Recent Reads

I always look forward to the latest Ruth Galloway novel from Elly Griffiths and in The Stone Circle, out on the 7th February, it’s great to see Ruth back in Norfolk. There’s an interesting link to Griffiths’s first book in the series,  Crossing Places. DCI  Nelson has been receiving letters similar in tone to those which tried to derail the investigation into missing children. The culprit’s son, Leif, has returned to look at a prehistoric stone circle where a twelve year old girl’s bones are discovered. The vulnerability of children and babies is explored in a sensitive manner. The bones are those of Margaret Lacey who disappeared thirty years earlier in a crime which the community has never forgotten. Griffiths is excellent at keeping up dramatic tension both in terms of the murder investigation and the Nelson/Ruth relationship.

The Boy who Lived with the Dead is the new novel by Kate Ellis featuring Scotland Yard detective, Albert Lincoln. Before the First World War, Lincoln led the investigation into the disappearance of Jimmy Rudyard, a young child in the Cheshire village of Mabley Ridge. Now, a woman has been killed, her small baby is missing and Lincoln is back to investigate the murder.  He discovers a town still reeling from war and families with plenty of secrets to hide. The book is an absorbing read and I loved the period detail.

Cuckoo by Sophie Draper is a psychological thriller set in my home county of Derbyshire. Caro inherits, along with her sister, their childhood home after the death of step-mother, Elizabeth. The villagers are unfriendly and the house brings back long forgotten memories for Caro. Cuckoo is an interesting psychological thriller, very well written, which cleverly exploits the closed confines of the story. Draper is excellent at  keeping the reader guessing until the denouement.

Thomas Mogford’s A Thousand Cuts had been on my shelf  for a while, a shameful admission given how much I love the author’s writing. The fifth book in the Spike Snguinetti series sees Spike’s fiancé about to give birth while he takes on a case that brings him into conflict with childhood friends. Spike is a fascinating character and it looks like he’s about to let his obsession with his case ruin another relationship. Mogford’s descriptions of the Gibraltar setting are wonderful but never allowed to overshadow the plot. It’s one of his best.

19 thoughts on “Recent Reads

  1. Kathy P.

    Hello Sarah. An interesting choice of books there. Both The Boy who Lived with the Dead and A Thousand Cuts particularly caught my eye. I haven’t read books by either author before, so I’d better remedy that quick as. The latter is of special interest as I’ve been to Gibraltar a couple of times; not recently unfortunately, and loved it. More books for the TBR pile!


  2. Great to find out more about the forthcoming Ruth Galloway book! Elly Griffiths is one of my favorite mystery writers. I recently read her standalone, “Stranger Diaries,” and loved this one, as well. It was a good sign that it was great, in that I didn’t find myself “looking for Ruth,” but truly enjoying all of the interesting characters. By the end, I was hoping for a new series based on several of them!


  3. luckygibbo

    Sarah- it’s always refreshing to come across “new” authors you put forward. Some of my all time favourites have either passed away (Hill, Mankell, Dibdin, James, Rendell, et al) or retired. Thank you for opening my eyes to this array of books. Cheers from Down Under (when are you go to drop by for a barbie!!!!).=, Dave.


    1. Hi Dave – one day I’ll make it to Oz, I promise! I miss Reginald Hill and Ruth Rendell too. I always used to look forward to a new book from then. I really would recommend Elly Griffiths if you like long series.


  4. I’ve just finished The Stone Circle and I’m really glad to see Griffiths back on form. I thought The Dark Angel got the balance between the crimes and Ruth and Nelson’s relationship wrong, but this one is back on track.


  5. Thanks Sarah, I’ll add Cuckoo to my wishlist. I’m always happy to come across books with Derbyshire settings.

    I saw the comment above by luckygibbo and was pleased to see another Australian fan of your work.

    (former Derbyshire boy)


  6. Pingback: Gamekeeper turned poacher... - Thomas Mogford

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