11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Same old formula, same old flaws,
This review is from: Dying Fall: A Ruth Galloway Investigation (Kindle Edition)
Looking at all the four and five star reviews for this book I'm obviously in the minority here - I thought it was the worst, not the best, of the series.
If you like this sort of crime novel then you'll be happy to discover Elly Griffiths. Unfortunately, if like me you go on to read all her books in quick succession, all the similarities and flaws are laid bare.
Plotwise, they all follow exactly the same formula: forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway is called in when ancient bones are found, a modern murder is uncovered, there's a frantic chase to stop the killer, and Ruth is saved by one or more of her many male admirers. There's always a strong mystical theme, tending towards the corny with plenty of eerie fogs, ghosts and druids, and this time she's thrown in King Arthur and the Pendle witches as well. The unlikely situations and coincidences are piled on thickly, before a shameless red herring/cliffhanger brings it all to an end with a bang. At least the setting is different for this one - Blackpool instead of Norfolk - but Ruth has just exchanged one lonely cottage for another, which adds to the samey atmosphere.
It's not all about the plot, however: this is detection, Bridget Jones-style. It's all about Ruth and what everyone thinks about her. We have to share her never-ending angst about her weight - referred to on the first page of chapter 1 - and her love life, which I'm finding a bit repetitive and annoying (especially now that her relationship with DCI Harry Nelson seems to be going nowhere). There's a limit to how much I can put up with a woman complaining about being hugely fat, lonely, and a useless mother, when she's obviously none of these things.
As always, the tenses are all over the place, and the first person narration is still sounding like audio description. And at the end we get a couple of pages of this sort of thing, explaining what's happened:
" ... How much did Dan know? ... But Sam must have still had his doubts about Clayton ... It was Sam who sent the text messages ... Elaine told Ruth that she had received a phone call ..."
It reads as if she was rushing to tie up all the loose ends in order to meet a deadline.
That's probably the end of Elly Griffiths for me: I'm disappointed, I had high hopes for this series. But judging by all the glowing reviews she's found a very successful formula, so it's a case of if it ain't broke, don't fix it, I suppose.
Tracked by 1 customer
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Jan 2014 20:45:46 GMT
Have to agree with much of this, the formula is very much the same in each book, too many coincidences, too many tenses, too much putting herself and her child in dangerous situations. Here's the thing though, I will be reading the next book, can't wait for the Nelson story to unfold so as Bookwoman says it probably aint broke.
Posted on 10 Feb 2014 21:55:28 GMT
Christine Flood says:
I do agree. I stopped reading these novels after the one before this as they are all so samey. I come from East Anglia and it annoys me that the geography has been so poorly researched.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›