The Stone Circle

Dr Ruth Galloway returns to north Norfolk in her latest chilling adventure.
DCI Nelson has been receiving threatening letters. They are anonymous, yet somehow familiar. They read like the letters that first drew him into the case of The Crossing Places, and to Ruth. But the author of those letters is dead. Or are they?
The past is reaching out for Ruth and Nelson, and its grip is deadly.

The wait is finally over and Elly Griffiths has finally released The Stone Circle, the latest Ruth Galloway and Harry Nelson novel. To say I’ve been waiting for this book with anticipation is an under statement. Since the last few pages of The Dark Angel were devoured, I’m been hungry to find out what happened to Ruth and Nelson. Elly has the power to keep you coming back for more. Each book ends a little like the end credits to Eastenders.

For those of you who haven’t experienced the magic of Elly Griffiths, then let me explain a bit. These books are set in North Norfolk, a land of flat countryside, large skies and a wonderful stark beautiful coast. (No I’ve never been, sad to say, need to make a pilgrimage really soon) Ruth Galloway is a forensic archaeologist who lectures at the local university. She’s often called in to help the police when they find bones hidden in the ground. Her friendship with Harry Nelson, the police inspector, is complicated, or so she tells herself. He’s the father of her daughter Kate, or Katie, as Nelson would say. I’m not spoiling the story or back plot going into more detail.

Ruth and Nelson are well developed characters after the previous ten books. Supported by a ensemble cast of regular figures all quirky and three dimensional. Cathbad is my favourite. He’s a druid and a good soul. I’d love a cloak like his. He’s been a key character since day one and essential to the plot.

The Stone Circle starts with an ancient body found in another henge on the beach near her home. Nearby a more recent grave is found. The body is that of a missing girl from an old enquiry, a throw back to the first Galloway mystery. When a baby goes mssing they must solve the mystery before it it too late. For those following the story, Michelle (Nelson’ wife) gives birth, but is it Nelson’s?

So what’s the book like. Well I’d read one or two reviews before I managed to buy a copy and whilst most were overwhelmingly positive, there were one or two not so good. There’s always the feeling that sometimes the series can be overstretched. However I have to say it hasn’t. Reading an Elly Griffiths is like a warm hug, hot chocolate snugly moment. It’s like being home snuggled between a warm duvet where the world outside is cold and dark. Instantly you’re transported back to Norfolk, to the old salt marshes.

This could be a a standalone, it’s a story in itself, yet is enhanced tenfold by reading the series, but that would be no chore. In a way it’s like the British version of Bones. A lot more cuddly and intriguing. A quintessentially British take on life and death. It cries out for an in depth series, similar to Endeavour or Lewis.

So another 5 star read. I know I seem to have given them out faster than a Paul Hollywood handshake these days, but can I help it if the quality of books so far this year have been that good? Will appeal to anyone who likes a touch of crime, archaeology and history mixed with a sturdy comforting world attached. Read the series, read the book alone, but I urge you check out Elly Griffiths.

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