Friday, December 02, 2016

FFB Review: The House at Sea’s End: A Ruth Galloway Mystery by Elly Griffiths

Back late last December I reviewed the first book in this series, The Crossing Places. I’d found out about the series by way of a number of folks on the DorothyL list who had enjoyed it very much. I enjoyed it immensely and knew I wanted to read the next one. I had planned to get to the second book quicker than I had, but as usual, life intervened. It wasn’t until last month that I read and reviewed The Janus Stone

After taking last week off as a mental health break and to avoid running another repeat review, today for Friday’s Forgotten Books I review the third one in the series, The House At Sea’s End. This is a great series and one that absolutely has to be read in order. For more reading suggestions, check out Patti Abbott’s blog.

It is March when Detective Sergeant David Clough gets the call from his girlfriend, Trace. With her purple spiked hair and piercings, one might be surprised at their relationship. Marriage is not planned at this point, unlike the upcoming one for Detective Sergeant Judy Johnson, who is gaining martial practice in a way as she is forced to share a desk with the always-eating Clough. Trace called because, as one of several people who have found remains out at the Broughton Sea’s End, she is sure they need the police and she has that personal connection.

Between a local pub and the home known as Sea’s End House, along the cliff face and in an area that is swamped at regular intervals by the tides, there are bones. Obviously human the bones will need the professional evaluation by Dr. Ruth Galloway who has just returned from maternity leave. The survey for the university on the effects of coastal erosion that was being conducted by Trace and other folks from the archeology department is going to have to wait.
The few initial bones lead to the eventual discovery of six bodies. The six show signs that they were bound at the time of their deaths as well as other clues that seem to indicate a case of foul play. Dr. Ruth Galloway is able to determine they date back to World War II. From their appearance and other related events, it becomes clear that DCI Harry Nelson, just back from vacation and Clough’s boss, has a major case to work. Whatever the reason for what happened then, someone is killing in the here and now to keep the truth buried even if the bones are not.

The House at Sea’s End: A Ruth Galloway Mystery is the third in the series that began with The Crossing Places. Author Elly Griffths has created a compelling mystery series that features plenty of history from an archeological perspective. Then she adds in the complex personalities of multiple characters to create a very real to the reader fictional world. These books pull you in quickly as the characters evolve and change over time.

This is a series that simply has to be read in order. There are ongoing repercussions from the first book as well as the second novel that reverberate here in obvious and not so obvious ways. These mysteries, including The House at Sea’s End: A Ruth Galloway Mystery, are mysteries of depth and complexity and very much worth your time.

The House at Sea’s End: A Ruth Galloway Mystery
Elly Griffiths
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
January 2012
ISBN# 978-0-547-50614-5
Hardback (also available in paperback, audio, and eBook formats)
384 Pages (includes 11 pages of the next book in the series)

Material was obtained via the Plano Public Library System to read and review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2016


BPL Ref said...

I agree, this is a wonderful series and really should be read in order. The characters' relationships are delightfully complex and nuanced, but that's one of the things I love about the books.

authorlindathorne said...

I wish so badly I had time to read books like this. Sounds like a great series. Next year I'm considering retirement (except for writing books), but if the day job is gone, I can get back to a lot of reading.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

I am not writing my own fiction. I do spend a large amount of time at the hospital. I don't recommend either situation for gaining reading time.