Year 4 / Book 17: Dying Fall

17) Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths

I’ve read quite a few books by Elly Griffiths over the last couple of years, and they are pretty uniformly entertaining. Whilst mildly undemanding on the whole, the main characters are what raises her books above the norm a little – Ruth Galloway is a forensic archaeologist and single mother raising her daughter (& looking after her cat); DCI Harry Nelson has an on-off type thing with Ruth, but mostly off as he is married; Cathbad is a Druid-meets-godfather and best friend to Ruth. And with each passing novel, I feel like their characters deepen a little.

Beyond those characters and their development and interplay, though, I didn’t enjoy this quite as much as previous episodes in the series. The plot required a lot of suspension of disbelief, more than I could manage – not just the (common) coincidence of Ruth & Harry ending up in the same place, but a plot that involves King Arthur, the far right, ex-policemen & security, mothers-in-law, arson and a tech-savvy Druid was all a bit much. Parts of it were entertaining, and Griffiths is an excellent writer; I just think this story was a bit of a reach.

So I will come back to this series – even with the plot machinations, the pages were turning and I enjoyed some of the scenes, wry asides and set pieces. I just think that if I was recommending to someone else (which I have done), I wouldn’t be recommending them to start here.

Score: 6.5/10

BUY IT NOW: A Dying Fall: A spooky, gripping read for Halloween (Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 5) (The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries)

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