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A Pale Horse by Charles Todd
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A body with no identity, a missing person. This seemed a no-brainer to me. I know they had fingerprinting in the 1920s, or at least I'm pretty sure they did. I think that is one reason why I'm dissatisfied with the whole story; Inspector Rutledge behaved more as an amateur than as a Scotland Yard professional. Another reason was the dialogue. People went from calm to boiling with no reason whatsoever. There was no intelligence, cleverness or humor in the conversations. Mostly vagueness. It was tiring.

Aside from that, or in spite of it, I still found this a decent read. The setting and Inspector Rutledge himself have much promise. It is the sort of mystery I can easily read, but won't ever reread. ( )
  MrsLee | Feb 8, 2014 |
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. [book: 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 soldier Rutledge was forced to order executed during the war. Is Hamish just inside Rutledge's head, or a "real" ghost? Todd (actually a mother and son) continues to tantalize us with the reappearance of the psychic Meredith Channing -- my guess is that she and Rutledge will become more than friends at some point.
I enjoyed this book, and will keep reading new Charles Todd novels as they come out, but for some reason this one disappointed me a bit. Rutledge seemed to be floundering more than usual in his efforts to solve the mysteries. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
This one is kind of tiresome. Rutledge merely drives around, and around, and around, to repeated five-minute conversations - largely fruitless and pointless - with witnesses and suspects.

However, there are some good moments, as when "Hamish had read his mind."

" 'Kill us both, and he'll go free,' Hamish reminded him."

"He and Hamish saw her at the same time."

"Chief Superintendent Bowles lived by the philosophy, rock everyone's boat but mine." ( )
  jzdro | Mar 30, 2013 |
This is another great mystery from Charles Todd in the Inspector Rutledge series. Rutledge is an Inspector with Scotland Yard, still haunted by his experience on the battlefield of WWI, and suffering from shell shock. This story takes place in 1920 and leads Rutledge to Yorkshire to investigate a murder and to Berkshire to investigate a missing person. The British War office has a sinister interest in one of the men and Rutledge must battle the authorities as well as his own demons to find the truth.
Highly recommended. ( )
  bhowell | Jan 29, 2010 |
Oh no almost up to date and then what? ( )
  ElizabethAnnS | Jan 2, 2010 |
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To Martha Lynn, Whose voice is her gift, As words are mine . . . With much love for so many reasons. T.
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It was nearing the full moon, and the night seemed to shimmer with light.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061233560, Hardcover)

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, someone whose war work was so secret that even Rutledge isn't told his real name or what he did.

The search takes Rutledge to Berkshire, where cottages once built to house lepers stand in the shadow of a great white horse cut into the chalk hillside. The current inhabitants of the cottages are outcasts, too, hiding from their own pasts. Who among them is telling the truth about their neighbors and who is twisting it?

Here is a puzzle requiring all of Rutledge's daring and skill, for there are layers of lies and deception, while a ruthless killer is determined to hold on to freedom at any cost. And the pale horse looming overhead serves as a reminder that death is never finished with anyone, least of all the men who fought in the trenches of France.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:26 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"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, someone whose war work was so secret that even Inspector Ian Rutledge isn't told his real name or what he did." "The search takes Rutledge to Berkshire, where cottages once built to house lepers stand in the shadow of a great white horse cut into the chalk hillside. The current inhabitants of the cottages are outcasts, too, hiding from their own pasts. Who among them is telling the truth about their neighbors and who is twisting it?" "Here is a puzzle requiring all of Rutledge's daring and skill, for there are layers of lies and deception, while a ruthless killer is determined to hold on to freedom at any cost. And the pale horse looming overhead serves as a reminder that death is never finished with anyone, least of all the men who fought in the trenches of France."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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