Monday, September 11, 2017

Book Review: 'The Ghost Fields' by Elly Griffiths

Ruth Galloway's daughter, Kate, is about to start school. Little has changed in the life of the forty-five year old forensic archaeologist and professor. Her relationship with Kate's father, who is married to someone else, remains cordial. In Elly Griffith's "The Ghost Fields," Ruth helps investigate the murder of a World War II Flying Officer, Fred Blackstock, whose skeleton turns up unexpectedly in the summer of 2013. Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson and his team interview Fred's family to find out why someone wanted Fred dead and who subsequently moved his remains. In addition, a television crew is interested in producing a program about Fred and other airmen who were once stationed in the now deserted air force bases in the area. Ruth will appear on air as an expert commentator, along with a fellow academic, the handsome and single Fred Barker.

Galloway is a delight, as always. She is modest, self-effacing, a dedicated professional, and a loving mum. Although she is the first to admit that she is no fashion model, Ruth is an independent, down-to-earth, and extremely sharp woman who has no trouble attracting eligible suitors. Besides the witty and sardonic Ruth Galloway, we again encounter Detective Sergeant Judy Johnson, Cathbad, a local Druid who likes to show off his uncanny sixth sense, Detective Sergeant Doug Clough, and other intriguing characters who keep the action moving at a brisk pace.

Griffiths takes us on a scenic tour of a wild and picturesque coastal area in Norfolk, England. This desolate and eerie locale is the perfect setting for a mystery. "The Ghost Fields" blends a variety of elements seamlessly--history, dysfunctional relationships, romance, and forensics--all packaged in a satisfying whodunit. The writing is uncluttered, graceful, and enhanced by a perfect blend of dark humor and poignancy. "The Ghost Fields" is another standout from the immensely talented Elly Griffiths.

Editor's note: This review was written by Eleanor Bukowsky and has been reposted with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right