Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Dying Fall - Elly Griffiths

I was hooked on this series by Elly Griffiths from the very first book. A Dying Fall is the fifth (and latest) entry in her Ruth Galloway Mystery series. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it and settle in for a great read with characters I truly enjoy.

Ruth is a forensic archaeologist at the University in North Norfolk, England.  An expert in bones, she is often called in to assist police, museums and on other digs.

Ruth receives a letter from Dan - an old friend from her university days. They haven't really kept in touch, but the letter piques her curiosity. Dan is also an archaeologist, attached to a university in Lancashire. His letter says he has discovered the bones of 'The Raven King.' Ruth tries to contact him, without result. Until that university calls asking if Ruth could come up and look at some bones for them - their archaeologist Dan Golding has been killed in a tragic accident. Or was it? Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson, on vacation with his wife becomes involved as well.

Why do I love this series so much? The characters. Griffiths has created a wonderful protagonist in Ruth. I just really like her. She's decidedly unique and different. She is a single mother at forty plus, overweight, messy, introverted, but highly intelligent and curious. Griffiths has not endowed her with super sleuth abilities, rather she comes off as an actual person - unabashedly and happily herself. Her only worry is raising her daughter Kate.

Kate's father is the married Harry Nelson. The evolution of his and Ruth's relationship has kept me quite enthralled from the beginning. With Harry's acknowledgment of Kate as his daughter, things have become even more entangled.

The supporting cast of characters is just as intriguing. Cathbad, the self proclaimed Druid takes a leading role in A Dying Fall. I enjoy his enigmatic ways and his pagan beliefs. His personal storyline is just as complicated as Ruth's - involving a sergeant from Nelson's staff. I have to say, he rivals Ruth for my favourite character.  Little Kate's personality is being drawn as well - it's enjoyable to see her growing and talking.

And this wonderful cast of characters carries along a clever, inventive plot involving Arthurian legends, neo-Nazi's and more  I had my suspicions as to the culprit, but Griffiths surprised me at the end this time. I always learn something in Griffiths' books - the historical facts and mythical legends woven into the narrative often send me searching the Internet to read more.

Griffiths has done it again - hooked me with a great read that I finished too quickly and left me waiting for the next in this engaging series. Definitely recommended. Read an excerpt of A Dying Fall. You can find Elly Griffiths on Twitter.


The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

This sounds interesting! I just had to let you know that I dreamed you wrote about me on your blog last night and when I click on the comments to thank you, everyone's comments looked like a child's valentine's day card with mickey mouse characters that were interactive and some where upside down and umm yeah. JUst don't mind me the crazy lady over here who reads blogs before bed hahahaha.

Luanne said...

Well, here you are on the blog today! Dreams are funny things!

carol said...

I read the first in this series and loved it. Now I have A dying Fall that I can't wait to read. I hope i didn't miss too much by skipping the ones in the midde, but I just don't have time to get caught up right now.

Luanne said...

Carol - there is some stuff that happens in between, but you'll quickly catch on to it. Hope you enjoy it!