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Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Pale Horse

Todd, Charles. A Pale Horse.

6 words: Didn't live up to previous works.

I'm usually a big fan of Inspector Rutledge, but this one felt slow and a bit awkward. Even the conversations with Hamish have palled a bit. Several things - the many trips back and forth to London (it would have taken an awful long time in 1920 to make those many trips), a lack of connection to the characters (admittedly, with Rutledge's own problems this is not an unusual aspect of this series), the pattern of the interviews...I don't know, I was just not as involved with Rutledge as I was in the first several novels. And Jean? Sometimes, I just want to shake the man and say that, with his past, Jean was just a hiccup.

Fiction. Historical mystery. 2008. 360 pages.


  1. I haven't read anything by Charles Todd before. Do you recommend his Inspector Rutledge series overall?

  2. LF - I really liked the first ones. The setting is right after WWI, and Rutledge has spent time in an institution because he was suffering from "shell shock." The authors (actually, a mother and son team) do an excellent job of conveying the horrors of WWI and its after effects.

    Rutledge is always accompanied by Hamish - a ghost? a remnant of post traumatic stress? survivor guilt? Hamish is involved in every investigation and offers opinions and frequently chastises Rutledge (you have to read it to understand the circumstances - I don't want too give to much away). The novels are psychological and cover Rutledge's journey to recovery.

  3. I've heard good things about this series but just haven't had a chance to try it out. Hopefully this was just a blip and the next one will be better. It is such a shame when a book in a favorite series doesn't live up to what we expect right?

  4. Iliana- I'm hoping the next one will be better -- I do like the feeling of returning to familiar characters.