder is afoot.Hamish is the sergeant that Ian executed at the front for refusing to advance. He has been verbally 'haunting' Ian since he woke up in the hospital. Ian suffered from shell shock after being buried alive in a bomb blast in a trench at the front. Ian keeps Hamish a secret, otherwise he would be judged crazy and sent back to the hospital.Hamish is angry and vindictive and tries to upset Ian, but sometimes he forgets and actually helps Ian with his detection. The reader is never sure if Hamish is part of Ian's diseased mind, or is really a separate entity haunting Ian (a bit of fantasy). Ian is very rattled to learn the dead poet was a woman, since he found that she was spot on about being at war and on the battlefield. The poet a woman, and a cripple, was never at the front even in a supporting capacity, so how does she come by her knowledge ?This story is a very tangled one about the most recent generation of the family in question. The mother married 3 times and had multiple children and a step son. Those remaining alive are suspects that Ian has to question, but they are all outraged (except for the secret requester) that the police are involved. The locals also have knowledge of the family secrets and wish to protect them. Ian finds that he has to look into many more than 3 family deaths, all while not upsetting the family and the locals.I really liked it, even more than the first book. The only problem is towards then end the list of suspects is dwindling, and Ian makes a statement that gives it away. Good writing, great characters, wonderful setting, and an intricate plot, just a great read.
ckNikka on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
a poet... a murder... a family with a dark past... siblings who don't like each other... all the elements of a good English mystery... plus a main character who still fights his inner demons from the horrors of WWI and the trenches
kaulsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My reasons for choosing this mystery can be laid at Kinsey Millhone's door: she is constantly reminding us how much she enjoys Ian Rutledge mysteries.It wasn't until I re-met Hamish that I remembered [The Red Door]--one of the first books I ever read for EarlyReviewers.The book didn't let me go, even after I figured out "who dunnit," but it is not a book I would choose to read a second time. I suppose I will give Charles Todd one more chance and see how I feel after that one!
richardderus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A more assured second outing for a mystery series that is becoming an addiction! This is a very well-written novel that happens to have a mystery at its center. The role of Hamish-the-voice is a little skimpier this time, not quite as loud on the page; I'm not sure that's entirely to my liking, but I think it's probably the best way to treat that difficult character. He could be a very great distraction, used too freely, though I find him fascinating...sleuth and sidekick only need one body!I'm always interested in stories set in Cornwall, as this one is. It's such a different place, one that doesn't seem quite like England but undeniably is; it's so isolated (in English terms) from the main flow of the country that it seems to have all the advantages of being foreign...mystery, exoticism...without the inconvenience of learning a foreign language. Necessarily, that is, since a determined (an American would say "bloody-minded") effort is underway to "save" the Cornish tongue.Inspector Ian Rutledge's work in this small Cornish village, whose Hall has seen three rapidly succesive deaths, is to determine with his London experience whether the local force did its job properly in ruling the deaths accidental or suicides. You can imagine that puts the backs up of pretty much the entire village as the news spreads! No one likes his territory big-footed across by the Big Noise from the City. It's just never a popular thing, and as the newsvine spreads the fact that it's a member of the Hall family...a cousin...who called in the Londoner, feeling runs even higher.Todd examines how people, no matter their connection to events, respond to them with fierce passion. A simple childhood slight, an accident of observation, a detail changed by a fearful witness in a larger plan...all these play their role in creating and then sustaining a mystery that has at its heart the simplest of human motivations: Envy. Coming fresh off the Great War, this trope has special poignance, since it was largely the German Kaiser's envy of his cousins that set the conflict in motion.I would recommend reading these books in order. I hope you'll give them a shot. They're good psychological novels that happen to come in a series and feature the same protagonist(s). Gladly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lives up to Todd's previous work. Engaging read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everything a good mystery should be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even better than the first I think.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The storyline was interesting and the ending was amazing.