A Dying Fall – a Ruth Galloway Mystery

9780547798165_p0_v1_s260x420For fans of Elly Griffiths’ archeology professor/detective, Ruth Galloway is back in A Dying Fall, the fifth of the mystery series.  Since Ruth is an expert on ancient bones, this mystery involves the possible remains of King Arthur, found by Ruth’s colleague, who has been brutally murdered in a mysterious fire just as he was on the verge of a major discovery.

All the regulars are back: Cathbad, the hippie druid; Harry Nelson, chief of police, married to a beautiful hairdresser, and father to Ruth’s daughter, Kate; as well the many minor characters who fill the space with the angst of their lives.  To remind faithful readers who they are, or to introduce them to newcomers, Griffiths painstakingly fills in their backgrounds – to the point that the plot lingers in the background too long.  When the action finally gets past the soap opera lives of the principals, you may have forgotten the reason for the investigation.

In this fifth book, Griffiths moves the action from the marshes of Norwich to Blackpool and the mystical Pendle forest.  As she continues her dead colleague’s research, Ruth and her toddler daughter become the target of the killer.  Along the way, Griffiths infuses the plot with lovely descriptions of the English surroundings…

“Beyond Ruth’s fence, the long grass is tawny and gold with the occasional flash of dark blue water as the marsh leads out to the sea. In the distance, the sand glimmers like a mirage…

Having read the first four in this series, I knew what to expect from the characters and looked forward to a new mystery to solve.  Each book seemed to be wordier than the one before, but still held suspense.  This last book is no exception.  This ending is a little far-fetched, and could have appeared many pages sooner.

Reviews of other books in the Ruth Galloway Series:

  1. The Crossing Places
  2. The Janus Stone
  3. House At Seas End
  4. A Room Full of Bones
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