Elly Griffiths is playing to her strengths with this (seemingly) effortless, blast to read entry in her Ruth Galloway series. Ruth is back home where she belongs, having broken it off with the unfortunate Frank, and she and Nelson are once again having fated and tense encounters. Ruth is now head of the archaeology department at her university, discovering the paperwork and supervision headaches that come with being in charge. She’s especially annoyed by the “new Ruth”, David, the know-it-all older lecturer she herself has hired. He seems to be tagging along everywhere she goes and trying to tell her what to do.
This novel will be released on July 14.
It’s rare for a writer to sustain interest and excitement through a long series. Elly Griffith’s Ruth Galloway series, now twelve books strong, has had a few entries not quite as great as some of the very best ones, but this one is one of the best ones. There might be a couple reasons – one, Griffiths has now refreshed herself with a very different series (the Magic Men books). For another, she’s taken this book and skooched Ruth two years ahead in time from the last book and much has happened. It’s only unsettling for a moment – you’ll catch on – especially as all the changes are pretty briskly introduced in the first chapter.
As Elly Griffiths pens her eleventh Ruth Galloway novel, she comes – appropriately, given the title – almost full circle, back to her first novel. Cast your mind back to Ruth’s teacher Eric and the henge discovered on the saltmarsh and move forward ten years, and Ruth is now dealing with Eric’s son, Leif, who is in town to look at a newly discovered henge. Just like 10 years ago, two bodies are discovered on the site, one ancient, and one not so ancient.
Somehow Griffiths’ storytelling style is not only plot oriented, it’s character oriented, so she’s taking into account the many happenings in her character’s lives over the past 10 years. Ruth is the mother of a 10 year old, thanks to a one night stand with the father, Detective Nelson. Nelson’s wife is expecting a late in life baby at any moment, which may or may not be Nelson’s – she’d been having an affair. Their older daughters are unaware that Kate, Ruth and Nelson’s daughter, is their sister.