Inspector Rutledge To Return in Charles Todd’s ‘A Fatal Lie (with Details)

Inspector Ian Rutledge, the beloved hero of Charles Todd’s New York Times bestselling series will return to bookstores on February 16, 2021, in A Fatal Lie.

Rutledge, who first appeared in the 1996 novel A Test of Wills, has become a yearly staple on the New York Times bestsellers list. Most recently, he starred in A Divided Loyalty, which came out back in February of this year, and followed the famed Scottland Yard Inspector as he took on his most challenging murder case yet. 

In A Fatal Lie, the twenty-third book in the series, Rutledge will attempt to find a killer terrorizing a small Welsh village, but in doing so, he will inadvertently uncover a much larger web of deceit than even the brilliant detective thought possible.

Check out the plot details and cover art below.

A Fatal Lie“If there’s ever been a more complex and compelling hero in crime fiction than Inspector Rutledge, I can’t think of one.”—Jeffery Deaver 

In one of his most puzzling cases, Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge must delve deep into a dead man’s life and his past to find a killer determined to keep dark secrets buried.

A peaceful Welsh village is thrown into turmoil when a terrified boy stumbles on a body in a nearby river. The man appears to have fallen from the canal aqueduct spanning the valley. But there is no identification on the body, he isn’t a local, and no one will admit to having seen him before. With little to go on, the village police turn to Scotland Yard for help.

When Inspector Ian Rutledge is sent from London to find answers, he is given few clues—a faded military tattoo on the victim’s arm and an unusual label in the collar of his shirt. They eventually lead him to the victim’s identity: Sam Milford. By all accounts, he was a good man and well-respected. Then, why is his death so mysterious? Looking for the truth, Rutledge uncovers a web of lies swirling around a suicidal woman, a child’s tragic fate, another woman bent on protecting her past. But where among all the lies is the motive for murder?

To track a killer, Rutledge must retrace Milford’s last journey. Yet death seems to stalk his every move, and the truth seems to shift at every turn. Man or woman, this murderer stays in the shadows, and it will take desperate measures to lure him—or her—into the light.



Charles Todd is a pen name for Charles and Caroline Todd, the mother and son writing team of the New York Times bestselling Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. They live on the East Coast.

Readers looking to pre-order A Fatal Lie well ahead of it’s scheduled pub date can now do so anywhere books are sold.



Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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