Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths

Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths
Publisher: Quercus
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Forensic archeologist Ruth Galloway investigates a heart-stopping case: an old university friend and fellow archeologist murdered in an arson attack.

When Ruth Galloway learns that her old university friend Dan Golding has died in a house fire, she is shocked and saddened. But when she receives a letter that Dan had written just before he died, her sadness turns to suspicion. The letter tells of a great archaeological discovery, but Dan also says that he is scared for his life.

Was Dan’s death linked to his find? The only clue is his mention of the Raven King, an ancient name for King Arthur. When she arrives in Lancashire, Ruth discovers that the bones reveal a shocking fact about King Arthur—and that the bones have mysteriously vanished.

The case draws in DCI Nelson, determined to protect Ruth and their eighteen-month-old daughter, Kate. But someone is willing to kill to keep the bones a secret, and it is beginning to look as if no one is safe.

Dr Ruth Galloway heads north when an old University buddy gets in contact with her. Wanting Ruth’s expertise in bones and with her sterling reputation in forensic archaeology Ruth is compelled to go searching the answers when her friend is unexpectedly murdered. Ruth and Nelson once again cross paths as Nelson has returned home with his wife for a short summer break to visit each of their families and his ties with the local police remain as strong as ever.

I found this an interesting and enjoyable archaeology-based murder mystery. While the entire book is solidly set in the present, I did love how the author managed to make so much of the history feel equally modern but still factual and historically accurate. I greatly enjoyed the characters – though readers who have enjoyed previous books in this series should be warned that Nelson, his wife, Ruth, Kate and Cathbad are really the only main characters that have significant amounts of time in the book. I did enjoy getting an update on Judy though – that helped tie this book in with the recent events in the few previous books.

Readers should know I feel this book can definitely stand exceptionally well on its own. I feel a lot of my emotional investment in the characters comes from having read the previous installments – but the plot absolutely is self-contained in this story and there aren’t too many ties threading this book with the others. I feel readers should be able to easily pick this book up with no prior knowledge and thoroughly enjoy it.

I thought the mystery was solid and well-paced. While it is definitely a mystery novel there is a lot of history and archaeology as well in this story. Personally, I feel it was very well balanced and made for a lay person to read quite easily. I found it enjoyable and very readable having no real experience or knowledge about British history and/or archaeology. I found it really interesting and the plotlines themselves very well woven.

A fun and enjoyable read, I’m looking forward to more books in this series.

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