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.
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Charles Todd is the New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother-and-son writing team, they live on the East Coast.From AudioFile:
Simon Prebble, the voice of Charles Todd's mysteries, creates another winner with this moody tale of soured love in the Yorkshire dales. The year is 1920. Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge is called in to investigate a dead body found in a Yorkshire abbey. A second case of a vanished government scientist may or may not be linked. Rutledge wants the truth, but others are more interested in silence. As always, Rutledge is accompanied by his Scottish "ghost," Hamish. Prebble reads atmospherically without overdramatizing the action, and the wide range of characters is well drawn--Hamish's brogue; a simple man's slow precision; the broad, tight voice of a hostile Yorkshire policeman. This is literate, satisfying fun. A.C.S. © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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