Customer Reviews for

A Pale Horse (Inspector Ian Rutledge Series #10)

Average Rating 4
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2008

    Absorbing Post-war Tale

    The powerful and tragic effects of the gassing of soldiers during World War I is a recurrent theme in this mystery set in 1920. I enjoyed the evocation of a pre-high-tech England, especially the countryside. My only problem with this novel was an excess of characters introduced early on, who become both suspects and victims. It became confusing trying to keep them straight later on, and I never found a motive for at least one of the multiple murders. Nonetheless, I recommend it for its atmosphere and sympathetic main character, Inspector Ian Rutledge.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2008

    This horse goes the distance

    Todd's latest is an atmospheric historical mystery once again featuring police inspector and guilt-ridden WWI veteran Ian Rutledge. The disappearance of a scientist from a remote English village has Scotland Yard dispatching Rutledge to determine the man's fate despite little to go on from the War Office that instigated the search. Rutledge finds a pale drawing of a horse on a nearby hillside and a bunch of secretive villagers but little else and is then redirected to a murder with ritualistic connotations, in which the victim was posed in a hooded cloak and fitted with a gas mask, a book on alchemy near the body. Rutledge struggles to close the two cases, which may be related and possibly involve poisoned gas research during the Great War, all while haunted by the specter of a former WWI comrade who died at his hands, and the vigilant image of the horse of the Apocalypse. Here is an engrossing mystery, a fascinating portrait of a man haunted by his past (Rutledge's continued wrestling with the phantom of his dead war confederate reminds me of James Lee Burke's Billy Bob Holland, and that character's ghostly Texas Ranger partner), and a thought provoking commentary on the after-effects of war (past and current) that never gets in the way of the story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2014

    Charles Todd's stories are all very good reads!

    Since I first discovered this author, I have been reading all the stories in order. The tales of WWI are stimulating. I love his character development. Reading Hamish's thoughts in the language Ian Rutledge hears is so interesting. The story of this 'great white horse cut in chalk' and the stories presented is so riveting. Another good book !

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2013

    Another great read. Enjoying the whole series.

    I like a lot of character development and this has plenty. Suspenseful and surprising ending.

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  • Posted September 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent voice

    Part mystery, part literary fiction about a man back from the gassed trenches of the Great World War (WWI to Americans), this book was excellent. I understand it is one in a series about Ian Rutledge, and this book drew me into his world and mind so well that I want to read the entire series. Will he get over his past with Hamish, his dead friend? Read this book for an example of how to intersperse research and setting between self-reflection, dialogue, and plot. We know where we are and what we're doing, dropped into a mystery and unsure Rutledge will be able to prove who the killer is, and whether we're right about our own suspicions. But like I said, this isn't just a straight mystery. We learn so much about Rutledge in the way he reacts to people, and how he holds conversations with Hamish when alone to appease his guilt. I truly enjoyed this book, and learned a great deal from the writing style.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2010

    sandbag

    Author created an interesting leading character and does a great job writing to hold your interest. What I don't like regarding this book(and he did it in another) is that he goes entirely through the book giving the reader 2 or 3 leading suspects to consider then in the last few pages brings to light evidence that a minor character did the dirty deed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Highly Recommended

    This latest in the series is very good: Ian Rutledge remains a complex character who continues to develop in a believable way. As with others in the series, this book can stand alone, but for those readers who have followed the series, the characters continue to move forward in their lives. We are left wanting more stories from this talented writing duo.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent historical police procedural

    In 1920 five kids arrive at abandoned Yorkshire¿s Fountains Abbey with an alchemy book they stole from their school. They plan to perform a ritual to raise the devil, but instead flee in fear leaving behind the purloined tome. The next day a corpse wearing a gas mask is found near the book. --- Scotland Yard sends troubled Inspector Ian Rutledge to identify the victim as the War Office has an interest in the body too. Although the Great War to end all wars may be over, Ian still suffers from battle fatigue feeling guilty for what he did and saw. His inquiries of the nearby villagers are met with suspicion as each seems to have something to hide. The alchemy book belongs to a conscientious objector schoolmaster, but he also offers little. As deceit seems the norm, Ian struggles to learn the truth while the pale horse of the Apocalypse reminds the shell shocked detective that death is the final frontier. --- A PALE HORSE is a fantastic whodunit due to the mentally battered hero whose only respite from the ghost that disturbs him is investigating as this is what he did before he became an unrecognized war ¿casualty¿. The story line is fast-paced, but totally owned by Ian even as the audience obtains a deep look at an English village still reeling from the war. This haunting post WWI series remains one of the best historical police procedurals on the market today. --- Harriet Klausner

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    Posted June 28, 2011

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