I have fallen back in love with this series! I think the trick to really getting the most out of Ruth Galloway’s adventures is to just go with the flow, a bit like my favourite character in the series, Cathbad (a druid) would most definitely recommend.
So, I now just breeze through Griffiths explaining references to past plots and I successfully suspend my disbelief that a forensic archeologist would have their life threatened on such a regular basis.
Dying Fall takes us away from Ruth’s beloved Norfolk home to the much more prosaic landscape of Blackpool. Dan, an old college friend has died in a house fire, and we quickly learn that it was deliberately lit.
Ruth receives a letter from Dan written shortly before his death, asking for her assistance in identifying some bones he has discovered: bones that he suggests could be of someone very famous indeed. He also alludes to being very frightened – of what, he doesn’t reveal. When Dan’s university ask Ruth to look at the bones, she accepts, telling herself that it will be an opportunity for a nice, peaceful holiday – not!!!
Cathbad accompanies Ruth to help look after her daughter Kate, who is now an active and curious two year old. And to add some further complication, DCI Harry Nelson is also in the neighbourhood, visiting his mother; reconnecting with an old colleague in Blackpool and trying to be a good husband to his long suffering wife Michelle.
Griffiths tackles some interesting issues in this fifth Ruth Galloway ‘adventure’: how hard it is to juggle a career with parenting (not to mention trying to establish a regular night-time routine); how easy it is to look back at our youth and think it was all so wonderful (but in truth, it wasn’t); what makes a good friend and the discovery that life is about moving forward and embracing the future.
Cathbad takes a leading role in this book and he is very hard not to like! Ruth is experiencing what all mothers experience: that constant pull of wanting to be with your child all the time and at the same time thinking you’ll go mad if you don’t get a break!
DCI Harry Nelson is still confused about his feelings towards Ruth, and I’m intrigued to see how this is developed in the next book, which I’m very much looking forward to.