The Ghost Fields – Elly Griffiths
Norfolk is experiencing a July heatwave when a construction crew unearths a macabre discovery – a buried WWII plane with the pilot still inside. Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway quickly realizes that the skeleton couldn’t possibly be the pilot, and DNA tests identify the man as Fred Blackstock, a local aristocrat who had been reported dead at sea. When the remaining members of the Blackstock family learn about the discovery, they seem strangely frightened by the news.
Events are further complicated by a TV company that wants to make a film about Norfolk’s deserted air force bases, the so-called Ghost Fields, which have been partially converted into a pig farm run by one of the younger Blackstocks. As production begins, Ruth notices a mysterious man lurking close to the Blackstocks’ family home.
Then human bones are found on the family’s pig farm. Can the team outrace a looming flood to find a killer?
My thanks to Quercus Books for providing a review copy through Netgalley.
Last year I was introduced to the books of Elly Griffiths when @BookaddictShaun asked if I would like to do a guest review of The Zig Zag Girl for his blog. I jumped at the chance to read about The Magic Men in The Zig Zag Girl and my review can be found on Shaun’s blog here: Zig Zag Girl
I was aware that Elly Griffiths wrote a series of books featuring forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway but The Zig Zag Girl was a stand-alone novel so for me it was a great introduction to a new author. By the time I had finished reading I knew it was just a matter of time before Ms Galloway and I would become acquainted.
Spin forward a few months and I have the new Elly Griffiths novel to read: The Ghost Fields and I get to meet Ruth Galloway. As I have not read the preceding novels featuring this character I need to address the issue of whether jumping in at The Ghost Fields without knowing the back story will impair enjoyment. In a word – NOPE. The author positioned the characters perfectly. No prior knowledge (it appeared) was assumed and everything that I needed to know was made clear for me. For returning fans the characters you will already love are back and The Ghost Fields does appear to bring on personal stories in a way that I suspect you will enjoy.
The Ghost Fields was a fun read for me. The lead character is likeable and very believable, the murder mystery element was fascinating and with the historic linking back to events of the Second World War it added a dimension that set The Ghost Fields apart from many of my recent reads. There were lots of light hearted moments through the book which kept me amused too which I always welcome in a book.
The central focus of the investigation was the Blackstock family. Much of the action takes place in their ancestral home and on surrounding lands. The old fashioned feel of the local aristocratic family, several generations living together in the family house gave the book a real Agatha Christie feel. As you read you cannot help but feel that a murder is about to occur and that the finale will involve all the cast assembling in the drawing room. No spoilers so you will have to read for yourself to find out if any of these things happen!
Ruth Galloway and Elly Griffiths have a new fan here at Grab This Book. Elly Griffiths writes with a very readable style and the book was well paced. Ruth Galloway has just the right amount of neurosis to be engaging and I warmed to her very quickly.
Visit Elly Griffiths at: http://www.ellygriffiths.co.uk
Elly is also on Twitter as @ellygriffiths