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

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,865 Ratings  ·  230 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
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published December 26th 2007 by William Morrow
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Community Reviews

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Aug 27, 2013 Beth rated it really liked it
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
Leland Seese
Dec 07, 2008 Leland Seese rated it it was ok
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
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
Nov 12, 2010 Wendy rated it it was ok
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
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
Dec 28, 2015 Betty rated it really liked it
The Todd Team is back on track with this absorbing read. Two mysteries for the price of one eventually come together as only Ian Rutledge with his amazing ability to analyze the clues and cut to the chase. Couldn't put this one down.
Megan McBeath Hay
Nov 18, 2011 Megan McBeath Hay rated it it was ok
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
Jun 25, 2012 Deb rated it really liked it
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
Elisha (lishie)
A bit exasperating but still Ian Rutledge... The beginning drew me in but so many twists & characters & stories @ more stories...
Sep 13, 2015 Nancy rated it really liked it
Another very good addition to this series. A few too many murders, but what can you expect...

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 searching for a missing man of their own
Lisa Johnson
Oct 27, 2014 Lisa Johnson rated it really liked it
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
Laura Edwards
Mar 27, 2015 Laura Edwards rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 19, 2015 Dorothy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A man who is of interest to the British War Office has disappeared. He is a chemist whose work during World War I was so secret that the War Office withholds information about what he did or even his real name. But they want someone to go and try to find what has happened to him. Scotland Yard sends Inspector Ian Rutledge.

It's not the first time his superiors have sent him on what appears to be a "mission impossible" since he returned to his job just over a year ago after having suffered shell s
Richard Stueber
Jul 01, 2015 Richard Stueber rated it liked it
A very complicated Ian Rutledge tale starting in April 1920. He's got problems. His sister Frances's boy friend Simon Barrington begins to avoid her. His cases with Scotland Yard take some rather bizarre turns.
A dead man is found in the ruins of Fountain Abbey in Yorkshire. Meanwhile Rutledge is sent to investigate the disappearance of a man named Gaylord Partridge from one of the nine Tomlin Cottages. They are located near the huge figure of a horse on the White Horse Downs in Berkshire (nowada
Jul 09, 2014 Clare rated it really liked it
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
Brenda Mengeling
Nov 25, 2015 Brenda Mengeling rated it really liked it
The Ian Rutledge series of mysteries by the mother-son writing duo, writing under the name Charles Todd, is generally outstanding, and A Pale Horse does not disappoint. Rutledge's career as an inspector with Scotland Yard was interrupted by serving as an officer in WWI, where he had ordered the execution of a deserting Scottish soldier, Hamish. Now back at the Yard, Rutledge is "haunted" by Hamish in a "sleuth-partner" relationship that is as complex as any in the mystery genre. His case here in ...more
Jan 02, 2016 Michele rated it liked it
This Ian Rutledge mystery was better than some of the others I've read lately. Good suspense, additional development of the Hamish angle. I love Hamish's snarky comments. Todd likes to create a multi-pronged mystery, in which there are multiple crimes/murders, and they might or might not be related. Sometimes it works, sometimes it just makes the whole book seem muddled. It worked well in this one. I appreciate how the ethics of war are often interwoven with the post-war crimes Rutledge investig ...more
I've had several patrons suggest the Inspector Ian Rutledge novels to me, since I read the Maisie Dobbs books and love that time setting between the two world wars in England. I've been listening to my mysteries on audio lately, so I gave this one a try, even though I had tried one of the Bess Crawford series and found it pretty lackluster. A Pale Horse was all right-- I wasn't terribly impressed, but neither was I disappointed. The mystery was convoluted enough that I probably should have been ...more
Nov 05, 2015 Bruce rated it it was ok
Two cases intersect. A body is found in the ruins of an old church, and Inspector Rutledge is sent to a small village where a man the army has been watching goes missing. The village is 9 houses, originally built for lepers, but never used as such. The people who live there are all hiding from something. I really like the Rutledge character, and Hamish in his head is ok too. But man, this was a dull book. Page after page of nothing happening. And in the end, who did it was not even a major chara ...more
Apr 16, 2016 Betty rated it liked it
The usual excellent mystery with London detective and shell-shocked WWI veteran Ian Rutledge. This time a gassed body wearing a cape & gas mask is found in an abandoned abbey. The local police choose their suspect because he's an ex-girlfriend's new spouse. Meanwhile Ian is asked to look into the disappearance of a recluse watched by the military for some mysterious reason. Suspects and bodies are everywhere, twists and turns abound. The ending is almost never what you think and poor Ian con ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul Pessolano
Jan 30, 2011 Paul Pessolano rated it it was ok
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
Mar 22, 2013 Pam rated it really liked it
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
Mar 26, 2015 Patsyann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 30, 2010 Linda rated it it was ok
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
Carl Brookins
May 24, 2013 Carl Brookins rated it really liked it

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
Apr 05, 2009 Judy rated it really liked it
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
Jul 22, 2008 Nikki rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
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
May 17, 2008 Trilby rated it liked it
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
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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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