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Publisher's Summary

Charles Todd returns to the world of Scotland Yard’s Inspector Ian Rutledge in a series that the New York Times Book Review called “harrowing psychological drama” and the Washington Post Book World hailed as "among the most intelligent and affecting being written these days". This time the embattled Inspector has met his match hunting a brutal killer across a frozen hell and the one witness who may have survived a crime of…a cold treachery.

"You’ll hang for this - see if you don’t! That’s my revenge! And you’ll think about that when the rope goes around your neck and the black hood comes down..."

Called out by Scotland Yard into the teeth of a violent blizzard, Inspector Ian Rutledge finds himself confronted with one of the most savage murders he has ever encountered. Rutledge might have expected such unspeakable carnage on the World War I battlefields, where he’d lost much of his soul - and his sanity - but not in an otherwise peaceful farm kitchen in remote Urskdale. Someone has murdered the Elcott family at their table without the least sign of struggle. Was the killer someone the young family knew and trusted? When the victims are tallied the local police are in for another shock: One of the Elcotts’ children, a boy named Josh, is missing. Now the Inspector must race to uncover a murderer and to save a child before he’s silenced by the merciless elements - or the even colder hands of a killer. Haunted and goaded by the soldier-ghost of his own tortured war past, Rutledge will discover the tragedy of war that splintered one marriage - and pulled together another. Love, jealousy, greed, revenge - or was it some twisted combination of all of them? Any one could lead a man or woman to murder. What had the Elcotts done to ignite their killer’s rage? With time running out, Rutledge knows all too well that such a cold-blooded murderer could be hiding somewhere in the blinding snow.…

©2005 Charles Todd (P)2014 Recorded Books

What listeners say about A Cold Treachery

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Enjoyable listening!

I am currently listening to this series, and enjoying it very much. I feel it is well-written and well-narrated. No objectionable language, no sexual situations. A nice, pleasant listening experience. This particular story was no exception. I thought I had figured out who the murderer was, but I was wrong. Moving on to the next one......

7 people found this helpful

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A solid addition to the series

As with most series, if you have liked the previous books, it is very likely you will like this one.

It is a generally well plotted mystery with interesting characters and enough red herrings to keep the reader/listener guessing. I did have a strong suspicion who the killer was a good way into the story, but there were enough solid "clues" to keep me reading to make sure.

I did enjoy the book, but it was not without issues for me. Rutledge again goes potty over a female. It isn't that he gets attracted in almost every book, but that his good sense seems take a leave of absence when he does. It wasn't quite as egregious in this one, but it is enough of a trope in the series that it did cause eye-rolling.

The book also seemed to drag in places, which is rare for these books (at least for me).

My biggest complaint (and the reason it is 4 and not 5 starts for me) is the abrupt ending. After introducing all these interesting characters, the authors just drop them like a hot potato. The endings are "here is your murderer...the end". What happens to the boy? What was the fall-out from Bowles? You don't need war and peace, but some wrapping up of the stories you start would be nice. These abrupt endings seem to be the norm with this series and it is annoying.

3 people found this helpful

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The best Ian Rutledge mystery yet

I adore all the prior Ian Rutledge mysteries but this one is my favorite. The narration is perfect, characters well developed and diverse and great mystery.

3 people found this helpful

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Gruesome Family Murder at the Kitchen Table 😨

This one gripped me at once and I held on for dear life throughout the entire book. The climate is cold and a blizzard threatens to sideline Rutledge's investigation into the frightful murder of an entire family . . . except for one boy . . . slain at the table and left in their own blood. Somehow ten-year-old Josh escaped the butchery. And despite the search for him, he hasn't been found . . . leading some to believe it was he who killed his own family. As usual, Scotland Yard pushes for the quick and easy solution . . . but Rutledge, ever cautious and thorough, weighs his options, and has his hands full with the local constable who swears that it can't be a local who committed the murders. Rutledge, with Hamish haunting him, chiding him and always making him second guess himself, still manages to stay the course. The story of Josh stole my heart, and the whole tale of the hard life of those living in the remote area of Urskdale hit hard. This one is at the top of the best in this series.

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Once Again With Charles Todd

Another entertaining and well written story with well matched narration from Charles Todd. Could not stop reading until the very end.

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Another excellent offering from Charles Todd

They never disappoint, even in a second read/listen, which i intend to do, quickly, to tie up any loose ends dangling in my own head, and simply for my own keen enjoyment!

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Snowbound

This is absolutely the worst Rutledge novel. The endless descriptions of the snowy landscape make one long for an avalanche to kill everyone. Something a bit interesting escapes every three chapters but the reader won’t notice it because he is asleep.

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overall a good performance interesting story

another interesting story with lots of twists and turns bringing to light PSD issues and issues in small towns and trying to get to the truth. I can only say again that the author's lack of wrapping up details at the end of the story and just having a ending is annoying to me.

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Intense

intense and interesting. I always love Ian Rutledge and the strings of these books. This one was a little bit frustrating, but worth it in the end.

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A great listen

Charles Todd doesn’t disappoint. Samuel Gillies didn’t either. I look forward to another Rutledge mystery.

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  • Mrs Maureen Cate
  • 04-13-18

Superb series...

I adore these books and am slowly working my way through the series. Inspector Ian Rutledge is a complex and intriguing character who earns my respect and admiration.
All the stories I have listened to so far paint a clear picture of 1919 and how WW1 had lingering, sometimes devasting effects on many of the characters we meet in the books. Not least Rutledge himself.

There is just one thing that grates (but I am a pedant!) that has been explained by my recent discovery that the joint authors are American. In 3 of the books I have heard anachronisms. No lady in 1919 would have asked 'do you take cream in your tea?' The English would offer milk. The word 'gotten' would never be heard and hopefully still isn't. Finally, in this book, a lady's handbag would not have been referred to as a 'purse'.

Overall, however, the books I have listened to so far display a wonderful, historical picture of lives and living in 1919 England and Scotland.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Rogayah
  • 03-26-16

An appalling slaughter

Rutledge is sent by Bowles into the Fells in mid-winter to look into who had murdered a farmer and his family. The bitter weather and the taciturn locals make it difficult for him to get to the truth and to the murderer at the end of this chilling case.

This story was not as interesting as some of the others, but the need to know which of the many suspects was the killer held me to the end. The narrator's slightly soporific voice seemed to emphasize the slow-pace of this story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-09-21

A Great Read

This is another great read in the Insp.Rutledge series.It had all the twists and turns and kept me enthralled to the last page. Highly recommended for mystery story readers.