Racing the Devil: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery (Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries) by Charles Todd

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Racing the DevilWartime comrades frequently form unusual alliances. Former rivals can become lasting friends through bonding over life/death experiences of any war.
It was June of 1916 when a group of seven English officers who while sharing could be their final drink, they discovered that all of them had lived within one-hundred miles of each other in southern England with each of them being very passionate with motorcars.

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Realizing that this could their last relaxing drink before returning to the Front to fight the Germans, these men agree to a challenge if they survive the war. The agreement is for each of the men to meet in Paris one-year after the war ends and to each bring a vehicle to race all the way to Nice, whether their car is a racer of not.

The race occurs with only the five survivors and becomes dangerous as the drivers approach Nice with one accident, severely injuring the former officer and another vehicle almost pushed off the road.
One year after the race another death occurred of a clergyman who died in an accident. It appears that someone hit his car while pushing it off the road while he was driving.

How does this connect to the racers? The owner of the car was one of the officers.

Inspector Ian Rutledge represents Scotland Yard in investigating the clergyman’s death. Unfortunately, the community seems to have many secrets that they are extremely reluctant to share with law enforcement. Will he be able to solve this case and to prevent others from dying?

The secrets of two villages complicate Rutledge’s investigation with two completely different personalities. These small towns are close regarding proximity but one is completely separate, even isolated due to the lack of transportation in 1920, and both are fighting for jurisdiction and not thrilled about Scotland Yard’s involvement.

Charles Todd is the combined named of a mother-son writing team of Caroline Todd and her son, Charles. The two are well known for their series of novels directly after World War I with protagonists Inspector Ian Rutledge, Bess Crawford, and Hamish MacLeod winning multiple mystery novel awards throughout the years.

Racing the Devil is an extraordinary adventure transporting every reader into the post-war years following the World War 1.