Tuesday, June 29, 2021

The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths

 

First Line: There's so much blood, that's what he always remembers.
 
Dr. Ruth Galloway is now the head of the archaeology department at the University of North Norfolk, and if you want to make her froth at the mouth, just mention metal detectorists. Her opinion of amateur archaeologists couldn't be lower. When she learns that a metal detectorist club called the Night Hawks has uncovered Bronze Age artifacts on a beach, she rushes over to protect the site from their destructive attentions.

But those artifacts aren't the only things to be discovered: the body of a young man has washed ashore nearby. Soon after, the Night Hawks discover the murder-suicide of a scientist and his wife in their home at Black Dog Farm. The property has long thought to be haunted by the Black Shuck, a huge dog that's the harbinger of death.

As DCI Harry Nelson works the case of the dead man on the beach and the murder-suicide on the farm, the two cases start to weave together. The more they weave themselves together, the closer they get to David Brown, the new lecturer Ruth has recently hired, a person who has the annoying tendency to show up wherever Ruth is.

~

The books in Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway series always seem to be brushed with a liberal amount of fairy dust, and although the pandemic seems to have knocked off some of that magic this time around, The Night Hawks is still a book capable of making readers forget the outside world.

Ruth is back home and learning just how much paperwork a university head of department has to deal with and how much diplomacy is often required. Her new lecturer, David Brown, has a pet theory that Neolithic immigrants came to England bringing with them a disease that wiped out the native Britons. He'll talk about it at length to anyone who'll listen. Ruth knows that this particular theory needs to be kept under wraps, not only because it will portray Neolithic Britons as people of color (gasp!) but it will also bring out the anti-immigrant nutters. All this could be disastrous for funding.

Meanwhile, DCI Harry Nelson has his work cut out for him, and it's not just those two cases he and his team are working. The women in his life seem to be expecting a lot from him. Michelle, Ruth, his three daughters... but more importantly the women he works with. Judy is doing her usual exemplary work, but it's his boss, Jo, who's really pushing him to retire-- and Nelson. Does. Not. Want. To. 

Griffiths keeps readers guessing with the two investigations Nelson and his team are working, and I love how she weaves in the legend of the Black Shuck, but for me, the focus is always on Ruth and Nelson. Sometimes it's just tiny details like Ruth watching Young Montalbano on the telly when she's got a spare hour or two to herself. But in The Night Hawks, Nelson grabs a lion's share of my attention. He's finally beginning to wonder how long he can go on living two lives, and he finds advice from a surprising source. 

Now all we have to do is wait to see what he does with that advice. Bring on the next book quickly, please!

The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths
eISBN: 9780358237013
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt © 2021
eBook, 368 pages
 
Police Procedural, #13 Dr. Ruth Galloway mystery
Rating: B+
Source: Net Galley

14 comments:

  1. What an enticing review you wrote. Where is my library book? (pant, pant) I can barely contain myself in anticipation of this book.

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    1. Get your drinks and snacks and settle in for the long haul. It's a good'un.

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  2. That's the thing about an Elly Griffiths book, isn't it, Cathy? She's just so talented that it's very hard to go wrong with one of her books. I really like the way her characters have developed over time, and of course there are the excellent plots. Even one without all of the fairy dust is still a winner.

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  3. I cannot wait to read this one. It 'dropped' into my Kindle overnight! Like magic? LOL

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    1. That's one of the kinds of magic I like!

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  4. You certainly make this series sound enticing, Cathy!

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    1. It's an excellent series, Gretchen. I didn't think I'd like it at first because a bit of it goes against my personal moral code, but the characters are so real and the plots so good that Griffiths won me over completely.

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  5. This one sounds like a lot of fun...and as a dedicated metal detectorist who always carries a metal detector and associated gear in the trunk of his car, your description of the plot made me chuckle.

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  6. Oh, this sounds good! I'm glad I already have my hold request in at the library :)

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    1. I hope you get your hands on it quickly!

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  7. I really can't take the waiting. Fingernails bitten, sweat on my brow, pacing throughout the apartment.
    On library hold, but the system has only one book, is awaiting several copies! A real nailbiter!

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    1. Sounds like the acquisitions librarian needs to make a note: More Elly Griffiths!

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