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The Woman in Blue

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!


The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths

crossing-placesPerfectly happy with her secluded life in the remote Saltmarsh near Norfolk, archaeologist Ruth Galloway’s talents are called upon by Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson when the skeleton of a girl is found on a nearby beach. Aware that the parents of local schoolgirl Lucy Downey have been missing their daughter since she was taken ten years ago, the body turns out to be two thousand years old. When it emerges that Nelson has been receiving letters about the girl containing references to archaeology and ritual, Ruth finds herself involved in a case that leaves her questioning who she can trust.

Ever since reading The Woman in Blue, the latest of the Ruth Galloway novels by Elly Griffiths, I have wanted to catch up on the rest of the series so was pleased to finally find the time to begin my journey! It was with trepidation that I started to read The Crossing Places, as I hoped that reading the series out of sequence would not spoil my enjoyment of what was to come. Thankfully, this did not occur!

In The Crossing Places, we are introduced to Ruth and how she first became involved with the police but we are also introduced to the character of Cathbad. In The Woman in Blue, Cathbad was a character whom I immediately warmed to, despite his quirkiness.Here, however, I found myself disliking what I read about him, so I am looking forward to reading the development of his character in subsequent books.

Elly Griffiths does a good job in mixing fact with fiction and also in creating a ‘whodunnit’ that really does make you doubt the motives of nearly every character! Although my suspicions about the child abductor were confirmed, there were still plenty of other parts of the story that I did not see coming.

This is a great start to the series and I already have the next one lined up to read!

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!

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