Synopses & Reviews
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.
A body found in the ruins of an ancient abbey sends Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge after a brutal killer in another superb atmospheric mystery by the author of "A False Mirror."
The Great War never relinquished its hold on Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge, leaving him haunted and isolated, unable to forget. In the spring of 1920, he's dispatched to Berkshire to find a missing man whose war work is so secret even Rutledge cannot know its true nature. Meanwhile, miles away, an unidentified body has been discovered in the ruins of a Yorkshire abbey, clothed in a monk's robe and wearing a gas mask.
In the shadow of a great white horse cut into the chalk hillside—where cottages once built to house the sick and untouchable now shelter outcasts like himself—Rutledge must extract a terrible truth from those who hide from the past. For death is never quite finished with anyone, least of all the men who fought in the bloody trenches of France.
About the Author
Charles Todd is the author of nine Ian Rutledge mysteries—A Pale Horse, A False Mirror, A Long Shadow, A Cold Treachery, A Fearsome Doubt, Watchers of Time, Legacy of the Dead, Search the Dark, Wings of Fire, and A Test of Wills—and one stand-alone novel. They are a mother-and-son writing team and live in Delaware and North Carolina, respectively.
Read an exclusive essay by Charles Todd