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Search The Dark (Inspector Ian Rutledge #3)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  3,324 Ratings  ·  254 Reviews
The introspective hero of Wings of Fire and A Test of Wills (Edgar Award nominee) returns in Search the Dark, a provocative new mystery by Charles Todd. Inspector Ian Rutledge, haunted by memories of World War I and the harrowing presence of Hamish, a dead soldier, is "a superb characterization of a man whose wounds have made him a stranger in his own land." (The New York ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Minotaur Books (first published May 1st 1999)
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(showing 1-30)
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Richard Derus
Rating: 3.5* of five

What on Earth are the murders of some seemingly unrelated women in the Dorset countryside to do with Scotland Yard? Well, as always, Ian Rutledge and his internal nemesis Hamish are sent where the Yard thinks they stand the best chance of getting rid of them (though the only one they KNOW they're getting rid of is Ian). As always, strict instructions are issued for Rutledge to avoid antagonizing the powerful people involved in this case; as always, he fails; and as always, Ru
Mal Warwick
What is it that keeps fans reading book after book in a series of detective novels? I should know as well as anyone, since I keep going back again and again to the work of Michael Connelly, Karin Slaughter, Henning Mankell, Jacqueline Winspear, James Lee Burke, Cara Black, John Sandford, Tana French, Elizabeth George, Sara Paretsky, and others, embarrassingly too numerous to mention. These writers have few things in common other than ingenious plotting and strong writing. There is one thing, tho ...more
Dec 28, 2009 Bee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good novel in the Rutledge series. This one wasn't my favorite, but was still a really great mystery.
Mar 11, 2009 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Another book in the Inspector Rutledge series, Search the Dark, is again set in a small English village. In this case, Rutledge is sent to investigate the death of a woman, and to help search for her missing and possibly dead children. The local police, who are not terribly welcoming to Rutledge, have arrested a man for the crime. But it is not as simple as that, being really pretty twisty! The man locked up thought he saw the wife and children he believed dead during the war getting off a train ...more
Joe Slavinsky
Jan 19, 2016 Joe Slavinsky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Suggested by my cousin Janet, I've really gotten into the Inspector Ian Rutledge novels. I'm reading them in chronological order, and this third one in the series, is no less wonderful than first two. Rutledge, who's suffering from what we now call PTSD, from being in the trenches during WWI, is attempting, with great difficulty, to recover by doing his previous job, as a homicide detective with Scotland Yard. Of course, that job(which he feels is the only thing he's really good at-or was good a ...more
Rating 4.5 stars.
Somehow the Inspector Rutledge novels turned out to be "comfort food" (so to speak) for me; something to relax me (and yes, I know it's a murder mystery).
In the third book of the series, after Warwickshire and Cornwall, Superintendent Bowles sees another chance to get Rutledge out of his sight, and as far from London as possible, when a woman is found murdered in Dorset.

Ian Rutledge, WWI veteran suffering from what we know today as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) tries t
Mar 13, 2013 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
World War I has ended--or has it? For milions of people in England and in the other countries who participated in the senseless slaughter of that war, it will never end. Inspector Ian Rutledge is physically healed, but emotionally hanging on by a thread. He carries the voice of Hamish MacLeod, a soldier he was forced to execute in France for refusing to obey a direct order, in his head. Trying to keep anyone from realizing the extent of his emotional injuries, Rutledge returns to work at Scotlan ...more
May 28, 2011 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder-mystery
Our war damaged Inspector is once again sent out by his boss to look into the murder of a woman and her missing children. The village police chief, resenting Scotland Yard's intrusion into his territory, believes he's arrested the murderer but Inspector Rutledge appears to harbor doubts. In speaking with the prisoner, he discovers another war damaged soul, but the man is horrified and shocked by what he believes he has done and cannot be drawn into speaking at length about his wife and children ...more
As usual, the book was far too long to support the mystery. Same ramblings on about things that I already had figured out. Same female character that fascinated Ruteledge, just with a different name tacked on at the end. Already at the third book, I can figure things out myself. It's very well written and deeply centered on Rutledge's thoughts, but that doesn't mean it's very interesting with the mystery and constant going over details that weren't hard to pick up if he actually thought about th ...more
Mar 12, 2016 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like this entry in the series better than the previous.

As I've been reflecting on what I like best about this novel, it really is that the authors seek to address the long-term consequences of war and trauma, that affect no only veterans, but their family and acquaintances as well. They raise a brokenness that isn't easily fixed or patched over that I think is important to acknowledge.
Oct 15, 2011 Charlene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After some non-fiction, it was nice to return to my usual British mystery. The Ian Rutledge/Scotland Yard detective series, set immediately after WWI, is is one of the best series I've read and this particular novel held my interest and was a quick read.
Dec 16, 2013 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, series, wwi
Third in the Inspector Rutledge series, set in post WWI England. Enjoyable mystery.
Elspeth G. Perkin
"Why was it that the mind was so adept at finding its own punishment?”

The Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery series has been available to the public for a few decades now and of course I am only getting around to stumbling across these sets of books. It only took a single copy but I am thankful I let my curiosity browse the back shelves one rainy day because I want to read and collect all 19 of them now. Here is a distinct collaboration I’m happy to recommend that has: irresistible settings and desc
Oct 28, 2016 Penny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good but not great

Beautiful use of the English language and sensitivity to the complexities of the mental and physical injuries brought home by those who fought in WW I. A plot that left the reader wondering until the last pages, and still not as engaging as others this author has written. It took too long to get into the book with elongated and somewhat unbelievable rushing to conclusions at the beginning of the book. Since we know that we are being set up in the beginning, I don't think it add
Doreen Farrar
Nov 16, 2016 Doreen Farrar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inspector Rutledge is coming to terms with the man he has become, and the best place to do that is outside of London. He accepts an assignment in the country and finds a much different situation than he expected. This series is darker than I usually like, but Charles Todd's skill at developing his character is drawing me in!
In this Ian Rutledge episode, he is sent to Dorset, England, to search for a woman and her 2 children who seemed to have disappeared at a railway station. When a woman's body is found, it is not the one he is looking for. It then turns out that the original witness is not particularly reliable. So, Rutledge has to sort things out while struggling with his war memories.
Feb 04, 2017 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
These are well written mysteries. This one had way too many twists and turns. I was completely surprised at the end. I knew it wasn't any of the usual suspects but didn't have the actual murderer figured out at all.
Bob Hollar
Dec 09, 2016 Bob Hollar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful series. As always, beautifully written.
Lin S.
Jan 21, 2017 Lin S. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story was long and drawn out but I did stay with it.
Jan 14, 2017 Marie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
His writing is quite convoluted. I sometimes got lost in the plot and forgot who was who...Maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention? It took too long to get to the end and I don't like being blindsided by a villain who wasn't even mentioned much.
Oct 16, 2016 Judith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite Ian Rutledge but still good.
Apr 18, 2013 Dorothy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Search the Dark is the third in author Charles Todd's excellent Inspector Ian Rutledge series, and, in my view, it is the best so far. Several other entries have followed this one and I will be interested to read them later to see just where the series goes.

But not for a while, I think. After reading the first three books in quick succession in a matter of weeks, it's time for me to move on to something else. First, though, let me tell you about this book.

Inspector Rutledge suffered terribly in
Elizabeth  Higginbotham
The war is close and this book explores what it means to many men and their families. Ian Rutledge struggles with his shell shock and panics in close quarters, but as the outside inspector has many battles with local constables, who are not doing a good job, but are quick to solve crimes.
So we see one many who is accused of murder, since he cannot cope not just with the war, but the death of his family by a bomb that hit London. We see other damaged mean and the women who want to protect them a
I might be getting tired of Charles Todd. Going back to early books I haven't read yet, I find the plots unnecessarily convoluted. But I still really care for Ian Rutledge, even when he's being a bit of an idiot, falling for a murder supect. As Hamish would say ''ware!"
I came across this book by accident, hiding on my shelf and opened it to scan the first page; later that day I closed the cover and sat back feeling I have used my time wisely.

The main protagonist in this book and all the other in this series is a Scotland Yard policeman. Newly returned from the Great War, he has his own personal demons to deal with as well as helping those who are also dealing with their demons from fighting in this war. Add to that the stress of trying to find the criminals, a
Lisa Johnson
Feb 24, 2014 Lisa Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Title: Search the Dark (Inspector Ian Rutledge #3)
Author: Charles Todd
Pages: 310
Year: 1999
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Inspector Ian Rutledge is still in the hot seat with his superior, Superintendent Bowles. As a result, he is sent away from London again on another case and out of the superintendent’s hair. This time he is sent to Dorset to discover if a man is truly guilty of killing his wife and two small children.
Ian begins asking the same questions the local authorities have asked. He
Deborah Ideiosepius  omnivorous reader
While not a bad book it is more than a little formulaic and I was not terribly impressed. I used to read a lot of detective/mystery, but I drifted away from the genera and normally only go back there is the writing is meant to be really good or there is an added interest.

In this case I thought that the period setting might be enough to add extra interest, but it is apathetically absent. We are told, almost on every page how most of the characters are just back from 'the war' but it is all tell
In the third Inspector Ian Rutledge novel the author(s)--a mother and son team writing under the name Charles Todd--continue to examine the effects of World War I on British society. A grief stricken veteran named Mowbray is arrested for the murder of a woman whom he believes is his wife who deserted him while he was away at war. The evidence seems incontrovertible that Mowbray is guilty until it appears the victim wasn't his wife at all. Did Mowbray kill another woman, a victim of mis-identific ...more
Apr 17, 2016 Ed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: British mystery fans
Charles Todd is the pen name for Caroline and Charles Todd a mother and son writing team. They have written two series. This book is part of the first one dealing with the cases of Ian Rutherford, a Scotland Yard Inspector, who is recently returned from fighting in WW I. He is bedeviled by what was called shell shock then but is now known as PTSD. He also has the illusion that Hamish MacLeod, a Scottish Corporal he was forced to execute for refusing to follow orders,. is talking to him constantl ...more
Laura Edwards
I was all set to give this book 4 stars until reading the last couple of chapters. Absolutely riveting and a completed unexpected ending. The writing, as usual, is superb.

My main problems with the story (and why it was not a straight 5 throughout, more like a 4.5) is two-fold. First, I'm really irritated by the character of Bowles. He is completely unlikable and I really don't feel he is necessary to the story. A truly unwanted distraction. Take him away and does the story suffer at all? I don'
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Charles Todd is the pen name used by a mother-and-son writing team, Caroline Todd and Charles Todd.
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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)
  • 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 Pale Horse (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #10)
  • A Matter of Justice (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #11)

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