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An easy read, but this series is getting weaker
on 8 June 2014
I haven't been very kind to Elly Griffiths in the past, but I keep coming back to these books so she must be getting something right.
I loved the premise of the series - forensic archaeologist and single mother Ruth Galloway solving mysteries while sorting out her tangled love life - and, like all the others, this is an easy read. There's a cast of credible characters, the settings are interesting and evocative (with the supernatural elements just stopping this side of cheesy), and there's enough information about Ruth's work and social life to make her seem current and real.
If it's a successful formula, does it matter that every book is more or less the same? This is perhaps the least exciting of the plots, which always end with a race against time. Here it's more mild peril than thriller, and the parallels between the modern and historical mysteries are particularly clunky.
The present-tense narrative continues to grate, as does Ruth's constant Bridget Jones-type angst about her appearance (but by the end she's hooked yet another potential beau, this time a George Clooney lookalike academic, and if that's meant to be her on the cover then she's got nothing to worry about).
This series is getting weaker with each instalment: I'm disappointed, but I'm still reading it. That's an endorsement of sorts, I suppose, and who knows - perhaps next time she'll risk something different?