Search

Go Buy The Book

Tag

DCI Nelson

The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths

Dr Ruth Galloway is back in her cottage in Norfolk and is ready to start work after receiving a promotion. It is not long, however, before paths cross with DCI Nelson when a body is found washed up on the beach by a group of metal detectorists known as the Night Hawks. Thought to be an unfortunate asylum seeker, this theory is soon quashed when he is identified as Jem Taylor, a local man who has recently been released from prison. A second incident is declared when the bodies of a man and woman are found at Black Dog Farm. Initially believed to be a murder-suicide, evidence later puts this in doubt and when the body of a large dog is found buried in the garden, talk begins of the Black Shuck, a legendary dog who is seen as the harbinger of death…


The thirteenth book in the Ruth Galloway series sees Ruth back where she belongs but this time she is now the head of department after the previous incumbent, Phil, has taken retirement. Long time readers of this series will find some of Ruth’s comments about grants and funding amusing as she realises after all her years of berating Phil for similar comments, she is now saying the same things! It is these small things that make me love this series so much, the characters feeling like old friends who I look forward to catching up with every year! New character, David Brown, is an interesting addition to the mix. A new employee at the university, Ruth isn’t sure what to make of him and neither are we as readers. He is definitely someone I would like to see in subsequent books as he definitely has the potential to replace Phil as Ruth’s sparring partner!


As has been the theme throughout the series, we see Ruth’s complicated relationship with DCI Nelson impacting on both her personal and professional life. We have gone way past the ‘will they, won’t they?’ aspect of their lives, but Elly Griffiths still manages to keep us guessing as to what will happen between them. The ending of this book, in particular, has left me wondering what is on the horizon.


The setting of the Ruth Galloway books has always been one of their strengths and the coast and countryside of Norfolk has again provided a superb backdrop to the plot. It was easy to visualise the murder scene at the desolate Black Dog Farm, the eerie atmosphere giving credence to the legend of the Black Shuck. This also gave us the opportunity to enter the world of everyone’s favourite druid, Cathbad, who finds himself involved with the Night Hawks on their excavations.


Elly Griffiths never lets me down and The Night Hawks is another superb book in this series. I hope it won’t be too long before we find out what happens as a result of the final scene!


With thanks to Quercus and Net Galley for my ARC.


Take a look at my reviews for the rest of this series:

The Crossing Places

The Janus Stone

The House at Sea’s End

A Room Full of Bones

Ruth’s First Christmas Tree

A Dying Fall

The Outcast Dead

The Ghost Fields

The Woman in Blue

The Chalk Pit

The Dark Angel

The Stone Circle

The Lantern Men

The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths

Dr Ruth Galloway has left behind her beloved Saltmarsh and is now teaching at St. Jude’s College, Cambridge, where she is now living with her daughter, Kate, and partner, Frank. Norfolk pulls her back, though, after convicted murderer Ivor March tells DCI Nelson that he will reveal the whereabouts of the bodies of two missing women, but only if Ruth can do the dig. Reluctantly, she agrees, conducting the dig in a place said to be haunted by the Lantern Men, figures who lure people to their deaths. As the case progresses, more questions begin to be asked: Why was March so insistent that Ruth be the one doing the digging and is, like Cathbad believes, March actually innocent of the crimes he has been convicted of?

It is fair to say that Elly Griffiths is one of my favourite authors and so The Lantern Men was one of the books on my most anticipated list for 2020. Ruth, Nelson, Cathbad and the rest of the characters in this wonderful series have become like old friends, and I could not wait to see what has happened to them since the previous book, The Stone Circle. Well, it’s safe to say that a lot has changed! Ruth has left her job, taking up a new appointment in Cambridge and living with her partner, Frank. We also find Clough working with another police force and Nelson enjoying being a father again, to his two-year-old son, George. It’s not long, though, before Elly Griffiths ‘gets the band together again’, as they investigate the deaths of the women.

Although Ivor March has been convicted of the murders of two of the women, doubt is soon cast as to his involvement when there is a new development. Ivor was definitely a charismatic, unnerving character, but was he a murderer? There were certainly plenty of people (mainly women) keen to see his conviction quashed, and Elly Griffiths has done a great job in introducing a smorgasbord of potential suspects, each one of them connected to March through his involvement with a local artistic commune. These characters were all suspicious in their own right, and I spent the book trying to figure out who, if any of them, were involved.

One of the things I enjoy most about this series is how archaeology and modern police forensics work hand in hand and this is certainly apparent is The Lantern Men. I love how archaeologist Ruth appears to be at her happiest when up to her knees in soil, yet worries about her appearance whenever Nelson is around! The relationship between these two characters is as complex as ever and with more and more people seemingly aware of their connection, this leads to some uncomfortable moments for them both.

I had no doubt that I would enjoy this book, but The Lantern Men managed to exceed my already high expectations. Heart-stopping in moments, this is an excellent addition to an already superb series. I look forward to seeing where Elly Griffiths takes Ruth next.

With thanks to Net Galley and Quercus for my copy.

Take a look at my reviews for the rest of this series:

The Crossing Places

The Janus Stone

The House at Sea’s End

A Room Full of Bones

Ruth’s First Christmas Tree

A Dying Fall

The Outcast Dead

The Ghost Fields

The Woman in Blue

The Chalk Pit

The Dark Angel

The Stone Circle

The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths

51XNmugmAfL._SY346_Dr Ruth Galloway and DCI Nelson are taken back to the case that brought them together when the detective begins to receive anonymous letters. Bearing a striking resemblance to the correspondence he received during his investigation into a missing child, he knows that the author cannot be the same person as he is dead, so who is it this time? When the body of a child is found and another is reported missing, Nelson fears that history may be repeating itself.

After the revelations in the previous book, I could not wait to read The Stone Circle and discover the outcome of one of the biggest mysteries of the series so far – just who is the father of Michelle’s baby?! Thankfully, we don’t have to wait too long as the birth occurs quite early on, but you will have to read it yourself to find out the answer! I did enjoy reading more about Michelle in this book, the missing child plot giving us the opportunity to see her as someone other than Nelson’s wife.

There are strong references to the first in this series, The Crossing Places, so while it is not essential to have read the previous ten books, it is advisable as there are several spoilers. I enjoyed this link to the past as it set me thinking about how much has changed for Ruth in the intervening years. While Ruth’s personal life is a key part of this series, I have always liked how Elly Griffiths creates a perfect balance between this and the police investigation.

One of the things I enjoy most about this series is the way modern police investigation, led by Nelson, works alongside Ruth’s archaeology. We get plenty of opportunities to see this in action in The Stone Circle with the discovery of the remains of two bodies, one much older than the other. This time, however, Ruth takes a bit of a back seat, the digging being organised by the rather shadowy Leif, providing another link to the aforementioned previous case. He was one of the few characters I did not like in this book and I enjoyed a particular scene when Nelson made his feelings towards him as clear as day!

After the heart-stopping moments of the previous book, The Dark Angel, I was pleased that this one didn’t have the same shock factor as I don’t think I could have coped with a similar dramatic ending! Despite this, there are still plenty of shocking moments, not least when we finally discover the truth behind the cold case. The Stone Circle has a very entertaining plot and Elly Griffiths keeps you guessing right until the end.

I always feel slightly bereft after completing the latest Elly Griffiths book and am already looking forward to the next one. If you have never read any her previous books, be it the Ruth Galloway series, Stephens and Mephisto series, or the standalone The Stranger Diaries, then you won’t regret making one of them your next read!

With thanks to Quercus and Net Galley for my ARC.

The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths

Feeling troubled by the events in the previous book, Dr. Ruth Galloway is pleased when a face from her past, Dr. Angelo Morelli, contacts her, seeking her assistance on bones that have been discovered in a small Italian village. Accompanied by her friend Shona and their children, they head off to the continent, where they find a village still clinging on to memories of the Second World War and the Resistance. The past and present collide however, when the body of a local is found in the church. What secrets lurk that would make someone kill to protect?

I was very late in discovering the Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths but since reading my first one two years ago, I have devoured the books and was eagerly anticipating this one. Taking Ruth out of her comfort zone is a big gamble but is one that’s has definitely paid off and it has enabled us to take a peek into her past whilst also exploring more of her relationship with best friend, Shona. Although Ruth is brought to Italy on the premise of assisting with recently discovered bones, the archaeology takes a bit of a back seat as she realises that there are more pressing matters that threaten their idyllic break. Somebody clearly doesn’t want Ruth there and she begins to fear, rightly so, that her life may be in danger.

I had feared that with the story being set in Italy, we would see less of the other characters we have come to know and love, but this was not to be the case. Running alongside the main plot, is a sub-plot about a released prisoner who bears a grudge against DCI Harry Nelson. Despite having this and huge upheaval in his personal life to contend with, Nelson finds his way out to Italy, accompanied by Cathbad, when news of a disaster reaches him. Throughout the books, we have seen Nelson struggle with his feelings for Ruth and this becomes even more heightened due to everything that is currently going on in his life. He is becoming more and more of a tortured soul and, depending upon the climax of a particular storyline, we could soon see him being tipped firmly over the edge!

The most shocking part of the book is reserved for the final chapters when a major event occurs that will have repercussions for several of the characters. Without going into too much detail, I was genuinely upset by what happened but, at the same time, can’t wait to see what the consequences will be.

If you have never read any of the Ruth Galloway series, please do as I don’t feel you will be disappointed. For anyone who is already a fan, The Dark Angel is a welcome addition to an already brilliant series.

With thanks to Quercus and Net Galley for my ARC.

 

The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths

img_0987After bones are discovered in the network of tunnels under Norwich, DCI Nelson has a murder to investigate when it is revealed that they are part of a recent burial. To add a macabre twist, Dr. Ruth Galloway has suspicions that the bones have been boiled – could a cannibal be at large? Meanwhile, a homeless woman has gone missing, the only clue seemingly being that she has ‘gone underground’. Are the two cases connected and what, if anything, links them to the disappearance of another local woman? It is up to Nelson and Dr. Ruth Galloway to unearth the mysteries of The Underground before it is too late…

Over the past year, I have read all of Elly Griffiths’ ‘Ruth Galloway’ books and The Chalk Pit was on my list of most anticipated books of 2017. Ruth has become one of my favourite fictional characters and it has been fascinating to see the character development of her and other favourites such as Cathbad and Nelson. All of the characters are extremely well-written, likeable and very realistic.

With homelessness seemingly on the rise, The Chalk Pit is a very topical read and Elly Griffiths deals with the issue in a sensitive and sympathetic way. It is hard not to feel for the plight of the rough sleepers, and people’s differing attitudes towards them is all too true. DS Judy Johnson really comes into her own in this book and the obituary written by her at the end of the book is very moving.

As someone who loves historical as well as crime fiction, I have found Elly Griffiths’ books a perfect read. Although there is less of a historical angle in The Chalk Pit, there is still enough about old bones and communities to whet the appetite! As you would expect with any book involving DCI Nelson and Dr. Galloway, there are some murders to investigate along the way, which tie in neatly to the disappearance of the women.

Elly Griffiths has written another fantastic book and one that, in my opinion, cements her place as one of the best writers of a crime series. My only regret is that I have now finished all the Ruth Galloway books and know that there will be a while until the next one!

With thanks to Net Galley and Quercus for the arc.

The Ghost Fields by Elly Griffiths

After being summoned by DCI Harry Nelson to look at the body of a World War Two pilot discovered in a buried plane, forensic archaeologist, Ruth Galloway, soon realises that all is not what it seems. The body is identified as Fred Blackstock, whose plane was reported to have crashed at sea and, to confuse matters even further, there is a bullet hole in his head… When human remains are found at a nearby pig farm and another member of the Blackstock family is attacked, Nelson is tasked with bringing an unknown murderer to justice.

The Ghost Fields is the seventh in the Ruth Galloway series and, like all of her previous books, Elly Griffiths has created another ‘unputdownable’ read. By linking a historical case with the modern crimes, the story moves on at a steady pace and manages to throw in a few red herrings to keep you guessing right until the very end.

One of the things I enjoy most about this series is the characterisation. Throughout the books, we have seen the characters develop to the point where I almost believe they are real people! Ruth is fast becoming one of my favourite fictional characters and fully deserves to have her story made into a TV series.

My only problem with this book is that, as I read the next book in the series, The Woman in Blue, before the others, I have now reached the end of the Ruth Galloway story! Roll on 23rd February 2017 when The Chalk Pit is published!

 

Ruth’s First Christmas Tree by Elly Griffiths

Now that her daughter, Kate, is old enough to begin to understand Christmas, forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway wants to make it special. A tree must be purchased, presents sourced and food bought – all while trying to figure out whether Max, who she has started a recent relationship with, can actually be called her boyfriend!

Ruth’s First Christmas Tree follows on from where A Room Full of Bones left off. Still juggling work and motherhood, we now get more of an insight into her personal life and how she is coming to terms with a new relationship and how this affects how she views Detective Inspector Harry Nelson.

As this is a short story to accompany the Dr. Galloway series of books, there is, of course, reference to a historical artefact in the shape of a missing piece of wood. Ruth manages to solve the mystery and it is a surprising culprit!

If you haven’t read any of the books in this series, it’s definitely worth downloading as an introduction – especially as it’s free on kindle. At only 41 pages long, what have you to lose?!

The House at Sea’s End by Elly Griffiths

Dr Ruth Galloway is, once again, needed when the bodies of six men are discovered by archaeologists during an investigation into coastal erosion on the Norfolk coast. Tests reveal that the bodies have been there since the Second World War and soon Ruth and DCI Harry Nelson are trying to uncover the truth. There is still someone, however, that wants what happened to stay hidden – someone who is prepared to kill.

In The House at Sea’s End, we find Ruth trying to come to terms with motherhood – something she is not finding easy due to her determination to carry on with her job at the university and her work with the police. Through her astute writing, Elly Griffiths has shown how hard it is for a single mother trying to juggle her home and work life whilst also being convinced that she is, in some ways, failing her young daughter. Ruth’s relationship with Nelson is also becoming blurred and it is surely a matter of time before the identity of Kate’s father becomes common knowledge.

The story of the six bodies is a fascinating one and gives an insight into the world of the Home Guard during World War Two. Let’s just say that it’s a million miles away from Dad’s Army! It was also interesting to find out a bit more about Ruth’s past with the revelation that she spent some time assisting with the war graves of Bosnia. The appearance of an old friend from that time also gives Ruth the opportunity to think about her life and how she should cherish her child.

Another enjoyable book from the series!

The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths

I received this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Local druid, Cathbad, believes he has seen a vision when he spies a vision in blue in the graveyard next to the cottage he is looking after. As this is Walsingham, a place with connections to Mary, the mother of Jesus, he is not too perturbed. Things take a twist, however, when the body of a model is found nearby wearing a blue dressing gown – definitely not an apparition.

When Dr. Ruth Galloway receives an email from an old university friend asking to meet, her initial response is to ignore it. Hilary Smithson is persistent, however, and when she reveals that she has been the target of anonymous letters, Ruth’s interest is piqued. When another woman is found dead, Ruth and DCI Nelson begin to wonder if the murders and the letters are somehow linked…

‘The Woman in Blue’ is the eighth novel in the series featuring Ruth Galloway. One of the problems in not reading from the start of a series is that, often, the characters’ backstories can be confusing. Thankfully, this is not the case in this book – Elly Griffiths gives enough of what has happened in the past to help you understand the characters’ motives and actions.

The book contains enough red herrings to keep you guessing throughout but does not fall into the trap of making the conclusion either too predictable or implausible. It is easy to imagine this being turned into a TV drama.

Five stars out of five!

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑