A Pale Horse
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.
Praise for A Pale Horse
“Another penetrating, emotionally lacerating antiwar fable from a master of the form.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“The exemplary 10th Inspector Ian Rutledge historical whodunit offers tight plotting and rich characterization amid understated but convincing evocations of post-WWI England.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Award-winner Todd…is brilliant at creating atmosphere and unforgettable characters. Fans of historicals by Rennie Airth and Anne Perry will snap this up.”
“Todd continues to render a refreshingly original historical series that combines Agatha Christie’s classical detection with P.D. James’ psychological acuity.”
—Booklist (starred review)
Reader Reviews from HarperCollins Publishers First Look Program:
“The gritty, stand alone, step by step reasoning style of Rutledge’s character made this mystery a must read.”
—Ronna (Potomac, MD)
“…a chilling read, but one I thoroughly enjoyed. Todd is a gifted writer who crafts a mystery as terrifying and smart as any I’ve ever read.”
—Judy (Owensboro, KY)
“…a first rate historical mystery.”
—Maureen (Freehold, NJ)
“…a “cracking good” psychological mystery.”
—Bruce (New York, NY)
“What can you say about Ian Rutledge? He is one of the more intriguing characters in the mystery genre these days. … Another wonderful addition to the series—thumbs up!”
—Susan (Atlanta, GA)
Imprint: William Morrow
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