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The Last Remains by Elly Griffiths - Review

Friday, February 17, 2023

It's the last Ruth Galloway book! Noooo! I knew this was coming some time last year, so I ordered the hardback book as I knew I would want to read it as soon as it came out, instead of waiting for the paperback. It arrived on the 31st of January and I picked it up the day after because I was just so desperate to see what happened to Ruth, Nelson, their relationship, and of course all their colleagues and friends. I inhaled this book in two days. Part of me didn't want it to end but, you know, all good things must come to an end. Plus I know that Elly has other series on the go that she probably wants to concentrate on, and that I already like. I have been reading about Ruth and Nelson for so long that it was like saying goodbye to friends, but it was in such a good way.

Plus of course there was the question over Ruth and Nelson's relationship. In the last book, The Locked Room, the world is in lockdown for Covid and Nelson's wife Michelle has taken their young son George and gone off to Blackpool to stay with her mum. Ruth and Nelson have had an on and off thing for years, including the conception of their daughter, Kate, who in this book is in her first year of high school. Nelson broke lockdown in the previous book to stay over with Ruth and Kate, and at first in this book this looks set to carry on. But will they get their happy ever after? I'm not spoling anything, of course. 

So, the mystery. Some builders are refurbishing a building in Kings Lynn that has been several things over the years, including a cafe called the Green Child almost twenty years ago. One of the builders uncovers a whole skeleton behind a false wall. Ruth is called in to date the bones, but she realises they are modern and that they've been kept in fabric somewhere. Nelson and co discover the bones are those of a missing woman called Emily, who went missing at Easter 2002. She was a student at Cambridge, but from Norfolk, and she had been on an archaelogical dig just before her disappearance. She was with her charismatic tutor, Leo Ballard, and a few other students, and Michael Malone, known as Cathbad, who is a close friend of both Ruth and Nelson. He is suffering from Long Covid in this book, and tells the same story about Emily that everyone else did. However, he lates goes missing - does he know more about the crime than he's letting on? And can Ruth and Nelson find him before it's too late?

Meanwhile, Ruth's job at the university is under threat - the university is threatening to close down the archaeology department entirely. She's getting her things into order, including her relationship with her new found half sister, and has to decide what she wants to do with the rest of her life, and who with...

I enjoyed the mystery and the fact it was a cold case, and that it brought Cathbad under suspicion, and that it brought a lot of things from the first book back. It feels like a good ending to the series. I'm giving this five out of five. 

You can see all my other reviews of Elly's books here

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