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Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Babcock Library - Ashford M Tod (Text to phone) 33110144166855 Adult Mystery Available -
Beacon Falls Public Library FIC Tod (Text to phone) 3312000024784E Adult Fiction Available -
Douglas Library - North Canaan M TOD (Text to phone) 33490000070684 Adult Mystery Available -
Hagaman Memorial Library - East Haven M TODD (Text to phone) 31953001652232 Adult Mystery Available -

Record details

Subject: Rutledge, Ian (Fictitious character) Fiction
Police England Fiction
Genre: Mystery fiction.

Syndetic Solutions - Excerpt for ISBN Number 9780060786731
A False Mirror
A False Mirror
by Todd, Charles
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Excerpt

A False Mirror

A False Mirror An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery Chapter One Hampton Regis Early February, 1920 It was a bitterly cold night of frost, the stars sharp and piercingly bright overhead. He pulled the motorcar to the verge and settled to watch the house that lay directly across the black expanse of water. It stood out against the sky, amazingly clear. Even from here he could tell there were lamps burning in three of the rooms. He could picture them in his mind: at the rear of the house--the sitting room, very likely. In the entry, where the pattern of the fanlight over the front door shone starkly against the deep shadows there--behind it the staircase, of course. And one on the first floor, under the eaves. Their bedroom, surely. The sitting room lamp went out after half an hour. He could see, for an instant, the grotesque silhouette cast for a moment or two against the drawn shades as someone reached out to turn down the flame. And then the silhouette reappeared briefly in the fanlight just as the second lamp was extinguished. He leaned forward, his concentration intense, then swore as the windscreen clouded with his breath. Were there two people in the bedroom now? He couldn't bear to think about it. He couldn't bear to picture her in another man's arms, wrapped in the warmth of the bedclothes, whispering softly, her hair falling over his shoulder and across his chest. . . . His fists pounded angrily on the steering wheel as he tried to force the images out of his mind. And then the last lamp went out, leaving the house in darkness. Shutting them in . While he sat there, like a fool, in the windless night, cold and wretched. It was the fourth time he'd driven into Hampton Regis. He had promised the doctor he'd do no such thing. But the temptation was too strong, overwhelming his better judgment. Haunted by the need to know, he had told himself that once would do no harm. But once had become twice. And now here he was again. Dr. Beatie had said, "Stephen--you aren't healed yet. Do you understand? Emotional distress could put you back here, in a worse state than before!" Both of them knew it was a lie. There could be no worse state than the one he'd somehow, miraculously, survived. He had had to kill the Captain before Dr. Beatie could set him free. He wished now it had been Matthew Hamilton who had died. He caught himself, knowing it was wrong to wish such a thing. But God, he was tired, and alone, and sometimes afraid. He wanted things the way they had been in 1914. Before the war--the trenches--the nightmares. Before Matthew Hamilton had walked into the clinic waiting room to comfort Felicity and told her--what? Lies? Or the sordid truth? That her fiancé was a coward. After a time Stephen got out to crank the motorcar, the sound of the powerful engine roaring into life and filling the cold silence. He would freeze to death if he sat here, uselessly mourning. Setting his teeth, he turned the motorcar and without looking again at the darkened house behind him, drove back the way he'd come. He couldn't see behind the silken white curtains that covered the window under the eaves a pale face staring out into the night, watching the puff of exhaust whip across the rear light, a wraith shielding its brightness until it was out of sight. Matthew Hamilton rose early, quietly throwing back the bedclothes and the counterpane that covered him, then tucking the ends around his wife's bare shoulder. Looking down at her, he marveled again at his luck. Then reminded himself that it wasn't his luck at all, but someone else's misfortune, that he had married this lovely, loving woman in his bed. Wryly turning away, he dressed quickly and then set about making up the fire so that the room would be warm for her. When it was drawing well, he went down to the kitchen and blew the fire there into life for the kettle. While he waited for it to boil, he raised the shades and looked out at the clear, cold morning. The sun was not yet up, but a pale rose had begun to streak the winter-brown lawns spreading to the cliff face overlooking the sea. The water beyond was still, waiting for the sun, and farther out there was a soft mist blanketing it. To the west, across the harbor below, the land rose up again, running out to a point a little higher than the one on which his house was set. The pair of headlands formed two arms embracing the Mole--the medieval stone pier that jutted out across the shingle to the tideline--creating a haven for shipping along England's south coast in an age when sailing ships made Hampton Regis rich. There had once been a watchtower on the far headland, built to keep an eye on Napoleon. Only ruins stood there now, overgrown at the base, a few feet of stone still reaching upward like pleading fingers. Two days ago he'd seen a vixen and her kits romping there, and he'd been touched by their exuberance, wondering how any man could hunt them down. Farmers were often a backward lot, though it was an unkind thing to say. But foxes kept vermin down, and like the old owl in the belfry at the church, deserved a better character than they'd been given. The kettle whistled behind him, startling him, and he moved quickly to lift it off the plate. He enjoyed these few minutes alone, before the maid arrived, before the house was a-bustle. He also enjoyed spoiling his wife, doing such small things for her pleasure. A far cry from his long years of exile in other countries, alone and often distrusted, the voice of London when often London had left him to his own devices. It was over, and he called himself happy. A False Mirror An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery . Copyright © by Charles Todd. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from A False Mirror by Charles Todd All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.
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