Pale Horse, A (Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries) Hardcover – 1 Jan 2008
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About the Author
Charles Todd is the New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother-and-son writing team, they live on the East Coast.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Rutledge is sent on a watching brief for the Army because someone they are keeping an eye on has disappeared. Rutledge has nothing to go on because the Army isn't talking and Chief Superintendent Bowles doesn't want any feathers ruffled. Rutledge drives to the tiny village in Berkshire which sits practically beneath the chalk horse carved into the hillside, not far from Uffington. It is clearly impossible for him to remain unobserved by the other eight residents of the enclave of cottages. All of these people have chosen to isolate themselves, even from the villagers, because of hidden secrets in their lives. After several days Rutledge returns to London, only to be sent immediately to a village in Yorkshire where an unidentified man has been found, presumably the victim of a murder.Read more ›
The story begins with a group of schoolboys experimenting with alchemy by moonlight in the ruins of an abandoned Abbey. To their horror, they discover that they have apparently raised the devil himself, and swearing each other to secrecy, they run off into the night. The next morning, the body of an unidentified man is discovered in the ruins, dressed in a hooded cloak and gas mask, and next to his foot is a book on alchemy, property of the schoolmaster Albert Crowell.
Thus begins a long investigation into the identity of the dead man, the interrogation of the schoolmaster as a murder suspect, a couple of false trails, and the uncovering of a big cover-up by the British War Office. Along the way, sub-stories relate the circumstances leading to the death of Hamish and also the love life of the Inspector's sister Frances.
The trail takes Rutledge to a group of tiny houses in Berkshire, his job being to observe a man named Gaylord Partridge. The tourist attraction in the area is a huge figure of a horse, cut into the chalk in prehistoric times, and preserved in perpetuity galloping tirelessly along the hillside. Under the pretext of doing some horsing around on the cliffs, Rutledge learns that Partridge has disappeared, as he has been known to do on occasion, and that the occupants of the cottages all have secrets they'd rather keep hidden.Read more ›
None more so than in this story with its background of gas attacts used as a deadly weapon in this terrible war.
This mother and son, that is Charles Todd, make a remarkable and very talented duo. The descriiptions of the English coutrysides where familiar landmarks of Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire and the White Horse of the title come alive in your mind. Their connection in the story constantly taking Inspector Rutledge back and forth in his analysis of the case how it all fits together.
One tiny flaw in the plot is when it is finally establised who is responsible for certain killings and the motive behind it, it begs the question how did he go undetected by the army when their spys were on his doorstep, albeit watching someone else.
Still you will have read to the end to see what you think.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really enjoy these books. So well written and researched. Hope the authors do not run out of ideas. As usual, "unputdownable"Published on 3 Oct. 2013 by Linda Smith