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A Dying Fall (Ruth Galloway Series #5)

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  • Posted March 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    When, after learning that a university friend has burned to dea


    When, after learning that a university friend has burned to death, a letter arrives from him, written just days before he died, asking for her help, forensic archeologist Ruth Galloway could hardly refuse to leave her home and go up north to investigate what she believes her friend discovered: a momentous find. It appears the friend, Dan Golding, believed that he had uncovered the bones of the legendary King Arthur. The letter indicated Dan was scared but wanted Ruth to look at the bones and, hopefully, confirm his suspicions.

    So Ruth travels to Lancashire, along with her almost-two-year-old daughter and her druid friend, Cathbad. Unbeknownst to Ruth, Kate’s father, DCI Harry Nelson, has chosen the same time frame to vacation in his nearby hometown, thus setting up the situation for the pair to solve yet another mystery together. Golding’s death has already raised police suspicions, and no sooner than Ruth decides to go she begins to receive threatening messages warning her not to. When she arrives, she learns of neo-fascist activity at the college where Golding was a lecturer and a particularly dangerous group called the White Hand. Examining what purports to be Golding’s discovery, Ruth learns a shocking fact about “King Arthur,” but further analysis is not possible because the real bones have disappeared, setting up the further mystery of who would steal the bones and why.

    This is the fifth novel about a plump 42-year-old character, a single mother and an academic, who apparently has a penchant for using her skills to solve various types of mysteries with a detective inspector with whom she apparently is in love (but who is unavailable). Who would think that such elements have the making of an interesting and rewarding series? Perhaps the excellence of the writing, and the creative nature of the plots, have something to do with the novels’ well-deserved popularity. Recommended.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I was hooked on this series by Elly Griffiths from the very fir

    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.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 3, 2014

    Good read

    Set in England and is a Bones like novel

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