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The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths - Review

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

I feel like I've been waiting FOREVER for the new Ruth Galloway book and indeed it is nearly a year since I read the last one, even though I've read two of Elly's books since then. I love Ruth so much - she always feels like a familiar friend and I love to go back to her house on the Saltmarsh with Kate and Flint to see what crime is happening this time.

This book is set in February just as Michelle's baby is due. She gives birth and Nelson wants to tell his daughters Laura and Rebecca about the fact that Ruth's daughter Kate is his child. I really liked this closer look at Nelson's family. Nelson behaved all the way through this book, there wasn't one bit where I winced at what he was doing!

Meanwhile Ruth is called to see a new henge that has been discovered near the site of the wooden one that is the focus of the first book, The Crossing Places, which she was a part of excavating with her mentor, Erik. Erik is dead, drowned in the marshes, but Ruth thinks she's seeing a ghost when she meets his son, Leif.

There are bones in the stone cist in the middle of the henge, bones that Ruth is pretty sure belong to a Bronze Age girl. But then she and Nelson are called back because other bones have been discovered - bones which turn out to belong to Margaret Lacey, who went missing after a street party in 1981. Nelson has to try to find out who murdered her then, and who has moved her bones since.

He's also receiving letters which are like the letters he received before, and given that Erik's son is around, Nelson calls that too much of a coincidence...

I absolutely raced through this book and I'm really glad I did - I'm glad I didn't "save" it but read it straight away. It was like being among friends and I liked it. I also like the softening we see in Nelson's character around many things but especially some of the more esoteric views of his friends. There's some theology in this which I obviously love.

I feel like this book brought us full circle from the first one, bringing us from Erik and the wooden henge to the newly discovered henge and Leif. I do know there will be at least one more Ruth Galloway novel as Elly has tweeted about it, but if there wasn't I do think this would be a lovely ending to the series. I felt like all the main characters came to some sort of resolution with what happened with Erik and their complicated feelings about him. Ruth is considering new jobs, which may mean of course that her time with Nelson helping the force is coming to an end, and which, in character, seems like she is stepping out of some traumatic times and looking forward. A great read, it's a good addition to the Ruth series.

Oh if I have one criticism it is that there isn't enough Cathbad in it! I love Cathbad, he's delightfully weird and reminds me of quite a few friends I've had. I would have liked a bit from his point of view... but next time maybe?!

I received an e copy of this book from Quercus Books but was not otherwise compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


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