New Mom Solves Old Murder Case

Ruth Galloway, a new mom to baby Kate, is back to professional life after her maternity leave. She soon learns how difficult it is to balance a career with being a mother, especially as a single mom. Ruth is an archeologist, teaches forensic archeology at the university and also helps the police with investigations.

The coastline by Norfolk, England, is exposed to erosion. The houses there are threatened by nature’s progression and archeologists work to secure knowledge about past times before all evidence is gone. In connection with this work several skeletons are found buried by one of the beaches. Ruth is called to the scene as an expert, and it turns out that it is several men, murdered, tied and left to rot. Ruth determines that the murders happened during World War II and it turns out the men were German soldiers. Someone on the British side silenced them several years ago, but there is still someone who will do anything to keep their destiny a secret.

Ruth is as always drawn into the hectic police life, and she is caught off guard and also somewhat embarrassed that she sometimes misses the “good old times” before being a mom. Her life is made even more complicated by the fact that the Detective Inspector who is in charge of the investigation, Harry Nelson, is the father of her child, the result of an affair during an earlier investigation. Nelson, who is still happily married with beautiful Michelle and their two daughters, agonize over the fact that he cannot be a good father.

A Nice Reunion

I remember being a bit hesitant when I started reading the first novel about Ruth but then the story slowly developed. I was really happy when “The House at Sea’s End” arrived in the mail. As it says on the backcover – it feels like the main characters are old friends! The environments Griffiths describes are missing sun and warmth, instead Norfolk is characterized by snow and ice cold weather. But the opposite is true when it comes to the characters, they are warm and raise many emotions and sympathies. The somewhat sleezy sidestory about Ruth and Nelson is surprisingly interesting to follow.

In other words, another hit by Elly Griffiths!

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