Cover image for Search the dark
Search the dark
Todd, Charles.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Thomas Dunne Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
279 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Mystery
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



A mind-damaged veteran comes home from the Great War to be told his wife and two children were killed in the bombing of London. Refusing to believe the news, or unable to, the man thinks he spots them on the platform of the station of a small town in Dorset. Then a woman's body is found there, and Rutledge is sent by his jealous rival at the Yard to locate the children.

Author Notes

Charles Todd is a pen name for Charles and Caroline Todd, a mother and son writing team. Caroline received a BA in English literature and history and a Masters in international relations. Charles received a BA in communication studies with an emphasis on business management, and a culinary arts degree. They have written numerous novels including Bess Crawford Mystery series and the Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery series.

(Bowker Author Biography) Charles Todd is the author of three previous mysteries: "A Test of Wills," "Wings of Fire," & "Search the Dark"; with the publication of "Legacy of the Dead," Todd will be published hard/soft by Bantam Books.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Todd's third Ian Rutledge mystery, set in August 1919, finds the Scotland Yard detective in Dorset, looking into the disappearance of two children whose mother was apparently murdered by their father. But Rutledge is soon knee-deep in questions: Was the murder victim the woman everybody seems to think she was? Is the accused murderer guilty of anything more serious than self-delusion? Are there, in fact, any missing children at all? What makes the Rutledge series unique in the genre is Corporal Hamish MacLeod, a young soldier executed by Rutledge during World War I whose spirit has taken up residence in a corner of the detective's mind. These are not fantasy novels--and Hamish is not a ghost--but the rather odd relationship between Rutledge and the memory of the man he executed makes the stories fresh and unusual. Not for all tastes, the Rutledge novels are well suited to readers who like their mysteries to be a little left-of-center, and this latest entry in the series will not disappoint. (Reviewed March 15, 1999)0312200005David Pitt

Publisher's Weekly Review

The third compelling Ian Rutledge mystery (Wings of Fire; A Test of Wills) takes the sensitive and appealing Scotland Yard inspector, a former WWI officer, to the countryside of Dorset. In 1919, another former soldier is arrested for murder in the town of Singleton Magna after the battered corpse of a young woman is found nearby. Withdrawn and suicidal, the suspect will speak to no one, and the police call Scotland Yard for help in finding the two young children who may have been in the dead woman's charge. Rutledge arrives, still carrying in his head the voice of Hamish MacLeod, a Scottish deserter whom he executed during the war and whose harsh, conscience-like presence in the inspector's mind seems to soften as the novel progresses, adding dimension to Todd's literary device. In his investigation, Rutledge encounters others whose spirits were ravaged in the war: Simon Wyatt, scion of local gentry, who has abandoned his plans to serve in Parliament; his French wife, unaccepted by the townspeople; Wyatt's former fianc‚e, who may not have given up her previous expectations; a young local man whose head wound has left him mentally diminished; and an independent young woman from London. The discovery of a second woman's battered corpse further knots Rutledge's task, which is rooted, it evolves in this fine period mystery, as much in love as in war. Author tour. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Set in an England that is just beginning to recover from World War I, Todd's tale depicts the many ways that this cataclysmic war affected people on both sides of the front. In this third Inspector Rutledge novel, Rutledge is sent to Dorset to coordinate the search for two missing children who are believed to be the victims of a brutal murderer, Mowbray. The alleged killer is a traumatized veteran of the war whose family had been thought the casualties of a 1916 bombing raid in London; however, in August 1919, Mowbray is sure that he has seen them in the company of another man. When a woman is found dead, Mowbray is as good as convicted. Rutledge, who is also a recovering veteran, must clear up more than one murder before this crime is solved. For readers who enjoy historical mysteries, Samuel Gillies's able narration captures the local accents of the Dorset country folk well. Highly recommended for all public libraries.ÄTheresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.