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, 8 February 2018. ISBN: 978-1-78429-663-6 (HB)
Like everyone I know who has read them, I'm a huge fan of Elly
Griffiths's Ruth Galloway books, and one of the many things about them which
I've come to admire most of all is the wonderfully visual sense of place. It
isn't just the bleakly beautiful Norfolk landscape, though her almost tactile
descriptions of it do leave it lingering in the memory; Griffiths has taken
Ruth to bustling Blackpool, slightly claustrophobic Walsingham and a variety of
other locations as well.
In The Dark Angel,
Ruth and her little girl Kate leave the UK for the first time. Their
destination is a crumbling hilltop village in Italy, and their resting place is
an elegant apartment quite unsuited to the havoc two small children can wreak.
Ruth and her glamorous friend Shona take off with both their kids for a couple
of weeks at the invitation of Ruth's former lover Angelo, a fellow
archaeologist, with a little light research thrown in as an incentive. And then
of course there's a murder...
It's a book littered with
small pleasures. Nelson, the Norfolk DCI who is Kate's father, finds himself
bristling at the prospect of them being out of the country, even though his
wife Michelle is unexpectedly pregnant and not at all well. Michelle has her
own quandary to ponder, not unconnected with the return of DS Tim, her former
And then there's DS Judy,
left in charge back in Norfolk when Nelson can't bear it any longer and
hightails it off to Italy with Ruth's druidic friend Cathbad in tow. Judy finds
herself not only coping with a tricky policing situation but also having to
deal with the new boss, a shrewd, modern woman with her own firm ideas about
how to run an investigation.
All this, a large and
beautifully drawn supporting cast and one of Elly Griffiths's wonderfully
tangled plots combine to make this a real treat of a novel. There's even an
earthquake, which naturally complicates things still further.
And the dénouement... I'm
tempted to call it a classic, but that might imply that I saw it coming long
before the end. I didn't; the murderer's identity took me completely by
surprise – though of course all the clues were there, well buried, so that two
and two failed to make four until it was pointed out.
Every time a new Ruth
Galloway novel comes out, I tell myself it couldn't possibly be better than the
last one. But they invariably are. The Dark Angel is far and away the
best so far.
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 eight further novels featuring forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway.
Recently she has written a second series set in the 1950’s featuring magician
Max Mephisto and DI Stevens. There are
two books in the new series. Click on the title to read a review of Elly’s
latest Max Mephisto Book book.The Vanishing Box
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.