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

23 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.

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

      Delete
  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.

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

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

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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.

      Delete
  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.

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

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

      Delete
  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!

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

      Delete
  8. I finished The Night Hawks! Two all-nighters. Loved it. Laughed out loud at much dialogue or Nelson's thinking, especially about the "nutter druid."

    I just love the characters.

    Now Nelson does have a dilemma, but I'm not on a side. After all, even though he is pulled toward one person, another has stayed with him, cooked his meals, kept his house, taken care of their child, despite knowing about his foibles.

    It's a tough choice. And how does he resolve this dilemma? I can see where it's going, but I'm not sure I agree. I think he should keep it status quo.

    When my great uncle George's wife, Fanny, died, my family went to his house a few months later. I saw Fanny's nightgown and robe hung up where she hung it up, a place setting set for her, and everything set up the same way it was when she was alive.
    Then I found out my great uncle, with his twinkling blue eyes, had a mistress across town for many years.

    And at about age 16, I learned someone could love two people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But Nelson has realized that he doesn't want to maintain the status quo. It will be interesting to see what he decides and how he handles it.

      Delete
  9. And why wasn't it a best of the year for you? Inquiring minds want to know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Remember... no two people ever read the same book. It obviously didn't have the same impact on me as it did you.

      Delete
  10. Oh, really? I do know that about readers and personal taste varying.

    Yes, Nelson does have to make a decision. And he was told by a reliable source that he knows what to do.

    We shall see. I ccan think of all sorts of catastrophes that would decide the resolution for Nelson, but I don't think Elly Griffiths is into writing that way, like someone gets sick, is hit by a meteor, drowns in a tsunami. Not her thing.

    She is more subtle than that. Can't wait for book 14.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Did yoou nt like the plot, characters, the Ruth/Nelson dynamic?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Give it up, Kathy! You're like a dog with a bone. *laughing*

      One of the things that makes a book a Best Read for me is... do I find myself thinking about the book constantly when I'm not actually reading it? Am I knitting and purling and wondering what Nelson is going to do? Do I wish I knew which episode of Montalbano Ruth is watching? Who's the killer? It couldn't be him, could it?

      That didn't happen this time, and that's all I'm going to say on this subject.

      Delete
  12. That's fine for me. I value your opinion, and I certainly read or don't read books based on the reviews here.

    You had been so enthusiastic about the previous Ruth Galloway books, so I was curious. I accept your explanation.

    All I know about myself is that if I race through a task or an errand to get back to my current read, that means it's a hit.

    And I just did that with Subirbam Dicks, as I did with The Night Hawks and with Lisa Scottoline's book on the Italian holocaust Eternal.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. I really appreciate it!