As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Quercus, 26 March 2015 ISBN: 978-1-84866-330-5 (HB)
A new Ruth Galloway novel from Elly Griffiths is always a treat akin to
meeting up with old friends, and The Ghost Fields certainly doesn’t
As always, the bleakly
beautiful Norfolk landscape and the unpredictable weather play a large part, as
do the tensions and uneasiness’s of the relationship between academic and
forensic archaeologist Ruth and DCI Harry Nelson, the father of her small
This time Griffiths brings in
Norfolk’s relatively recent history: the ghost fields of the title. They are
the airfields of the Second World War, now largely deserted, or in this case
recycled into a pig farm.
The familiar characters are
firmly in place, and developing like real people. At the university there’s
Ruth’s attention-seeking boss Phil and his glamorous girlfriend Shona; at the
police station are down-to-earth Cloughie, cerebral Tim and perceptive Judy,
now heavily pregnant; elsewhere are Cathbad the druid, Frank the TV presenter
and Ruth’s potential love interest, and Michelle, Nelson’s wife, who this time
has a little adventure of her own.
Elly Griffiths knows how to
ring the changes from book to book, and this time the focus of the action is an
old Norfolk family with plenty of recent history and backstory: the Blackstocks
of Blackstock Hall. The Hall is a not-so-stately home, and the raggle-taggle
family matches it. When bodies old and fresh start turning up, Ruth finds
herself thrown into their company rather more than she likes, especially when a
TV company begin to take an interest.
The narrative is as engaging
and absorbing as ever, with plenty going on among the regular characters as
well as the slow unfolding of the central mystery. There’s even a sly dig at
politicians and developers who insist on building houses on flood plains
despite the obvious risks.
Griffiths’s blend of
grimness, lyricism and humour makes for a seamless read you won’t want to put
down, and overweight, forty-something Ruth Galloway has to be one of the most
human protagonists in any mystery series, past or present.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Elly Griffiths is the author of a series of
crime novels set in England’s Norfolk county and featuring forensic archaeologist
Ruth Galloway. The first in the series, Crossing Places, earned a good
deal of praise both in Griffiths’ native country, England, and in the U.S. The Literary
Review termed it “a cleverly plotted and extremely interesting first novel, highly recommended.Since then Elly has written six further
novels featuring forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway, The Janus Stone,The
House at Seas End, A Room Full of Bones, Dying Fall,The Outcast Dead is her latest book The
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with
books, about half of them crime fiction.