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

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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  1,924 ratings  ·  157 reviews
In the ruins of Yorkshire's Fountains Abbey lies the body of a man wrapped in a cloak, the face covered by a gas mask. Next to him is a book on alchemy, which belongs to the schoolmaster, a conscientious objector in the Great War. Who is this man, and is the investigation into his death being manipulated by a thirst for revenge?

Meanwhile, the British War Office is searchin...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published December 26th 2007 by William Morrow
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Mike
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
Deb
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
Clare
Another good read from the mother/son writing team with the pen name Charles Todd. The setting is again post-WWI and the protagonist, Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge. Still pursued by his own demons from the French battleground, he is sent to discover the whereabouts of a missing man who had isolated himself in a small enclave of cottages meant originally for lepers. The people who live in these nine cottages all have secrets, isolate themselves even from each other, and live under the visa...more
PJO
Just now getting a little more into sampling mysteries, and this seems a good one to have started with. Set in the English countryside, it contains plenty of odd characters and misfits and a smart investigator sent from The Yard to look into the case of a missing person (of interest due to his WWI participation in developing chemical agents). The clues are varied and the suspects many, even a bit of foul play by authorities. It had a nice, authentic feel to it. I sense a caring hand at work, lea...more
Beth
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...more
Paul Pessolano
This book is another in the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries. They are written by a mother/son team under the name "Charles Todd". They are mysteries that take place in England and therefore written in a format of the English mystery. The English mystery is quite different from an American mystery in that it tends to be more cerebral. You will not find it fast-paced and you will not find the shootings, car chases, or explosiveness of the American mystery.

Ian Rutledge is sent to a small English t...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
Pam
I have no recollection why I set about reading these Ian Rutledge mysteries _ I suppose one just tickled my interest and put the character in my mind so starting w/ the Wings of Fire it was 'there'...and I'm happy it is. Read lots of the Goodreads reviews for synopsis etc. From me, these are another of my preference for being transported to another time and place _ not so far a time and Britian isn't that 'mysterious' a place but, as one Goodreads critic wrote, these are an interesting mix of my...more
Patsyann
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda
What is it about March and mysteries? Last year I read a triumvirate of mystery titles in March. I saw one of Charles Todd’s Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries in a display at B&N on a recent chilly Tuesday afternoon. I didn’t buy it, but stopped at the library on the way home and picked up four titles: “Search for the Dark,” “Watchers of Time,” “A Fearsome Doubt” and “A Pale Horse.”

It was the cover image of the great Uffington White Horse, the prehistoric chalk effigy that races across the Be...more
Carl Brookins

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...more
Judy
I love this author. Charles Todd is a collaboration between a mother and a son, one living in Delaware and one in North Carolina. That they were able to write one novel together, much less 11 starring Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge, seems a miracle. I've read all of the Charles Todd books (why I haven't put them on Goodreads is a mystery to me, but I'll take care of that oversight) in the order in which they were written and I think that helps understand the continuity and development of t...more
Iowa City Public Library
I have blogged serveral times about Scandinavian mysteries. Another fairly narrow interest I have is mysteries set during or just after World War I. Charles Todd is the author that got me started. Charles Todd is the author of ten books, nine of them Ian Rutledge mysteries. The author is a mother-and-son duo that live in the United States, although the books are set in Great Britain. All of the mysteries feature stoic, war damaged, Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge, and his ghostly shadow, Ha...more
Nikki
It's now 1920, and Inspector Ian Rutledge continues to deal with the aftermath of World War I or The Great War as it was then known. A Pale Horse finds him traveling about England from London to Berkshire to Yorkshire and back again as he seeks to solve the disappearance of a man in whom the Army is taking an interest. Red herrings and suspects proliferate as everyone has something to hide. Rutledge's personal life has its trials as well, particularly the continued presence of Hamish McLeod, a...more
Trilby
After DCI Troy, Rutledge seems a Scotland Yard dullard and wimp--no sex, no vulgarity, no international political intrigue, no colorful language. Still, the slowly evolving mystery is absorbing, and the settings vivid. In fact, I picked it off the library shelf because of my fond memories of visits to the famous White Horse chalk figure in Berkshire.

Two aspects bugged me:
1) Rutledge gets pushed around by lots of people in this novel--local police, suspects, witnesses. Showing his Scotland Yard...more
LJ
THE PALE HORSE (Police Procedureal/Historical-Insp. Ian Rutledge-England-1920) – VG+
Todd, Charles – 11th in series
William Morrow, 2008, US Hardcover - ISBN: 0061233560

First Sentence: It was nearing the full moon, and the night seemed to shimmer with light.

Inspector Ian Rutledge has been sent to Berkshire, the location of the ancient Celtic chalk horse. The British War Office has lost track of one of their own and want him found. In nearby Yorkshire Fountains Abbey, the body of a man, wrapped in...more
Eva
Inspector Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard is sent by the War Office in the Spring of 1920 to find a missing man. He is given a name, but not a photograph. An address, but not the reason why the man is a concern to the War Office. He is also told to be discrete, to pretend he is a vacationer come to look at the great prehistoric horse cut into the chalk hillside above the cluster of cottages where the missing Mr. Partridge lived.

Meanwhile, miles away in another hamlet, several young boys on an erra...more
Belinda Kroll
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa Weber
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.
Wendy
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
Deirdre S.
I'd give this 3.5 stars if I had the option. It isn't really a four, when compared to previous books in this series, but it is still 'above average', to use a Lake Woebegone cliche. The plot seemed to be composed of disparate parts rather than organically growing from a single root, as most of the previous plots have been. Still and interesting gathering of characters and the period flavor as authentic in feel as it has been in other books of the series, but I didn't feel that our understanding...more
Walt
I debated as to whether or not this was four or five stars. The use of "Hamish" a ghostly Scottish voice from Rutledge's World War I battles gives a haunting quality to the whole book. It forces the reader to recognize that although Rutledge is with Scotland Yard, his nightmares from the War are always with him. I found the plot bogged down from time to time and got a little confusing as a result. I still recommend it because of the skillful way the narrative between Rutledge and Hamish weaves t...more
Miki
This is the first Inspector Rutledge book I read, and I didn't like it. At the urging of someone who really liked all the books, I read it again, and liked it better the second time, but so far it's my least favorite in this series. I got tired just reading about the inspector driving hither and yon every fifteen minutes. He drove here, he drove there, he drove back to the first place again...and again and again. He drove me nuts. And there was no real resolution to the mystery, either. I think...more
Richard Brand
Charles and his mother write evasive mysteries. I never have the feeling that I have been given all the clues nor that I am properly educated as to the challenge. This story had two different solutions and there was always the mysterious, for me, relationship with the army or the government that Rutledge just declared was a reality. There was a scientist and he had walked out of the lab and the government was supposed watching him. Rutledge had been sent to watch him as well. I do not know what...more
Zoe
Really wanted to love this, because there are so many in the series, the reader (audio version) was excellent, and because I really enjoyed Todd's Bess Crawford series. However, too many fatal flaws. Two completely seperate mysteries made for a very long book (while the authors tried to tie them togetherm they failed in the end) and some of the suspects really were virtually indistinguishable from each other. Also, much more time is spent with some suspects than others, and when the murderer is...more
Mary Ellen
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
Martha
The reader of this audiobook was excellent, which may be why I stuck with it to the end, since the plot was rather disjointed. I never did grasp the motive of the murderer, and the interplay of basically two different mysteries was confusing. I think the author lost focus at some point...
Jane
A man's body is found miles away from where he lived with a cape and his face covered with a gas mask. A book of alchemy is found close to the body. A man who is missing is of interest to the military and Inspector Rutledge is sent to check the circumstances. These story lines are intertwined in ways that are another baffling mystery. The victim had 2 daughters that are particularly vehement in their hatred. Some boys in a school with a teacher and his wife with a violent background. And another...more
Tracy
This one was less action than some of his others, but I still enjoyed it on audio as I rode Amtrak to Austin and crochetted. A man is found dead near an abby in the countryside. He has an old WWI gas mask on his face and an odd robe of sorts. The local magistrate wants to pin it on a private school master who is married to his old girlfriend. Fortunately Inspector Rutledge gets into the case and realizes the dead man is the man who has gone missing that the war department keeps an eye on. Howeve...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
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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...
A Duty To The Dead (Bess Crawford, #1) A Test of Wills (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #1) An Impartial Witness (Bess Crawford #2) Wings of Fire (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #2) A Lonely Death (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #13)

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