Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Read Your Doppelganger

Challenge No 1 - Read Your Doppelganger

Find an author who has either the same initials, the same first name, the same last name, or the exact same name as you. Read a book by this author and write a post about it.

I spent some time before the new year browsing the library and came across this one by an author who has the same initials as I do - CT.
Charles Todd , the author, turned out to be two people - Charles and Charlotte Todd, an American mother/son collaboration.

Title: A Pale Horse
Author: Charles Todd
Genre: Mystery/Crime
Publisher: Harper/Collins 2008


Synopsis: England in 1920 and five young Yorkshire boys discover a body in the ruins of an abbey. The identity of the dead man is unknown and the only clues are the cloak and gas mask he is wearing and a book on alchemy lying at his feet.
Meanwhile , miles away in Berkshire in a tiny settlement beneath the Uffington White Horse, another man has mysteriously disappeared.
Inspector Ian Rutledge from Scotland Yard is sent to investigate both cases and begins to suspect that the two are linked. But with so many people with secrets they're reluctant to tell it will take all his skill to find answers and solve the mysteries.

A Pale Horse is a beautifully crafted murder mystery written in a style reminiscent of the great British crime authors of pre WWII. Full of suspense and intrigue as the tightly woven plot slowly untangles the pace could not be called fast but that only adds to the post WWI atmosphere.
Inspector Rutledge, like so many others after the horror of war is suffering post-traumatic stress. He is haunted by the ghost of a fallen comrade, a Scotsman called Hamish, who speaks to him constantly but who is really the voice of his 'other self'. Together these two make an interesting team and one in which I would have liked to have seen a little more humour. There is a great deal of sadness, guilt and regret throughout the story which becomes a bit heavy at times and a few brief moments of lightheartedness would have been welcome.

I didn't discover until I brought the book home that it is one of a series featuring Inspector Rutledge and this one is the tenth. Nothing like starting at the wrong end and while it doesn't affect the storyline I think it probably makes a difference to understanding the Inspector and his continuing journey of healing and recovery.

At the back of the book there is an author's note and a reader's guide which includes Q & A with the authors and a list of topics for discussion.

A Pale Horse is crime fiction at its best . I enjoyed it immensely.


  1. This sounds terrific! I haven't read a good mystery in a long time.

  2. This sounds like a book I'd like to try!

    I don't normally like mysteries, but I'll give anything set in England a try. I'm just a sucker for that setting!

  3. It is good and very British......I found it hard to believe the authors are American.

  4. This sounds like it worked out quite well for you! I'm so glad -- even better that you were able to start in the middle of a series and have it work.

    And how interesting that it was a mother/son combination. I don't think I've heard of that before.