Sunday, March 13, 2011

28 of 111 A Test of Wills

A Test of Wills by Charles Todd

"In 1914, Ian Rutledge left a brilliant career at Scotland Yard to fight in the Great War. Now, in 1919, he is back, burdened with a heavy secret: he is still suffering from shell shock. With him almost constantly is the cynical, taunting voice of the young Scots soldier he was forced to have executed on the battlefield for refusing to fight.
In a desperate gamble to salvage his sanity, Rutledge takes up his duties at Scotland Yard. But a colleague, jealous of Rutledge’s pre-war successes, has learned his secret and maneuvers to have him assigned to a case that promises to spell disaster no matter what the outcome. In a Warwickshire village, a popular retired military officer has been murdered, and the chief suspect is, unhappily for the Inspector, a much-decorated war hero and a friend of the Prince of Wales.
Rutledge, fighting his malady and the tormentor in his head (who is the personification of his own doubts and guilt), doggedly goes about his investigation. He digs into the lives of the villagers: the victim’s ward, a young woman now engaged to the chief suspect; a local artist shunned because of her love for a German prisoner; the reclusive cousins whose cottage adjoins the dead man’s estate. But the witness who might be able to tell him the most is a war-ravaged ex-soldier who chills Rutledge with the realization that if he loses control of himself, he could become this man."

This book was a different from what I've been reviewing, but I have always had a love of mysteries going back to Jr. High school when I worked my way through many, many Agatha Christie books. My mom loves the Charles Todd books and highly  recommended them so I decided to give it a go.
This is an excellent book. In many ways A Test of Wills is more about Ian Rutledge dealing with his own demons (and he had some BIG ones) than the actual murder mystery, but that id definitely ok. 
This isn't the sort of book that you'll be stuck staying up all night to find out how it ends, but you will thoroughly enjoy reading it. This book is all about character and the characters and so cleverly written and designed that you will find yourself wondering about them, even when  they leave the page.
I'm glad I gave this a go and I'll be reading more Charles Todd books in the future and definitely more of the Ian Rutledge series.

4.5 out of 5

What's next

Nothing started yet but my top reads list is

Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning
Iron Crowned by Richelle Mead
River Marked by Patricia Briggs
The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

I didn't realize Iron Crowned was coming out March 1st or I would have mentioned it before. I love this (The Dark Swan) series. Richelle Mead is best known for her YA Vampire Academy series and for her Georgia Kincaid /Succubus series but I love the Dark Swan books. They are set in the Fairy realm (I know, I know,  2011 is so far the year of the Fae on my bookshelf!). They are unique and fun and I just love them. The first in the series is Storm Born and the second is Thorn Queen. If you are at all into Fairy stories I highly recommend them. I found the first two hard to find in paperback, but had them both. I was able to get Iron Crowned in paperback and my husband will be happy to know that I resisted the urge to buy the first two of the series in paperback (they must have got a couple in stock to go with Iron Crowned), but only because I really wanted to buy River Marked and unfortunately the Mercy Thompson books are hard cover when they are new releases. 

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