Watchers of Time

Title:  Watchers of Time (Inspector Ian Rutledge #5)
Author:  Charles Todd
Pages:  339
Year:  2001
Publisher:  Bantam Books
Once again Inspector Ian Rutledge is sent on what would appear to be a routine, brief inquiry into an existing investigation only to be pulled into the case until its conclusion.  It is September 1919, and the inspector is recovering from a gunshot wound received on his last case.  He really isn’t physically fit to return to full duty, but recuperating in bed leaves too much time to think about what happened during the war which will drive the inspector mad.  So he is approved to go back to work part-time and in lieu of a full-time investigation, he is sent to reassure the Bishop of the catholic diocese that law enforcement is doing everything possible to solve the case of a murdered priest.
Ian arrives in the small village of Osterley where the priest was murdered.  He checks in with the local inspector and gets updated on the progress of the case.  Initially, the people he talks to are open and friendly, but once they learn he is from Scotland Yard, he is treated with a cool reserve.  He is begged by various people who knew the priest to help solve the case.  It appears that robbery was the motive, but that just doesn’t feel right to some who knew the priest.  Was the priest really as well liked as everyone claims?  Who had a motive for killing him if this was not a robbery gone wrong?  A scapegoat is captured and the inspector from Osterley is satisfied he has the right man, but Ian disagrees.  As Inspector Rutledge doggedly keeps asking questions, he eventually discovers there is much more hidden than revealed and determines that justice will be served no matter the cost.
Charles Todd does an exceptional job of revealing the mind and emotions of the scarred and unsettled inspector.  Readers see fascinating insights as to how his mind works with his guilt-ridden soul manifested in the voice of Hamish MacLeod, the man the inspector ordered executed during the war for dereliction of duty.  I also really enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the various scenes present in the setting of the case as it made me able to visual in my mind what it might look like as if I was really there.  This series of mysteries requires some deeper thinking and deeper views into how the human being thinks and feels; the raw emotions exposed and vulnerabilities laid out for the inspector to use in solving the crime.  These are not simply light-hearted “whodunits” read and the forgotten, but require readers to invest some of themselves.  I shall be reviewing A Fearsome Doubt, the inspector’s next case.
My rating is 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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