I’d forgotten I’d pre-ordered The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths, the latest in the Ruth Galloway series (see my blogs on Ruth Galloway and The Stranger Diaries), so it was a real treat when I got home one Friday night in February to find a parcel waiting for me, and I devoured it that weekend.
Ruth, the protagonist, manages to balance being a single parent to her daughter Kate with her career as a forensic archaeologist, which involves teaching at a University, writing academic books and appearing on the occasional TV series. Through doing the latter she met her American partner Frank, and The Lantern Men opens to find Ruth having left her cottage on a Norfolk saltmarsh, for a new life in Cambridge with Frank.
But DCI Nelson, the father of Kate, is still interrupting Ruth’s attempts to move on with her life and her work. She gets caught up in another police case with Nelson, digging up bodies and putting herself in danger, and not for the first time. On this occasion, a series of beautiful young women have gone missing on the Norfolk marshes, and a legend of ‘lantern men’, who use their lights to lure women to their deaths, abounds. Ruth herself is just back from staying at a writer’s retreat, with what turns out to be the ex-wife of the convicted killer of some of the women. Nelson doesn’t like how entangled Ruth is, at all. But really, what right does he have to care? Certainly Frank is not amused by his continuing interference in their lives.
Suffice to say that it all ends very satisfactorily. Bring on the next book please.