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on 4 April 2016
Well, while I love the Galloway books they always follow the same pattern: Ruth (and the story) is pottering along, you can almost watch seeing her daughter growing up and her going on and off relationships - not being able to succumb to any man's charme for long, being afraid to lose her independency (and I can very well understand that aspect!). Then, at about 75% through the book things are getting a bit more exciting and the rather light novel turns into crime fiction which then always ends with somebody being kidnapped or trapped and freed in the last second by a strange accumulation of coincidences. Most recently this revolves around the small police investigators team.

Anyway, the books are very nicely written (even if I can't get used to the present tense used throughout the book) and being able to guess the end (rescue of the trapped/kidnapped/threatened person and Ruth's relationship falling apart) results in some familiarity with the characters which you by now happen to know quite well.
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Bones are discovered after a cliff fall on the North Norfolk coast and Dr Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist at the nearby University of North Norfolk is called in to date the bones. It soon becomes clear that these bones have probably been buried within the last hundred years and may have lain undisturbed since World War II.

When examination reveals the skeletons are victims of crime the police, in the form of DCI Harry Nelson becomes involved. As the crime is investigated it seems there are still people alive who do not want the murderer revealed and both Ruth and Harry will find themselves in danger as they attempt to bring a murderer to justice.

I have read the book and listened to the audio version and this book is atmospheric and well plotted. I love the characters and the background of the North Norfolk coast and the plot is interesting and well done. I love the way the relationships of the series characters are developing, though the book could be read as a standalone story.

If you want a crime series which involves history as well then you may well enjoy this one. Fans of Kate Ellis's Wesley Peterson series will love the Ruth Galloway mysteries.
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on 5 May 2012
I don't quite know what to say about this book as I had such high expectations for it. I enjoyed the story, as the relationship between Ruth and Nelson is becoming more involved and I think they are a really entertaining pair. However, for me most of the fascination with these stories is the forensic archaeology content and it's relation to police investigations plus the absorbing myths and legends. Here there wasn't so much. It was more of a murder mystery with connections to WW11 and while that was really good, I missed these elements. Usually it is book two which can fall flat which is not the case here; the Janus Stone was excellent. I hope this was just a deviation for Elly Griffiths and she will return to the more mystical elements which I found so absorbing in her first two books. I'm starting book four now, A Room Full of Bones so I'll post an update when I've finished. I hate writing reviews like this and I did love the book but in this case, this one was not quite as absorbing as the previous two...sorry Elly!
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on 6 October 2017
I love these Ruth Galloway stories with their combination of history, mystery and personality. I love the way the threads of religion and faith, or lack of it are woven through the stories, a glimpse of something here and there, the questioning, the slight shifts of thought.
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on 26 August 2014
Another great book in the Ruth Galloway series. This one sees Ruth juggle the demands of her job at the university as an archaeologist and seconded to the serious crimes unit with that of being a single mother. Griffiths explores this wonderfully as Ruth pitches between her desires to be a part of an exciting discovery and then investigation and her guilt at her perceived failures as a mother. This is an area that many working mothers will be able to identify with deeply.

The setting along the harsh cold coastline is as always an enormous character of its own. It feels forbidding and dangerous without the considerations of a murderer at large. And the investigated murder crosses time periods with history and family secrets playing out in a wonderful story that has you entrenched firmly in there, wondering at a time gone by, and how things may have played out.

The ending will leave you gasping to read the next one as soon as you can. A perfect way to end a book in a series!
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on 19 February 2014
I enjoyed this book, the third in the series. The story is different to the preceding two and I enjoyed it immensely.

This one is about the find of six skeletons at the bottom of some eroded cliffs and it is thought they are from the WW2. It is very sad in places and I liked the 1940s references very much as Ruth and Nelson closed in on the truth.

Ruth and Nelson are feeling like old friends to me now, and I like both characters very much.

On the negative side, the constant references to Ruth being overweight and her feelings of being a bad mother to Kate are slightly irritating. She is a professional working mother and sometimes children do have to be looked after by friends and family. Also I had worked out a very obvious clue midway though the book long before our intrepid, extremely intelligent, Nelson had, and even then it was Ruth who worked it out! I didn't work out the perpetrator at all and I was constantly changing my mind as to who I thought it was.

A very good read again and I'm obviously going to continue with the series as I just have to know what happens with Ruth and Nelson of course, old romantic that I am!
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on 22 August 2014
I had resisted reading any of the books in Elly Griffiths 'Ruth Galloway' series because when I riffled through the pages of one in a bookshop, I discovered that she writes in the present historic. I find this style very difficult and for that reason, I usually avoid reading novels, histories and biographies whose authors have affected it. I bought this first in the series for Kindle without remembering putting it back on the shelf. I'm glad I did, and I'm very glad I persevered with the annoying use of tenses. Griffiths has to some extent restricted the scope of possible crimes by making Ruth an academic archaeologist (old remains only) but this constraint gives her more space to develop a group of really well-rounded and mainly very attractive characters. Having said that, the investigations themselves have enough meat in them (not really, mainly bones) to stand up to scrutiny and the developing lives of the characters demand continued reading. The location of the story, North Norfolk, is integral to the plot and convincingly and lovingly drawn. Nice cat, as well.
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on 4 August 2017
Book 3 in the series and I am still enjoying reading about Dr Ruth Galloway and Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson. Ruth is an archaeologist and has worked with the police on a couple of investigations as well as having a personal connection to Harry Nelson. When bones are discovered buried at the bottom of cliffs. Once again Ruth and Harry are working together and life becomes more complicated.
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on 26 March 2013
I love Elly Griffith's books. The Ruth Galloway series are a great meaty read...I'm quite picky with mysteries and whodunnits: if I'm not hooked by page 100; out they go! Not so with this series...as soon as I can get my greedy mits on one I'm happy. Ruth seems so normal; she's a bit overweight, a bit frumpy, and can lack confidence out of her archealogical comfort zone.......so she's not Superwoman; but the reader can empathise with her. Read the series in order; to get the time-lines right, though.
Cannot give too much of the plot away, but set in Norfolk on coast; with twists and turns, red herrings and some danger bits...yes it's all there. More of a girl-read possibly; but my husband has also enjoyed all her books, and he usually reads science-fiction!
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on 8 September 2017
As always another brilliant story from this author. The setting for the stories is atmospheric you can really imagine being there as the story unfolds. Good strong characters and a brilliant storyline which keeps you guessing 'til the last. Brilliant.
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