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Search the Dark [Paperback]

Charles Todd
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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The murder appeared to be a crime of passion, the killer having left a trail of evidence behind him that even a blind man might have followed. Read the first page
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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An unusual plot for an unusual man... Feb. 27 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I discovered Todd's books through recommendations from, and for that I thank them. Todd writes about a world that disappeared almost a century ago. It is due to his writing abilities that that world is recreated again for his readers. I pick up one of his books, and immediately my mind settles into a simpler, but dark time of history after WWI. Rutledge is a different protagonist, who brings with him into his cases both the knowledge of human goodness and the inhumanity of man that he learned from his war experience.
Rutledge keeps quiet concerning his shadow presence, Hamish. The world was a lot less forgiving of mental illness back in those decades then it is even now. Hamish's presence in these books apparently bothers some readers, yet it is partly his presence which differentiates these books from others of this genre. Those who have studied psychiatry and neuroscience are aware of the different coping mechanisms used by those exposed to massive trauma, and few wars have dealt out the type of trauma the young men from England were exposed to during WWI.
The plot of this book is another ripple effect of the war. Those who made it back alive, not always made it back whole...even if their bodies appeared unscathed. And the impact of the war touched all of those families and towns, including the women. Many families, mothers and wives who expected a return to normality, were asked to deal with sons and husbands who returned with massive psychological problems. Many of them had to deal with these problems on their own without professional help, and also find a way to provide for their families.
Todd does an excellent job of writing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rousing Rutledge historical mystery March 11 1999
By A Customer
In 1919, a former soldier, Mowbray, abruptly wants off the train in the small town of Singleton Magda in Dorset. The weary-looking vet swears he has seen his wife and children with another man. Not too long after that incident, that same woman is found dead and her two children missing. An incoherent, except for obviously being suicidal, Mowbray is arrested for murder.
The local police force requests Scotland Yard assists them in finding the missing children. Inspector Rutledge, also a vet, is sent to investigate. Rutledge has his own problems as he has the voice of Hamish Macleod, a Scottish deserted he personally executed, living inside his own head. As Rutledge begins his inquiries, he encounters several other souls still struggling to recover from the horrors of the war. At the same time, he begins to wonder if Mowbray actually committed the crime.
The third Inspector Rutledge novel, SEARCH THE DARK, continues in the fine tradition of its predecessors by serving up a complex entertaining mystery as well as insight into the aftermath of war. The story lien sheds light on the period through the eyes of its characters, especially Rutledge. The secondary cast illuminates post World War I England with psychological insight into the various victims of the armed conflict. However, what makes Charles Todd's latest book and series so good is the historical mystery provides the proper counterpoint to the gloomy atmosphere that threatens to engulf everyone.

Harriet Klausner
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Addition to an Excellent Series April 1 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
in this third outing, Ian Rutledge, and his conscience Hamish, are sent to Dorset to investigate a murder of a woman and the disappearance of her two children. He follows each clue only to find more questions and additional clues.
This is British procedural writing at it's best. Todd has not suffered from second or third book syndrome. His writing is precise and concise - each word chosen with care. Rutledge contunues to be a tortured soul who is a compassionate and intelligent investigator. Todd's ending surprised me, but that just makes for good reading.
If you enjoy procedurals, make sure you read this series. If you've wanted to try a procedural, but didn't know where to begin, begin with this one - all others will pale by comparison.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sum Total of Charles Todd June 12 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I loved Search the Dark, but even more, I love the long-term relationship that Charles Todd is building with his readers. I see that others are getting weary of the disembodied (literally) voice of Hamish. Not I. I think he is one of the most original inventions in recent literature and after the first few incredulous chapters, I began to accept him and wove him right into my sense of reality. Charles Todd has chosen a very dark and difficult time in world history, World War I, which is more romanticized but much less understood than the wars since. I appreciate his attention to detail and look forward very much to the next installment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Search the Dark Jan. 5 2000
I very much enjoy the Charles Todd mysteries. This particular book was especially good. I must admit though that the voice of the dead comrade is beginning to annoy me. I think the mysteries stand without that added twist. I think that perhaps a book that finally frees Inspector Rutledge from this particular demon is due. Otherwise, this was an excellent book with real characters and well thought out plot. I hate the cliche but it was a real "page turner" throughout.
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