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The Gate Keeper: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery    by Charles Todd order for
Gate Keeper
by Charles Todd
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2018 (2018)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In The Gate Keeper, by Charles Todd, readers find Ian Rutledge with time on his hands. Having just attended his sister Frances' wedding, he decides he is not ready to return to his post as a Scotland Yard detective and drives the other direction from London to take some time to himself. Of course, Hamish, the voice that resides in the back of Rutledge's head travels with him a leftover of World War I.

As he follows a country road, Ian comes upon a nasty scene. A motorcar stands still and a body lies in the middle of a country lane. A woman stands over this body, covered in blood. He surely can't just drive by. He stops to do what he can and is told that the man has been shot. Obviously the man is dead.

The woman tells Rutledge that an unknown person stopped their motorcar. When the driver stepped down to the road, the other man pointed to the driver with a gun, asked him something and then shot him dead! The woman did not know the assailant and was close to hysteria. Rutledge felt, since he had happened on the gory scene that the case of the missing shooter should be his.

And so begins Rutledge's newest journey into the realm of murder. Hamish has a lot to say in this, the twentieth novel of the Ian Rutledge series. The plot of The Gate Keeper is intricate, twisting back on itself at times while Rutledge quietly fights to keep jurisdiction on the case. The characters are finely tuned and definitely belong in the villages where they abide.

I enjoy Hamish's contribution in his thick Scots brogue. He is easy to accept in the story; he seems to belong there, although Rutledge may not agree with you. Charles Todd is in reality a mother and son writing team who have provided their readers with meticulously researched English wording and accents. This makes the characters come alive.

It's an intriguing mystery. And with the name of Charles Todd on the cover, I will always be willing to settle down and enjoy my time with a favorite author.

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