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The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths - Review

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Happy New Year! I'm writing this review in the middle of December, but I'll do a round up of my 2020 books in the next few posts. I'm so glad to see the back of 2020, as I'm sure many people are. 

Anyway, you know I'm a huge fan of Elly Griffiths, having read all her books and having even met her a couple of years ago! I love it when a new Ruth Galloway book is on its way. I requested this one on Netgalley, so thank you very much to Quercus Books for granting me access. 

So, it's 2019 and Ruth is back in Norfolk with Kate and Flint in the tiny cottage on the coast. She is now head of archaeology at the university, and has hired a man called David Brown to take her place as a lecturer. I feel like Ruth is in a really good place in this book. She's still in love with Nelson - she even thinks of him as the love of her life quite far on in the book - but she's accepted he's still with Michelle and seems pretty happy with herself mostly. Kate is in her last year of junior school; I liked the bits with Kate a lot. 

So, first of all a body washes up on the shore near Sheringham. At first the police think he may be a refugee that has died, but it turns out he's a local. Then a local police officer dies, seemingly at random. And then two people are found dead in their remote farmhouse. They are Dr Douglas Noakes and his wife, Linda. At first, it looks like a murder suicide - it looks like Douglas killed Linda and then himself. But the gun is in his right hand, and Dr Noakes was left handed. 

The Noakes' children, Chloe and Paul, are somewhat undisturbed by their parents' deaths. They speak of abuse in their children and how they both hated the farm. There are rumours of a devil black dog who roams the area, the Black Shuck. There is also possibly a body in the garden of the farmhouse, so Ruth and her colleague Ted are called in to investigate. 

She also ends up excavating the Bronze Age body of a man, possibly a priest. Someone else ends up dead - I really felt the body count in this book was high! - and the police are convinced that all the modern deaths are related. 

There's enough of Ruth living her life, which I love to read. Her relationship with her new colleague David is a little fractious, and I did not trust him one bit. There's not a lot of Nelson's personal life, but enough. I loved the ending in this way. I enjoyed the bits with Cathbad too, he is so weird but lovely. If anything I just wanted more from the book, I wanted to see why things had happened and what had happened in the past. It could have been twice as long and then maybe I'd have declared it perfect!

As it is, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I liked the local folklore aspects, as usual, and I liked the genuinely scary parts towards the end. I do still wonder how/if/when Elly will finish this series, but I'm excited to see where she goes next... 

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