Elly Griffiths, The Stone Circle (2019)
I have followed Café Society bookish posts for quite a while, and she had (before her hiatus) always some great British mysteries recommendations, especially police procedurals. I had noted the name of Elly Griffiths, but had never actively sought it out.
When I saw this author’s name among the Amazon Kindle monthly deals, it sort of fell into my lap (for 2,99 euros) and I could not resist for long. Still, there was a “slight” problem: the book I purchased is #11 in the series and I had no clue who the characters were. Yes, I usually don’t strictly follow book series in order, but this is a bit extreme, even for me. I felt as if I was coming very late to the party, and the hosts had practically started eating desert.
But soon my discomfort disappeared, the hosts of the party being extremely welcoming. Yes, I had not the back story of any of them and they knew each other for decades, but they had a real spark and warmth, and I loved the interactions… It took me very few pages to start caring for Ruth Galloway, a single mother who works as an archaeologist at the university of Norfolk, on the coastline. The father of her daughter is actually DCI Nelson, who has a wife, two grown daughters and expects the birth of another kid sometime soon. Well, you can see that it’s complicated… There is a large cast of characters and each had his/her own way to react to a crime. I was more than ok to follow along the twists and turns of the plot that often invoked the past, previous investigations resulting in success and failures. The pace is fast but not too fast, and the writing has just the right amount of British witticism which makes me crave for tea and scones.
Frustrated as I am not to be able to travel, I was also very interested to learn about the Norfolk marshes and the sea henge dating from the Bronze age. Photos are impressive but the book had let me to believe that the circle of timber set in the sea was a lot bigger than it really is. Anyway, I’m definitely sold on Ruth Galloway’s adventures. I may not go back from the beginning all the way up to volume 11, but I might pick and choose a few along the way. If anyone can recommend favorites, I’d be glad!