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The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths - Review

Friday, February 14, 2020

I requested this book on Netgalley because you know me, I'm a huge fan of Elly Griffiths' books and always like to read them straight away. So many thanks to Quercus books for granting me permission for this book. It is the newest in the Dt Ruth Galloway series and I love returning to Ruth, it always feels like a sit down with a friend.

The book starts a couple of years after the ending of the last book, The Stone Circle, when Ruth has moved to Cambridge to be a lecturer there. She is living with Kate, of course, and Frank, Ruth's boyfriend. Kind of. Ruth is quite reticent to call him that, and even though Frank is a really decent person, he doesn't really set Ruth's heart on fire or anything.

Nelson is still in Norfolk, but his daughters Laura and Rebecca now know that Kate is his daughter and Laura especially is keen to make her part of the family. Baby George is now two years old. Judy and Tanya are still on his team, but Cloughie has moved to Cambridge too to head up his own team, and Nelson really misses him.

Anyway, the previous summer, two bodies were discovered in the back garden of a woman called Chantal. Her boyfriend Ivor was arrested, thanks to forensic evidence on the bodies, and has been found guilty and is now awaiting sentencing. Nelson is convinced he also killed two other women, Nicola and Jenny. The forensic witness in the case was Ruth's ex-boss, Phil, but Ivor says he will talk to Nelson about where the other bodies are if Ruth goes to the prison with him and is the one to carry out the excavation.

Meanwhile the police go back over all the witnesses from before. Ivor lived on something like a commune for a while with a number of other people, one of whom turns out to be a new friend of Ruth's called Crissy. New things come to light and with the discovery of the second set of bones, there's a question mark over Ivor's guilt.

There's also the myth of the Lantern Men on the fens, about a light in the darkness that you follow and end up meeting a sticky end...

I liked the book, I liked Ruth removed from the Norfolk setting even though she ended up going back for the case. I understood why she couldn't quite settle with Frank, and I loved that Kate was a bit older and that her sisters knew about her. Nelson didn't do anything to annoy me, and even though I wouldn't say I liked Clough as a character particularly, I did feel like he was missing from the team and wanted him to come back! I would have liked more Cathbad, but I always say that because I love him so much. The bits he was in were great, though.

I'm sure we will see Ruth again, because the end of the book was very ambiguous. I do wonder what Elly has planned for the end of this series... I can't wait to see!

I was provided with an electronic copy of this book for review purposes, but was not otherwise compensated. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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