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Watchers of Time Audiobook, by Charles Todd Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Charles Todd Narrator: Samuel Gillies Publisher: Recorded Books, Inc. Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Inspector Rutledge Mysteries Release Date: December 2013 ISBN: 9781470333485
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In his latest novel, bestselling author Charles Todd brings his classic mystery series to a new level of intensity and intrigue. The year is 1919, and Ian Rutledge is a fragile yet courageous former soldier searching for his place in a postwar world. Now a Scotland Yard investigator, he is called upon to probe a small-town murder—and discovers that it may be connected to one of the greatest disasters of all time.

Watchers of Time

In Osterley, a marshy Norfolk backwater, a man lies dying on a rainy autumn night. While natural causes will surely claim Herbert Baker’s life in a matter of hours, his last request baffles his family and friends.

Baker, a devout Anglican, inexplicably demands to see the town’s Catholic priest for a last confession. The old man dies without knowing that the very priest who gave him comfort will follow him to the grave just a few weeks later—the victim of an appalling murder.

The local police are convinced the evidence points to an interrupted robbery and have named a suspect: Matthew Walsh. But the dead priest’s bishop insists that Scotland Yard oversee the investigation. A simple task for Rutledge, a man not yet well enough to return to full duty.

The inspector draws on years of experience and a war-honed intuition as he finds himself uncovering secrets that the local authorities would prefer not to see explored. Surely, they reason, it is better to charge an outsider—Matthew Walsh—with murder than to learn that someone in this tightly knit community would commit such a horrendous crime. And yet there are those, Rutledge soon discovers, who held grudges against the priest that had little to do with God or the Church.

No one in Osterley is aware that Rutledge hears voices—or, rather, one haunting voice: that of a soldier he was forced to execute during the war. It is with the voice of Hamish MacLeod, by turns second-guessing and taunting him, that Rutledge begins a journey toward the devastating truth that will unlock the secrets of Osterley and pare away its layers of deception.

And in piecing together a different story, Rutledge encounters a chain of events that stretches from these brooding marshes to one of the greatest sea disasters in history—the sinking of the Titanic. Who is the mysterious woman who may have boarded that ship … and who is the secretive woman who survived it? Rutledge comes to believe that he alone can stop a killer from striking again.

Deftly capturing the anguish of a man haunted by his tragic past, Watchers of Time delves beneath a cast of unforgettable characters to examine a mystery even greater than murder: the mystery of what is right and what is wrong after the world has committed the sin of war.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “One of the best historical series being written today…in the grand tradition of English murder mysteries.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Rutledge, much in the manner of P. D. James’ Adam Dalgliesh, uncovers layers of ambiguity beneath the surface of apparently simple lives. That his own life is the most ambiguous of all, his own closet the most overflowing with ghosts, only adds to the sense of complexity. The crime solution here may be a bit too tidy, but the story’s rich texture more than compensates.”


  • “Rutledge is skeptical that Father James’ death is a simple case of robbery gone wrong. Was he murdered because of something he knew or had seen?…Rutledge must set aside his own problems to find out the truth. A gifted writer, Todd has once again created an intriguing mystery peopled with memorably unique characters. The depth of emotion that he expresses is truly remarkable. Highly recommended for all libraries.”

    Library Journal

  • “Atmospheric…The book’s overall theme is a compelling one: questions of guilt and responsibility after the debacle that was WWI…Like previous entries in this series, this one is psychologically astute.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Will please current fans and capture new ones…Todd deftly captures the dark atmosphere of despair and fragile hopes of post-World War I England, where no one has been untouched by the devastation. Teens will be intrigued by the combination of ghosts, the Titanic, battlefield flashbacks, and a traditional whodunit in which every character is suspect and there are no easy solutions.”

    School Library Journal

  • “Describing this book as an English countryside murder mystery is factually correct but doesn’t do justice to its writing or narration. This is a multilayered, slowly unfolding work whose author has taken the time to create real people with real motivations. Even the main character, Ian Rutledge, makes very real mistakes. Narrator Samuel Gillies is more than up to the task. His pacing and diction are terrific, and he brings the characters to life with superb shifts of his voice. Gillies keeps the book on an even keel, never getting maudlin or excessively emotional as he nears the solution. Todd has written an intelligent book; Gillies’ narration reinforces its thoughtfulness.”


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About the Author

Charles Todd is a pen name used by the American authors Caroline and Charles Todd, a mother-and-son writing team who write the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries and the Bess Crawford mysteries, as well as stand-alone novels. Their novel Proof of Guilt was a New York Times bestseller, and A Test of Wills was named one of the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association’s 100 favorite mysteries of the 20th Century and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year selection. Their novels have won the Agatha Award, the Barry Award, and the Anthony Award, as well as being finalists for several other awards.

About the Narrator

Sam Gillies is an experienced audiobook narrator whose titles include A Fearsome Doubt, Legacy of the Dead, Let It Bleed, Wings of Fire, and others.