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The Gate Keeper
Cover of The Gate Keeper
The Gate Keeper
An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery

On a deserted road, late at night, Scotland Yard's Ian Rutledge encounters a frightened woman standing over a body, launching an inquiry that leads him into the lair of a stealthy killer and the dangerous recesses of his own memories in this twentieth installment of the acclaimed New York Times bestselling series.

Hours after his sister's wedding, a restless Ian Rutledge drives aimlessly, haunted by the past, and narrowly misses a motorcar stopped in the middle of a desolate road. Standing beside the vehicle is a woman with blood on her hands and a dead man at her feet.

She swears she didn't kill Stephen Wentworth. A stranger stepped out in front of their motorcar, and without warning, fired a single shot before vanishing into the night. But there is no trace of him. And the shaken woman insists it all happened so quickly, she never saw the man's face.

Although he is a witness after the fact, Rutledge persuades the Yard to give him the inquiry, since he's on the scene. But is he seeking justice—or fleeing painful memories in London?

Wentworth was well-liked, yet his bitter family paint a malevolent portrait, calling him a murderer. But who did Wentworth kill? Is his death retribution? Or has his companion lied? Wolf Pit, his village, has a notorious history: in Medieval times, the last wolf in England was killed there. When a second suspicious death occurs, the evidence suggests that a dangerous predator is on the loose, and that death is closer than Rutledge knows.

On a deserted road, late at night, Scotland Yard's Ian Rutledge encounters a frightened woman standing over a body, launching an inquiry that leads him into the lair of a stealthy killer and the dangerous recesses of his own memories in this twentieth installment of the acclaimed New York Times bestselling series.

Hours after his sister's wedding, a restless Ian Rutledge drives aimlessly, haunted by the past, and narrowly misses a motorcar stopped in the middle of a desolate road. Standing beside the vehicle is a woman with blood on her hands and a dead man at her feet.

She swears she didn't kill Stephen Wentworth. A stranger stepped out in front of their motorcar, and without warning, fired a single shot before vanishing into the night. But there is no trace of him. And the shaken woman insists it all happened so quickly, she never saw the man's face.

Although he is a witness after the fact, Rutledge persuades the Yard to give him the inquiry, since he's on the scene. But is he seeking justice—or fleeing painful memories in London?

Wentworth was well-liked, yet his bitter family paint a malevolent portrait, calling him a murderer. But who did Wentworth kill? Is his death retribution? Or has his companion lied? Wolf Pit, his village, has a notorious history: in Medieval times, the last wolf in England was killed there. When a second suspicious death occurs, the evidence suggests that a dangerous predator is on the loose, and that death is closer than Rutledge knows.

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About the Author-
  • Charles Todd is the New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother-and-son writing team, they live on the East Coast.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from December 4, 2017
    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.

  • Kirkus

    February 1, 2018
    Inspector Ian Rutledge's 20th appearance finds him fighting for control of a case no one wants him to solve.Left unexpectedly at loose ends by his sister Frances' wedding, Rutledge, who's taken several days' leave from Scotland Yard, drives off into the night and doesn't stop until he comes upon another motorcar in the middle of the road and a woman alongside it with blood on her hands. Elizabeth MacRae tells Rutledge a wildly improbable story: a stranger stepped out into the road, stopped the vehicle, and then, after the briefest possible exchange, shot Elizabeth's companion, bookseller Stephen Wentworth, in the heart and ran off. Rutledge insists that the Yard be called in so he can snatch the case away from local Inspector Larry Reed. Reed, only two weeks married himself, is not pleased at being bypassed in favor of a man who may have been the first officer on the scene but was present as a witness rather than an officer, and the two men repeatedly clash. It's just as well that they do, for despite its name, things remain eerily quiet around the village of Wolfpit as Rutledge, driven by an anonymous accusation of Wentworth as a murderer who deserved his fate, begins his questioning. The dead man may have been impulsive--he returned from the Great War, purchased a bookshop from an old friend, and then suddenly took a trip to Peru--but he seems to have had no enemies except his monstrous mother, who's always blamed him for the death of his twin brother when they were both just 6 months old. Progress on the case is produced not by Rutledge's inquiries but by two more shootings, all linked, it becomes increasingly evident, to a medieval treatise on apples.Not the strongest outing for the memorably shellshocked sleuth (Racing the Devil, 2017, etc.). The suspects are shadowy and indistinct, the detection is slow, and the murders are both less interesting and less potent than the mystery foreshadowed by Todd's title.

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review "As always in this singular series... the melancholy tone that distinguishes the Rutledge series is a reminder that war never ends for the families and friends of lost loved ones. It just retreats into the shadows."
  • BookPage.com TOP PICK IN MYSTERY: "Readers can't ask for more than Todd's masterful plotting, terrific characters and one of the finest protagonists in modern suspense."
  • The BOLO Books Review "The best one yet... It is a rare case when a book this far into a series can still surprise, but that is exactly what The Gate Keeper does. Highly recommended for historical mystery fans."
  • SouthFlorida.com "In a series known for intelligent plots, Todd's 20th novel about Ian [Rutledge] excels. The Gate Keeper delivers an emotional novel... as well as an involving story about how the war affected other former soldiers and the families and towns to which they came home."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Exceptionally clever plot... As always, Todd... deepen[s] their crafty whodunit with a moving exploration of their astute sleuth's inner torments."
  • Wilmington Star News "For Todd fans, it's another excuse to keep reading."
  • Historical Novels Review "This mystery is one of the finest in the series... One of the best I have read by Charles Todd—very highly recommended!"
  • Newark Star Ledger "Charles Todd (actually a mother-son writing team) pulls off the voice-in-the-head device exquisitely. Moreover, the series is populated with highly nuanced characters, and the historical research is spot on. In Racing the Devil, the pacing is compelling."
  • Hank Phillippi Ryan, Anthony, Agatha and Mary Higgins Clark award-winning author of Say No More "Inspector Rutledge shares the pantheon with Morse, Rebus, and even Sherlock Holmes—a fascinating, complex, and heartbreaking hero we admire, respect, and cannot forget. Charles Todd's brilliantly evocative and historically revealing mysteries are top shelf, top drawer, and top of my list."
  • Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review "Todd writes a rich mystery, but in investigating the murder Rutledge also probes the psychic wounds of the village and tries to minister to the collective survivor guilt of the living. 'The dead,' as the voice in his head tells him, 'still believe it was worth dying for.'"
  • South Florida Sun Sentinel "Todd's rich storytelling shines in Racing the Devil, showing an England forever changed by The Great War, yet determined to survive."
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