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A Pale Horse (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #10)
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A Pale Horse (Inspector Ian Rutledge #10)

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  3,290 Ratings  ·  261 Reviews
Late on a spring night in 1920, five boys cross the Yorkshire dales to the ruins of Fountains Abbey, intent on raising the Devil. Instead, they stumble over the Devil himself, sitting there watching them. Terrified, they run for their lives, leaving behind a book on alchemy stolen from their schoolmaster. The next morning, a body is discovered in the cloisters of the abbey ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by AudioGO (first published December 26th 2007)
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Aug 19, 2013 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a review so much as a commentary, a quiet rant, some observations, a few complaints, and perhaps (to paraphrase Socrates) to "gently blame" the Todds for all of the following:

Let me say first and again (and I blame the Todds for this, too) I LOVE this series! But I have observed and must say...
---Why are all the villagers, townsfolk, suspects, witnesses, and even victims invariably hostile, unfriendly, secretive, stubborn,manipulative, obfuscating, resentful and uncooperative to the extreme
Pamela Mclaren
Charle's Todd's Inspector Ian Rutledge carries a heavy burden: on one shoulder he carries the guilt that he feels for the death of the soldiers under him during World War I; on the other shoulder, he carries the burden of continuing to face death and its aftermath as a detective with Scotland Yard.

In this latest novel, it is 1920 and Rutledge is sent to Berkshire, in the shadow of its 'Pale Horse' created in the side of a mount, to find a man for the military. The object of his watch has disapp
Lisa Johnson
Oct 27, 2014 Lisa Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Title: A Pale Horse (Inspector Ian Rutledge #10)
Author: Charles Todd
Pages: 360
Year: 2008
Publisher: William Morrow
Inspector Ian Rutledge barely has time to breathe between cases that his superior sends him out to solve. Secretly, his boss hates Ian and is hoping he fails; then, he’ll have proof to have him removed from the force. However, Ian isn’t cooperating and keeps coming up stellar with his sleuthing abilities.
This current case takes Ian back to a place he visited as a young boy with his fa
Recommended. Have read/listened to several in series. Lead is a troubled soul but a pitbull detective, makes for an interesting read or listen - your choice. No gore, graphics some language. Audio done well, as usual, by Simon Prebble. ©2008
Carl Brookins
May 24, 2013 Carl Brookins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A classic, traditional Golden Age suspense novel from a veteran pair of savvy crime writers. The mother/son writing team persist in producing historical crime novels of excellence, taste and balance. That the stories are thoughtfully constructed with many seemingly disparate parts coming together in nicely meshed, logical progressions is a distinct advantage for the reader.

The tall incisively intelligent Scotland Yard Inspector, Ian Rutledge, is back again in another puzzler. This time his inve
Charles Todd returns to top form with "A Pale Horse." Inspector Rutledge is on special assignment for the War Department. One of their men is missing. Rutledge travels to Berkshire, a small village over which an ancient chalk horse looms, carved into the hillside. At its base stand a circle of seven cottages built years ago by a philanthropist as a retreat for lepers. The cottage occupants are all lepers of a sort. They each have their secrets that have led them to live in isolation. One is the ...more
Leland Seese
I found this installment of the Inspector Rutledge series entertaining enough. But it did bog down. I think the cause was the set-up in the small community of cottages, in which any of a number of residents could have been the killer. This device, while making it easy to tease the reader, left no distinctive or compelling leads to consider. The novel was also complicated by an early false-lead and a later false lead, both of which presented somewhat stunted characters. In the case of the first, ...more
Belinda Kroll
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Nov 12, 2010 Wendy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Maybe I've just read too much of this series in too short of a time, but this one bored me. It also confused me, but that's probably because my boredom was making me read a little too fast. I couldn't keep track of the nine inhabitants of nine different houses, and I didn't really care. I thought the man dying of TB was a young man until well after he finally died, and when the killer was revealed, I had no clear sense of who that person was, much less why they were killing people. I think I ten ...more
Sarah Messick-Milone
I like this series about a Scotland Yard inspector who suffers from shell shock after WWI. It's got a fair amount of cheese factor to it, but I'm a sucker for practically any British mystery if the atmosphere is right and Todd really does a great job with that. The last book, A False Mirror annoyed me so much (cheesy ending) that I wasn't sure I wanted to pick this one up, but the plot on this one was more engaging and satisfying. I wouldn't say the mysteries in this book are fantastic (on the ...more
Elizabeth  Higginbotham
A Pale Horse written in 2008 again finds Ian Rutledge pulled between different cases, but he keeps his eye on his case, where a man is found dead in an abbey and one constable is quick to arrest, inspired by an old grudge. Ian is called to sort out this case by watching for a man, who has disappeared and is the dead man in the abbey. Again he is an outsider, but surrounded by a cast of characters, and you wonder who to trust. We see that angry and disappointment can lead to very bad judgment, as ...more
Nov 26, 2010 Charlene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very enjoyable book. My first Charles Todd novel was one of his new series, Nurse Bess, and I thought it was a short story, labored into a novel. I was surprised when 2 friends told me how good his Ian Rutledge series was and when one of the novels appeared as a gift from a friend, I started it with some reservations . . . but this was excellent. My favorite setting for mysteries (rural England), history woven in (both WWI history and ancient, from the white chalk horse of the Berkshires), ver ...more
Megan McBeath Hay
I was really disappointed by this book. The previous books in the series have been addictive, but this one seems almost like it was written by someone else. The narrative was different and too many people were out to ruin Rutledge's career. Excessive war department secrets and conspiracies. Too much back and forth that really had no point (going from town to town). Also, too much coincidence and a way convoluted murder plan. Then to top it off, they either changed, or typed the wrong name for a ...more
C.L. Francisco
A Pale Horse, like all the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, is well crafted, beautifully written, and full of the subtleties of human nature. But Rutledge himself is the lynchpin that holds the stories together. From the very first book in the series, the notion of a shell-shocked policeman back from the fields of France and trying to hold his own among his walking nightmares has fascinated me. The darkness of his past is finely balanced by the inspector's integrity and courage, as well as by t ...more
Jun 20, 2012 Deb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspector Rutledge is sent to a small village to discover the whereabouts of Gaylord Partridge as a favor to the Army. Partridge seems to have disappeared and no one seems to know much about him. In another village, a schoolmaster is suspected of murdering a man who may be the one who caused the scarring of the schoolmaster's wife's face. And just how is Gerald Parkinson involved in all of this? AS always, Rutledge is caught in a web of deceit, and wrestles with moral dilemma. And his supervisor ...more
Dail Sams
Feb 26, 2016 Dail Sams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rutledge is sent to investigate the death of a man left in the ruins of an abbey in Yorkshire. The local police wanted to pin the death on the local schoolmaster, but Rutledge soon put an end to that possibility. With an excellent drawing of the dead man, Rutledge learns the identity of the man and his connection to top-secret work during the war to develop an even more potent gas than that the Germans were using. As Rutledge dealt with the army who had wanted to keep tabs on this researcher, fu ...more
Mary Ellen
Jan 09, 2014 Mary Ellen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am trying to read the Rutledge mysteries more-or-less in order (tricky when one relies upon the library) and I think this is the best I've read thus far. There are ultimately two mysteries going on here, and Rutledge get tangled in both, ultimately resolving both. And, unlike some of the preceding Rutledge stories, this book shows him actually solving crimes, not just spinning his wheels until circumstances solve them for him. The characters and their actions seem true to life, and I sense som ...more
Jan 05, 2013 Joanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ian Rutledge breaks my heart. On the surface, he's an upper class British officer returned from the front after WWI to resume his position as an inspector at Scotland Yard. Underneath the handsome facade, he is the ultimate casualty of a terrible war-- tortured by his memories, haunted by a decision made in the heat of battle and abandoned by his fiancée, he throws himself full force into solving the cases he's assigned. Instead of a partner or a sidekick, Rutledge has only the ghostly specter o ...more
Oct 03, 2011 Jeni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am so in love with this series set in post-World War I England. Inspector Ian Rutledge is slowly becoming whole again after the shell-shock he experienced in France. Hamish doesn't appear as prevalently in this later book as he did in the beginning of the series, and that's as it should be. I suppose he will never disappear completely, but as Rutledge continues his attempt to return to his former life as a Scotland Yard detective, it is only natural that the mental scars should begin to heal. ...more
Apr 01, 2011 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you love series of murder/mystery/suspense in historical settings than read all of the books written by Charles Todd (who is actually a mother/son writing team). The central character of this particular book is a Scotland Yard inspector who has survived the gruesomeness of World War I and is "shell shocked" but desperate not to let others know. I love a man who is the good guy but has secrets! Thus the setting is post WWI with all of its trauma,tragedy and hope.
What's not to like? Yorkshire,
Lisa Weber
Feb 03, 2014 Lisa Weber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very much enjoyed this book, the first I have read by this author. I thought the mystery the inspector was trying to solve, and its ultimate resolution, was sort of, well, weird. If that aspect of the tale had been more tightly knit and satisfying, I would gladly have rated the book 5 instead of 4. But I did enjoy the story for its own sake, good characterization, and internal thought haunted with the demons of inspector Rutlege's own past. I would read more of Charles Todd's mysteries gladly.
Sylvia Abrams
Dec 12, 2015 Sylvia Abrams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Pale Horse has even more plot twists than previous Ian Rutledge mysteries. I liked the particular story more than the previous one because Rutledge himself is more human. Todd provides much mote personal color in Ian's interactions with his sister, Frances. He also humanize a Chief Inspector Bowles by describing his work place pressures. You'll have to read the novel for the details of the actual crimes.
Mar 27, 2016 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book and different than the others of the series. It has quite the panoplay of characters and involves the identification of a murdered man whose life was destroyed in his effort to aid his country. There are a collection of societal'lepers' and there is the alienation of children from their father. Looming large is the image of the white horse carved into a hill in prehistoric times and observer of the lives in the village below.
Feb 18, 2008 Nadine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery with history lovers
Ian Rutledge is a shell-shocked veteran of WWI who returns to his job with Scotland Yard, haunted by the ghost of a young Scottish soldier he was forced to execute during the war. When this series started getting more publicity, it came out that Todd's mother helped him write them, proving that behind every successful author there is a mom and an angry Scottish ghost. Great characters, interesting history.
Dec 07, 2011 Betty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I like the Charles Todd mysteries, period. So many American writers seem to compete for finding the most gruesome, blood-curdling violence to weave into their stories. My own taste is for mysteries that aren't so bloody but that give you the pleasure of trying to figure out who did it. In Charles Todd, the reader knows everything that the detective finds out, and you can "detect" right along with Inspector Ian Rutledge. Very enjoyable!
Oct 13, 2016 Jacque rated it it was amazing
So far, this is my favorite Inspector Ian Rutledge story. Rutledge, back in the job after the war, struggles with his own demons...the voice of Hamish constantly in his mind. Now Rutledge is sent to find a scientist who previously worked for the war office on poison gases. But in classic English mystery style, things are complicated. The setting, the characters, and the mystery are artfully crafted and I was thoroughly intrigued by this one.
Jim Kelsh
Jan 05, 2013 Jim Kelsh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This, the tenth in the Inspector Ian Rutledge series may be the best yet. Rutlredge and his imaginary antagonist Hamish MacLeod, are dispatched to help the Army trace a runner. An odd red herring, a misplaced body, a strange outcast colony, and two vengeful sisters.

Really well paced with great settings and an atmospheric story. It's hard to believe that the 11 books have only covered about a year in Rutledge's life. These stories keep getting richer and more compelling.
Jun 28, 2014 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed "A Pale Horse". This is first Ian Rutledge book I have read and I liked him as a detective and liked his character. He certainly is persistent. . . a bit of an early 20th century Columbo. I am not sure I love the Hamish device although I appreciate the authors' work to help the reader understand the horrors of WWI and the horrific PTSD the veterans returned with. I intend to read more of the Charles Todd books.
Mar 10, 2011 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was not the best Rutledge. The endings usually come up quickly, as we see Rutledge solve the case, but this one came too quickly and was not well explained. Plus, it was speculation--good speculation, but not up to standards. Still, I like Todd's characters and pacing. And I've been quite taken with White Horses since we saw one in Yorkshire a few years ago. They're magnificent.
Dec 19, 2012 Clare rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I liked this one well enough, but I found the resolution of the mystery unsatisfying. I usually like to have at least some clue where the author is going, but this seemed to come out of the blue and wrapped things up in the last few pages of the book. But aside from that, I enjoy these characters and their continuing story -- the mysteries are secondary to me.
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Charles Todd is the pen name used by a mother-and-son writing team, Caroline Todd and Charles Todd.
More about Charles Todd...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Ian Rutledge (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • A Test of Wills (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #1)
  • Wings of Fire (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #2)
  • Search the Dark (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #3)
  • Legacy of the Dead (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #4)
  • Watchers of Time (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #5)
  • A Fearsome Doubt (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #6)
  • A Cold Treachery (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #7)
  • A Long Shadow (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #8)
  • A False Mirror (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #9)
  • A Matter of Justice (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #11)

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