Hot Best Seller

The Lantern Men

Availability: Ready to download

Everything has changed for Dr Ruth Galloway. She has a new job, home and partner, and is no longer North Norfolk police's resident forensic archaeologist. That is, until convicted murderer Amyas March offers to make DCI Nelson a deal. Nelson was always sure that March killed more women than he was charged with. Now March confirms this, and offers to show Nelson where the ot Everything has changed for Dr Ruth Galloway. She has a new job, home and partner, and is no longer North Norfolk police's resident forensic archaeologist. That is, until convicted murderer Amyas March offers to make DCI Nelson a deal. Nelson was always sure that March killed more women than he was charged with. Now March confirms this, and offers to show Nelson where the other bodies are buried - but only if Ruth will do the digging. Curious, but wary, Ruth agrees. March tells Ruth that he killed four more women and that their bodies are buried near a village bordering the fens, said to be haunted by the Lantern Men, mysterious figures holding lights that lure travellers to their deaths. Is Amyas March himself a lantern man, luring Ruth back to Norfolk? What is his plan, and why is she so crucial to it? And are the killings really over?


Compare

Everything has changed for Dr Ruth Galloway. She has a new job, home and partner, and is no longer North Norfolk police's resident forensic archaeologist. That is, until convicted murderer Amyas March offers to make DCI Nelson a deal. Nelson was always sure that March killed more women than he was charged with. Now March confirms this, and offers to show Nelson where the ot Everything has changed for Dr Ruth Galloway. She has a new job, home and partner, and is no longer North Norfolk police's resident forensic archaeologist. That is, until convicted murderer Amyas March offers to make DCI Nelson a deal. Nelson was always sure that March killed more women than he was charged with. Now March confirms this, and offers to show Nelson where the other bodies are buried - but only if Ruth will do the digging. Curious, but wary, Ruth agrees. March tells Ruth that he killed four more women and that their bodies are buried near a village bordering the fens, said to be haunted by the Lantern Men, mysterious figures holding lights that lure travellers to their deaths. Is Amyas March himself a lantern man, luring Ruth back to Norfolk? What is his plan, and why is she so crucial to it? And are the killings really over?

30 review for The Lantern Men

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Much has changed in the latest edition of Elly Griffith's forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway series. For a start she is living with the American Frank and her young daughter, Kate in Cambridge, teaching at St Jude's College. She has just completed her latest book at the peaceful writers and artists retreat, Grey Walls, run by Crissy Martin. To her surprise, unusually she finds herself connecting with Crissy, a rare event indeed. In Norfolk, DCI Harry Nelson is not happy that Ruth has moved Much has changed in the latest edition of Elly Griffith's forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway series. For a start she is living with the American Frank and her young daughter, Kate in Cambridge, teaching at St Jude's College. She has just completed her latest book at the peaceful writers and artists retreat, Grey Walls, run by Crissy Martin. To her surprise, unusually she finds herself connecting with Crissy, a rare event indeed. In Norfolk, DCI Harry Nelson is not happy that Ruth has moved to Cambridge, and definitely not happy she is living with Frank, and he is unable to see Kate as often either. However, he is happy when serial killer, Ivor March, is found guilty of the murder of two young women buried in his girlfriend, Chantal's garden, the evidence of his culpability sufficient for the jury to convict him. However, there are two missing women, Nicola Ferris and Jenny McGuire, Nelson is convinced Ivor murdered them too and he wants to bring closure for their grieving families. So he visits Ivor in prison looking to obtain a confession, but Ivor refuses to play ball unless Ruth is involved. It turns out Crissy is Ivor's ex-wife, she and Chantal wholeheartedly believe in his innocence and feel Phil Trent, Ruth's old boss, messed up in the original investigation. In their opinion, Ruth is far more skilled and they are determined to have her on the case. So when Ivor gives a location in the grounds of The Jolly Boatman, despite not liking the man, Ruth agrees to oversee the search for the two women's bodies. She is now back in her beloved Norfolk which she misses desperately. There is folklore in the area of the lantern men leading people astray to their deaths, and in the past Ivor was part of a group of men, the Grey Wall set, referring to themselves as the modern lantern men who rescued women and bought them back to Grey Walls to live for a while. Ruth and Nelson find more than they expected at The Jolly Boatman and to muddy the waters further, another young woman, a cyclist from the Lynn Wheels club is found murdered. Is this a copycat killing or could there be the remote possibility that Ivor is innocent? It is a joy to return to a well loved set of characters, and there is the introduction of a new team member, Tony Zhang. We catch up with the likes of the prescient druid Cathbad, his wife DI Judy Johnson, DI Cloughie who now runs his own team, Nelson's family and his young son, George, Maddie and all the others. Ruth finds herself suffering panic attacks, it is clear that she is not happy at Cambridge, she misses Nelson, all her dreams of moving on appear to have come to nought. This is a great addition to a great crime series. Many thanks to Quercus for an ARC

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: 'The lantern men. It's an old legend round these parts. Mysterious figures carrying lanterns that haunt the fens and the marshes. If you follow their lights, you're doomed. They can knock you down and leave you for dead.' ABOUT THIS BOOK: Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway changed her life—until a convicted killer tells her that four of his victims were never found, drawing her back to the place she left behind. MY THOUGHTS: I love this series and always eagerly await the publication of EXCERPT: 'The lantern men. It's an old legend round these parts. Mysterious figures carrying lanterns that haunt the fens and the marshes. If you follow their lights, you're doomed. They can knock you down and leave you for dead.' ABOUT THIS BOOK: Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway changed her life—until a convicted killer tells her that four of his victims were never found, drawing her back to the place she left behind. MY THOUGHTS: I love this series and always eagerly await the publication of a new book in this series. I love following Ruth's on again/off again relationship with Nelson, whom I don't envy at all. It seems to me that he is caught between a rock and a hard place by his love for both Michelle and Ruth. And I admire Michelle enormously. She handles the situation with far more maturity and dignity than I am sure I would ever be able to do. I do have to wonder though, if she ever took up with anyone else, just how well Nelson would react? Would he see it as his escape route to being able to be with Ruth? Or would his jealousy run rampant? But I digress. We are two years on from the end of the previous book. Ruth and Kate have moved to Cambridge where Ruth is a professor at one of the colleges. They are living with Frank, the American introduced to us in The Stone Circle. I quite liked him initially, but I started to see another side of him, not so likeable, in The Lantern Men. He really is not a good fit for Ruth. The Lantern Men has, as always with this series, an intriguing plot. Ivor March has been jailed for the murders of two young women. There was plenty of forensic evidence. And yet there's a strong body of people, Cathbad included, that believe him to be innocent. Nelson is not one of them. He is totally convinced of March's guilt and believes that he is also guilty of the murders of two more young women whose bodies have never been found. Then the body of another young woman is found murdered. Is it a copycat? It can't have been Ivor - he is securely held in prison. Or is Ivor indeed innocent? Now I thought - no, more than thought - I was convinced that I knew the answer, that I had it all figured out. 😂🤣😂🤣 I didn't. Wasn't even close.... Griffiths supporting characters are, as usual, varied, but all quite wonderful. From the serene Crissy Martin, ex-wife of the convicted murderer, to the enigmatic Chantal, Ivor's lover, and the assortment of men, some decidedly creepy, who orbited the charismatic Ivor March and his women, this diverse cast of characters provides plenty of surprises. Another excellent addition to this series which, I hope, still has many books to come. ❤❤❤❤.4 The loo in the waiting area had a sign on it saying 'Patient Toilet.' Well the WC must be the only thing around here not feeling frustrated. THE AUTHOR: Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway novels take for their inspiration Elly's husband, who gave up a city job to train as an archaeologist, and her aunt who lives on the Norfolk coast and who filled her niece's head with the myths and legends of that area. Elly has two children and lives near Brighton. DISCLOSURE: Thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of the Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    3.5 stars, rounded up It was a bit of a shock to me to start The Lantern Men and realize it’s two years later and Ruth no longer lives on the Fens. No, she’s ensconced as a professor at Cambridge and is living with Frank. Time has moved on in the two years since The Stone Circle. Dave and Judy are DIs. Judy was actually lead on the case that put Ivor March behind bars for killing two women. Of course, it’s believed he killed two other women but those bodies were never found. He agrees to say wher 3.5 stars, rounded up It was a bit of a shock to me to start The Lantern Men and realize it’s two years later and Ruth no longer lives on the Fens. No, she’s ensconced as a professor at Cambridge and is living with Frank. Time has moved on in the two years since The Stone Circle. Dave and Judy are DIs. Judy was actually lead on the case that put Ivor March behind bars for killing two women. Of course, it’s believed he killed two other women but those bodies were never found. He agrees to say where the bodies are buried, but only if Ruth handles the excavation. This serves to bring Ruth back to the Fens and the investigation. This remains one of my favorite series and it’s always a joy to spend time with Ruth, Nelson and the gang. Griffiths spun a wonderful tale and the book seemed to fly by. As always, I love how she weaves folk tales and history into the storylines. I was on edge just because Ruth was. She’s suffering panic attacks and for good reason. Her life may appear calm on the surface but you can tell it’s not really working for her. As always, my idea of who was behind the crimes was wrong. That said, I found the climax of the book unrealistic and it was one of the least satisfying of the series. Flip side, I was pleased by the ending as far as Ruth is concerned. My thanks to netgalley and Quercus Books for an advance copy of this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    Some books do really read themselves. You can read one of 368 pages and it reads like it was barely 150 pages in total. Others remain unfinished or drag on indeterminately as 320 pages feel like 700 plus pages with no end in sight. Elly Griffiths is a natural storyteller. Her words flow off the page like the breaths you take. The Lantern Men is the 12th novel in the Ruth Galloway series. Where others may in a formulaic fashion just perpetuate their characters, Elly imbues them with life and vitali Some books do really read themselves. You can read one of 368 pages and it reads like it was barely 150 pages in total. Others remain unfinished or drag on indeterminately as 320 pages feel like 700 plus pages with no end in sight. Elly Griffiths is a natural storyteller. Her words flow off the page like the breaths you take. The Lantern Men is the 12th novel in the Ruth Galloway series. Where others may in a formulaic fashion just perpetuate their characters, Elly imbues them with life and vitality. So, this apart from the central tension between Nelson and Ruth is a fresh and original outing for the gang. 2 years have passed; much has changed but some things may never change. Ruth has taken a new post in Cambridge; academic recognition for her work and experience. She is living with Frank who is devoted to Ruth and doted on her daughter Kate. Nelson is getting on with his life still with Michelle and his focus is perhaps more centred on their son George. Nelson is frustrated that despite getting a guilty verdict on serial killer Ivor March he has been unable to link him to two other missing women whose bodies have not been found. This is a wonderfully woven crime mystery that is based on a police procedural in the stunning location of Norfolk, England. From the opening prologue the sense of menace never eases up and the story unfolds like a well wrapped Christmas present. There is no tearing away of sheets of paper. It is like a dance of the seven veils as layers are laid bare, like an expectant game of pass the parcel. The skill of the book is the premise of The Lantern Men and the sense of foreboding that draws women to danger like moths to a candle. This mystical tale of a malevolent presence over marshland and the fens is as scary as Candyman or Dracula. You are brought fully into this sense of myth and legend especially as you perceive a human element buying into the folklore. As characters within find to their cost. It is heart-stopping and breath-taking. The author has brought us one of the most memorable episodes of this series; reconnecting to the salt marsh and those liminal places between land and sea. There is also that sense of threat to love ones that makes crime personal and hits home. The cast of characters are well formed, balanced and all get an outing here; but you quickly guess that the outcome might not favour all. A writer comfortable with her craft, bringing thought to her work and as always joy to her growing list of readers and fans. A must read in 2020.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    Change is hard and Ruth and Kate have undetaken a big change. No longer in her beloved cottage by the salt marsh, no longer in Norfolk, and no longer living close to Nelson. Life though has a way its own and soon Ruth will once again be drawn into working a case with Nelson. Of course, this brings her right back and of course our favorite characters right with her. I so enjoy this series. Simmering tensions and emotional ties, a case that is always interesting. A terrific mix between the persona Change is hard and Ruth and Kate have undetaken a big change. No longer in her beloved cottage by the salt marsh, no longer in Norfolk, and no longer living close to Nelson. Life though has a way its own and soon Ruth will once again be drawn into working a case with Nelson. Of course, this brings her right back and of course our favorite characters right with her. I so enjoy this series. Simmering tensions and emotional ties, a case that is always interesting. A terrific mix between the personal, the mystic with Cathsbad, and an intriguing case. I learn a little, enjoy alot. This case and the inherent danger will effect Ruth personally, when past and present converge. At books end another decision will be made. Who are the lantern men? Myth or truth? To be continued in Griffiths next outing. ARC from Edelweiss.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    DCI Harry Nelson and DI Judy Johnson are pleased that Ivor March has been found guilty of the murder of two young women. While Nelson believes he has killed at least two more women, March is still claiming his innocence of all the murders. However, he tells Nelson he will tell him where to find the other two bodies if Ruth Galloway can be involved in the forensic exhumation of the bodies. Ruth has moved on since the earlier cases she worked with Nelson. She has left her job at the University of DCI Harry Nelson and DI Judy Johnson are pleased that Ivor March has been found guilty of the murder of two young women. While Nelson believes he has killed at least two more women, March is still claiming his innocence of all the murders. However, he tells Nelson he will tell him where to find the other two bodies if Ruth Galloway can be involved in the forensic exhumation of the bodies. Ruth has moved on since the earlier cases she worked with Nelson. She has left her job at the University of North Norfolk and her cottage on the Northfolk Fens. Much to Nelson's displeasure, she and Katie have moved in with American historian Frank Barker and she has started a new job at St Jude's College in Cambridge. However, since it's the end of the academic year and she has just finished writing a book, she agrees to help Nelson out by being involved in the exhumation of the bodies. The plot becomes more complicated when a third body is found at the burial site and when a fresh murder occurs. Nelson is not the only one left wondering if there is more to these murders than they first thought and tales of young women being lured by mythic lantern men across the marshes gives the murders a gothic atmosphere. It was really good to see Ruth back examining bones with Nelson and his crew and surrounded by the familiar characters from the previous books including Nelson's colleagues and family and especially Cathbad, the gentle Druid. The ongoing development of the characters and their relationships is one of the pleasures of reading this series. Ruth Galloway is one of my favourite characters in crime fiction and, although I wasn't entirely convinced by the way the investigation wrapped up, I enjoyed the journey to get there and the weaving of local mythology and the ruggedly beautiful landscape into the crime. With many thanks to and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Netgalley for a digital ARC to read

  7. 4 out of 5

    Hilary

    This series is so readable! These books are unputdownable page turners that keep you immersed in the story. I find these books very addictive and perfect escapism and especially ideal for reading when you struggle to get interested in a book. The reason I enjoy this series the most is the characters. Having got to know them so well over these 12 books it's great fun to be with them again. I'm attached to all the characters now, I really like Kate, Ruth and Nelson, all of the characters really. Th This series is so readable! These books are unputdownable page turners that keep you immersed in the story. I find these books very addictive and perfect escapism and especially ideal for reading when you struggle to get interested in a book. The reason I enjoy this series the most is the characters. Having got to know them so well over these 12 books it's great fun to be with them again. I'm attached to all the characters now, I really like Kate, Ruth and Nelson, all of the characters really. They seem like real people, with flaws and humour and lives that don't always run smoothly. The mystery was interesting, I liked the theme of the group of artists, I found them fairly realistic representation of artists from that era. I enjoyed the addition of the local folklore and the mentions of places near me I know and love. The conclusion of the mystery did seem farfetched (view spoiler)[ the sister of a girl killed accidentally by one of the artists becomes the girlfriend of the killer for what sounded like several years of living together in order to get justice for her sister (hide spoiler)] Part of the story revolved around a cycling club and I found this part researched poorly. (view spoiler)[ When a young woman is murdered whilst out training the first thing the police would have checked was strava as for decades there have been various apps and devices for recording your activity. Later someone from the club mentions some young people use strava but the police officer responds by saying they don't have her phone. They wouldn't need it, they could contact strava or even find her activity by looking at another person's activity who had passed her. Also mentioned is cyclists listening to music with earphones whilst they cycle! This just doesn't happen, it's so dangerous not to be able to hear what's going on around you, listening to music whilst you run on a pavement is one thing, but cyclists just wouldn't do that. Another inaccuracy is that when Laura decides to take up cycling she joins the club and after 2 weeks enters a race. It said a couple of times that she was near the front of the race. This wouldn't happen, it takes a lot of training to get to that standard however fit you are with other excercise, there would be 70yr olds way ahead of her who have trained for years, there would be people with carbon frames bikes, disc wheels, cyclists take it really seriously and spend massive amounts of money, there would have been people who have visited wind tunnels just to check how aerodynamic their positions are. Having just hopped on a bike two weeks previously Laura would have been at the back and she would have been struggling (hide spoiler)] The other very slight downside is that too many times, every book I think, Ruth walks willingly into danger, puts Kate in danger and too many times the non police characters are directly threatened by criminals in the mystery, it does become quite farcical but I've come to expect that so it doesn't detract from the enjoyment of the book for me. The other thing I find unrealistic is the really unhealthy eating, this author seems fixated with junk food. If one or two characters ate like this that would be realistic but all of them! Food is mentioned continually but not one item of fruit or vegetables was mentioned throughout the whole book, forget your 5 a day these characters don't even get their 1 a year between them! I had a note book and some time on my hands when I read this, here's what they ate and drank in the order they come up in the story, it made me laugh! - gin and tonic, steak, chips, cheese, wine, chocolate brownies, beer, wine, prosecco, coffee, fish and chips, lager, chilli con carne with chocolate in it, pimm's, chicken and chips, beer, cake, vegan burger, wine, coke, sausage and mash, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, fish pie, coffee, chocolate, red wine, chocolate truffles, spaghetti bolognese, mixed grill, chips, pizza, brownies, curry, wine, vodka, limoncello, kitkats, chocolate brownies, roast dinner, apple pie, barbecue ribs, coffee, shepherd's pie, wine. I can only assume the author is on a diet and craves these foods so is giving them to her characters! There is a mention of making hummus but the character does not get to do this! I did really enjoy this story, I loved the humour and there are some wonderful quotes. I'm glad this didn't finish on a cliffhanger as I'm already wanting to read the next book desperately! I usually read this series as a buddy read with Lisa Vegan but after some lockdown hold ups to getting our book we ended up reading the end of the book together which was fun. It's a really good series to read as a book group read or a buddy read because there's lots to talk about and the mysteries keep you guessing as everyone seems suspicious in these books!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ingrid

    Although I enjoyed it, it wasn't her best book in the series. It took a long time before it really got going.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Vegan

    Comfort reading. Kate might be a future Goodreads member. “It’s my reading journal,’ says Kate. ‘We don’t have to do it but I want to keep up to date.” Another addictive page turner. As usual, the humor was great. I liked this mystery a lot. I love the characters, especially the recurring characters. I would have liked even more of Kate and of Ruth and of some of the recurring characters. There was a lot of time spent with the new characters. They were also interesting, and I got enough of a “fix” Comfort reading. Kate might be a future Goodreads member. “It’s my reading journal,’ says Kate. ‘We don’t have to do it but I want to keep up to date.” Another addictive page turner. As usual, the humor was great. I liked this mystery a lot. I love the characters, especially the recurring characters. I would have liked even more of Kate and of Ruth and of some of the recurring characters. There was a lot of time spent with the new characters. They were also interesting, and I got enough of a “fix” with the main characters to whom I’m attached, so no complaints. As usual, there were lots of unhealthy foods consumed. An after swim snack of a Kit Kat candy bar and soon after another snack of a chocolate brownie for a 9 year old? If unusual that would not be such a bad thing but these were no more unhealthy than most of the other foods mentioned. No, don’t bring Kate there!!! (I’m with Nelson and not Ruth on that one.) For that matter, don’t go there yourself either. (Luckily, that sort of unnecessary behavior didn’t happen often in this book but I could do without it happening at all. I can enjoy the unintended humor (the food, the soap opera like happenings, the needless putting oneself & others in danger) along with enjoying the humor written to be amusing. I do appreciate the humor in these books. The humor makes them better and makes them seem more real too. The characters do feel like real people. They’re the best part of these books. The characters and the settings. The settings are wonderful, and I learn so much about English places. It’s enjoyable to make guesses, particularly when reading this mystery book series. This book had so many red herrings but they’re all presented in such a subtle manner. Ditto the extreme suspense. It seems to arise naturally including during many places in the story, not just the obvious ones. The resolution of the mystery wasn’t as satisfying for me as the guessing. One aspect of what happened seemed more unrealistic to me than anything else in the story. (view spoiler)[ the sister of a murder (accidentally murdered) victim, not known to the others as her sister, in order to avenge her killing, goes so far as to sleep with her killer and become the apparent girlfriend of her sister’s killer in order to implicate him/get him caught. Nope, that was too bizarre. (hide spoiler)] I was happy that at the end (view spoiler)[ there wasn’t a huge cliffhanger as there sometimes is. I do have some guesses about how book 13 might start. It’ll be fun, I’m sure. It’s going to be hard enough to wait until book 13 is published and available in the U.S. It will likely be available in the UK months before it is in the U.S. (hide spoiler)] I love how Elly Griiffths auctions a name to appear as one of the book’s character names in order to benefit a cancer charity. She does this in every book in the series. You don’t know which name until the acknowledgments section at the end. In this book there were two names because another person made a donation and got their name included. I love it! I’d like to see many authors do this sort of thing. I read the Kindle edition in the Kindle app on my pad. Pandemic style reading. It was hell to wait the extra wait. Two delays actually. One was the inability to borrow the hardcover edition because my library is still closed and the other glitch was that the type of e-edition I first got was unreadable. Axis 360 never ever works for me. Much gratitude to the SFPL staff who helped me and put me first in the queue for the ePub Overdrive and/or Kindle edition. Both of these formats work for me. This series is my current favorite mystery series. Wonderful, memorable, endearing characters. Fabulous settings. Humor. Not much gore or violence. Interesting archeology, history, folklore. I envy readers yet to read any or most of the books out so far. I read books 1-11 in about 5 months and have to wait 7 months to read book 12. It will be a longer wait for book 13. It was fun to finish this book at the same time as Hilary. We read the last 60+ pages together. Many of the other books in the series we buddy read so it was really nice to be able to read some of this book at the same time. If anything, these books keep getting better and better. That is unusual in mystery series books, in my experience. I have book hangover syndrome and I’m not sure what I’ll read next.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susan Johnson

    4.5 stars I have to admit my secret addiction to the Ruth Galloway series. For some reason this won't be out for months in the U.S. (so unfair) so I ordered it from Book Depository (free shipping) as my Corona gift to myself. If I have to be holed up I should be reading something good. Griffiths is not afraid to take her characters on big steps. Heaven knows that Harry Nelson's (Detective Chief Inspector) wife, Michelle, could have been a stereotype and yet her journey has been quite surprising. 4.5 stars I have to admit my secret addiction to the Ruth Galloway series. For some reason this won't be out for months in the U.S. (so unfair) so I ordered it from Book Depository (free shipping) as my Corona gift to myself. If I have to be holed up I should be reading something good. Griffiths is not afraid to take her characters on big steps. Heaven knows that Harry Nelson's (Detective Chief Inspector) wife, Michelle, could have been a stereotype and yet her journey has been quite surprising. In this one, Ruth has left her beloved Saltmarsh house and the UNN (University of North Norfolk) and is teaching at Cambridge University. She is living with Frank who is great with her daughter, Kate. Note: these are not spoilers as they are on the blurb on the back of the book. Nelson is working on a case involving a serial killer who kills young, blond women. Even though he's is prison, Nelson is sure he is responsible for at least two more. The killer agrees to give the location to the girl's bodies if Ruth is put in charge of the recovery of the remains. Ruth agrees and just like that the gang is all back together. Cloughie has moved on to greener pastures but he makes an appearance too. I dropped this 1/2 star because there is what I think is a highly improbable encounter in Ruth's old house. Neither her actions or what occurs seems likely to me but what do I know? The book ends on a satisfying note and promises lots more changes in books to come. That's what keeps this series so fresh and exciting.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Tiny beams of light in the distance seeming to come closer and closer in the Saltmarsh. Is what you see reality? Or is it the Lantern Men paying a visit from Norfolk legends.....mysterious figures prowling the marshes at night. Either way, the creep is setting in. Elly Griffiths brings us in touch with familiar characters in this latest edition in the series. Dr. Ruth Galloway, senior lecturer and forensic archaeologist, has set in motion many changes in her life. She's now teaching at St. Jude C Tiny beams of light in the distance seeming to come closer and closer in the Saltmarsh. Is what you see reality? Or is it the Lantern Men paying a visit from Norfolk legends.....mysterious figures prowling the marshes at night. Either way, the creep is setting in. Elly Griffiths brings us in touch with familiar characters in this latest edition in the series. Dr. Ruth Galloway, senior lecturer and forensic archaeologist, has set in motion many changes in her life. She's now teaching at St. Jude College in Cambridge. She and nine year old daughter Kate are living with Ruth's American love interest, Frank Barker. This means a distance in miles from DCI Harry Nelson who is the father of Kate. There is tension and there will always be tension between Harry and Ruth. And for a gamut of reasons, Ruth decides to venture out to Grey Walls for a writing retreat in order to finish her next book. She becomes fast friends with Crissy Martin who runs the retreat. Remember that name. In the meantime, DCI Harry Nelson and DI Judy Johnson are interviewing Ivor March who has been arrested for the murders of two young women. March buried the bodies in the garden of his present girlfriend's home. Chantal still believes that he is innocent even with DNA saying otherwise. Now Marsh insists that Ruth do the forensic digging. Oh, and by the way, Crissy happens to be March's ex-wife. Griffiths has us guessing if March is innocent or not and gives us a look back in time to other members of Grey Walls. We're also introduced to DI Tony Zhang of the Norfolk Serious Crime Unit who seems to engage with both heart and mind in his early introduction to the police force. And there's a new murder to be investigated even with March in jail. Copy cat crime or what? The Lantern Men seems to be circling around change for Ruth. Decisions made recently and more to come it seems. Looks like #13 will be opening some new doors in the not too distant future for Ruth. The last page leans in that direction. Yes, be patient. I received a copy of The Lantern Men through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers and Elly Griffiths for the opportunity.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kristy

    In the twelfth book in the excellent Ruth Galloway series, Ruth is now living in Cambridge as part of "Team Rank" (Ruth and Frank). She shares a home with her partner, Frank, and her daughter Kate, now nine. She teaches at the university but misses her small house by the Norfolk sea. When a convicted murder, Ivor March, offers to tell DCI Nelson the location of more bodies, but only if Ruth does the excavation, she finds herself drawn back to Norfolk. He weaves the tale of the Lantern Man, who l In the twelfth book in the excellent Ruth Galloway series, Ruth is now living in Cambridge as part of "Team Rank" (Ruth and Frank). She shares a home with her partner, Frank, and her daughter Kate, now nine. She teaches at the university but misses her small house by the Norfolk sea. When a convicted murder, Ivor March, offers to tell DCI Nelson the location of more bodies, but only if Ruth does the excavation, she finds herself drawn back to Norfolk. He weaves the tale of the Lantern Man, who lures women to their deaths. Nelson has always been convinced March killed more women, so Ruth felts compelled to help. And, of course, she feels her usual draw to Nelson. But the case turns dangerous quickly, pulling Ruth in with it. I adore all Ruth Galloway books, and I'm so glad the series continues. I was surprised to find the book opening with Ruth away from her beloved Norfolk and its marshes--and giving more permanence to her relationship with Frank. The move only complicates Ruth's own relationship with Nelson, and their chemistry crackles as always. I love how familiar the characters feel--Ruth, Nelson, and young Kate. Ruth's friends, to include Cathbad, the eclectic druid, and his family. Nelson's co-workers. Ruth's co-workers. Each of these books feels like coming home and Griffiths captures each of their individual voices so perfectly. I love Nelson's sarcasm and Ruth's intelligence and desire for solitude--they are all so wonderful. The case in this book is excellent; Griffiths is an expert at tying together murders in the past with those in the present, and that happens here. It kept me guessing, and it's great that's it's so often Ruth's intelligence--not just Nelson's brawn--that helps resolve things. There are some strong twists that keep things moving as well. This book will stand-alone, though I always recommend the whole series, because Ruth and Nelson's relationship and character development alone is worth it. 4 stars for this installment, and I'll look forward to #13! I received a copy of this book from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Netgalley in return for an unbiased review. Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ PaperBackSwap ~ Smashbomb

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sarah-Hope

    The Lantern Men is the twelfth volume in Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway series. This is the first book in the series I've read, and I managed just fine. It does, however, have a complex set of characters who have long histories with one another, so I want to go back now and read the rest of the series starting with the first volume: The Crossing Places. Griffiths does the most skillful embedding of background information of any mystery writer I've read. Usually, those sentences filling in backgro The Lantern Men is the twelfth volume in Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway series. This is the first book in the series I've read, and I managed just fine. It does, however, have a complex set of characters who have long histories with one another, so I want to go back now and read the rest of the series starting with the first volume: The Crossing Places. Griffiths does the most skillful embedding of background information of any mystery writer I've read. Usually, those sentences filling in background come across as awkward and obvious. Girffiths makes them smooth and fully integrates them into the novel. Bottom line: this is a writer who will let you comfortably start with any volume in her series, but once you've read one volume, you will want to read them all. This volume opens with the conviction of a man for murdering two women—the police are convinced he's killed four. He agrees from prison that he will reveal where the remaining two bodies are buried, but only if forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway agrees to do the digging. Detective Chief Inspector Nelson, who has taken the lead on these cases is much less comfortable with the arrangement than Galloway is—the two of them had an affair in the past that remains unsettled. When the two bodies are excavated, a third is also found, and then a new murder similar to the earlier ones occurs. If the guilty man is in prison, who is responsible for the recent murder happened? Why was the killer willing to lead Nelson and Galloway to two bodies without acknowledging the third? And how do these deaths connect to the Lantern Men, characters from folklore who lead their victims into marshes to drown? That's the mystery, and it works wonderfully. The complexities in the relationships among the recurring characters and the complex group of suspects in this particular volume mean that new revelations crop up at a quick pace, making the book incredibly difficult to put down. Start with this volume or any other in the series, but trust me, you'll wind up reading all of them. I received a free electronic review copy of this title from the publisher. The opinions are my own.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    When your favorite series is as thrilling in book twelve as it was when it began, you know you have struck reading gold. The Lantern Men, #12 in the Ruth Galloway series, by Elly Griffiths is a book that both continues the great storytelling immersed in the mysterious, mythic salt marsh setting of Norfolk with its characters we’ve come to love and is a pivotal point of what the future holds. In other words, the murder mystery has its roots deliciously deep into the mythical connection of the Lan When your favorite series is as thrilling in book twelve as it was when it began, you know you have struck reading gold. The Lantern Men, #12 in the Ruth Galloway series, by Elly Griffiths is a book that both continues the great storytelling immersed in the mysterious, mythic salt marsh setting of Norfolk with its characters we’ve come to love and is a pivotal point of what the future holds. In other words, the murder mystery has its roots deliciously deep into the mythical connection of the Lantern Men of the marshes, and the always complicated relationships of characters sees some resolution. It is Ruth’s hour of deepest soul searching. Change looms large in this new tale. Ruth has now been living with the American history scholar Frank and her daughter Kate in Cambridge for two years. Both Frank and Ruth are teaching at Oxford, and Ruth has rented out her house by the salt marshes in Norfolk. While she still sees her friends from Norfolk, she and Frank have carved out their own niche away from it. She is no longer the police expert engaged for cases that DCI Harry Nelson, Kate’s father, investigates for the North Norfolk Police Department. The most recent case she was not involved in was the serial murderer Ivor March, convicted of killing two women and suspected, especially by Nelson, of killing two more. It was Ruth’s former boss, Phil Trent, who was the forensic archeologist on call who dug up the bones in the garden of March’s girlfriend, the bones that proved to be two missing Norfolk women. But, a twist comes up in the Ivor March saga, that brings Ruth front and center again in her old police work. Nelson meets with March at March’s new prison accommodations, and March offers to reveal the location of the other two graves, but he will do so only if Dr. Ruth Galloway does the digging. Ruth feels as if she can’t refuse if it will mean that two more families will receive closure to their tormenting uncertainty. So, it’s back to her familiar stomping grounds to work with Nelson and his team, something she has missed since starting her new life. The location that March gives to Ruth and Nelson is the garden of an abandoned pub, on the edge of the Cley Marshes. Ruth, who doesn’t know Ivor March, has wondered why he wanted her to do the dig. She doesn’t think she has any connection to him, but then she discovers that his ex-wife runs the writers and artists retreat, Grey Walls, where Ruth has just spent a week to finish her last book. The ex-wife, Crissy Martin, together with Ivor March’s current girlfriend and another former female resident at their retreat, are trying to get March out of jail, claiming he’s innocent. Ruth had heard of the Ivor March case and followed it, but she had no idea that the retreat in the fens was where March had lived with a group of men and women who all participated in different arts and the retreat in the early days of it. Ruth is further surprised that Crissy, whom she liked and even confided in, a rare thing for Ruth, during her week stay, is still connected to her ex-husband and the group of friends. However, only the gardener/artist John and Crissy remain to run the retreat now. When the dig at the old pub reveals a surprise and the DNA evidence isn’t what Nelson had hoped, things really start to get complicated. Then, another young woman is found dead, and even Nelson has a nagging thought that March could be innocent, although that thought doesn’t linger long. And, of course, the mythic legends, which Nelson finds annoying and Ruth finds fascinating, rear their mysterious heads. This time it is the legend of the Lantern Men. Three of the men, including Ivor March, who had lived at Grey Walls had called themselves the Lantern Men, but contrary to the marsh legend of the Lantern Men leading people to their deaths, March claims that they saved young women who were lost. The dead women speak otherwise, but if March led the “Lantern Men,” is there now a copycat killer? As with all the Ruth Galloway novels, readers are drawn to the whole cast of characters and their lives and relationships. The changes that Ruth has undergone in the two years since The Stone Circle, #11 in the series, carries over to other characters. Nelson is focusing on his two-year-old son George, but he misses Katie, his daughter with Ruth. DI Cloughie has left Norfolk and got his own patch at the Cambridgeshire CID, but he becomes involved in the Ivor March case, much to readers‘ delight. DI Judy Johnson is still in Norfolk and dealing with Tanya Fuller and her ambition to outshine Judy and everyone else. Of course, Judy has Cathbad, our favorite Druid to keep her calm and centered. A new member of the Norfolk Police is Tony Zhang, who promises to be a great replacement for Cloughie. Cathbad’s oldest child, Maddie, is gaining favor as a character, too, in her job as a journalist. Frank has achieved a major accomplishment in convincing Ruth to move to Cambridge, and he isn’t too pleased about her involvement in the Ivor March case and working with Nelson, but Ruth is still very much her own person. She’s changed where she lives, but there are limits to her compromises. While I was reading The Lantern Men, I was leading a group discussion for a virtual book club on the first Ruth Galloway mystery, The Crossing Places. It was a fortuitous coincidence for me, as there are quite a few allusions to book one’s events and beginnings in The Lantern Men. The continuity was a serendipitous delight. And, reading both in such proximity allowed me to feel the full force of how much has changed and yet remained the same, especially the power of the salt marsh setting and its role in life and death. Elly Griffiths has given us another outstanding story in this world of which I cannot get enough.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Julie Durnell

    An interesting mystery but I thought it focused more on Ruth's life and a lot less on the forensic archeology that I find so intriguing in this series.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Linden

    Ruth is an forensic archeologist, and she is asked to be present when an alleged serial killer identifies the location of some murder victims. In earlier books in the series, Ruth taught at a Norfolk university, and now she is at Cambridge. Did Ivor murder at least four women? Why does Cathbad think Ivor is not a serial killer? And what happened to a young hitchhiker from Eastern Europe who disappeared 10 years ago? Nelson aims to find out, but Ruth becomes involved in the case, and may be trus Ruth is an forensic archeologist, and she is asked to be present when an alleged serial killer identifies the location of some murder victims. In earlier books in the series, Ruth taught at a Norfolk university, and now she is at Cambridge. Did Ivor murder at least four women? Why does Cathbad think Ivor is not a serial killer? And what happened to a young hitchhiker from Eastern Europe who disappeared 10 years ago? Nelson aims to find out, but Ruth becomes involved in the case, and may be trusting the wrong person. I just couldn’t put this book down--recommended for fans of Louise Penny, Deborah Crombie, and Donna Leon. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Martina

    Ruth Galloway, #12. She is one of my all time favorite characters for many reasons. Suffice to say that this was a barn burner from the beginning and the ending had me with breathing difficulties! Also have to say that Ruth Galloway, #13, cannot come fast enough to suit me!!! The title comes from an old tale about lighted lanterns seen by people lost in the salt marsh who follow these lights thinking they are being led to safety but eventually they end up in a death trap of water or quicksand. N Ruth Galloway, #12. She is one of my all time favorite characters for many reasons. Suffice to say that this was a barn burner from the beginning and the ending had me with breathing difficulties! Also have to say that Ruth Galloway, #13, cannot come fast enough to suit me!!! The title comes from an old tale about lighted lanterns seen by people lost in the salt marsh who follow these lights thinking they are being led to safety but eventually they end up in a death trap of water or quicksand. Nelson is dealing with the bodies of several women buried in two separate locations. Nelson is convinced that three of them were killed by Ivor March, and he likewise is convinced that March is also responsible for the death of the three additional women found. While there appears to be DNA evidence linking Ivor to the first three, there are conflicting opinions on his involvement with the others and Ruth is brought in to examine those cadavers which also had been buried locally. Ruth had left Norfolk and her home near the Saltmarsh to live and teach in Cambridge, living with Frank and her daughter Kate. This case brings her back to the area and to the work she loves most, with near dire consequences.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Deanna

    The problem with reading a Ruth Galloway story is that you will finish it, and then you will wait and wait for the next one. This one doesn’t disappoint—a suspenseful mystery, spooky-beautiful atmospheric salt marsh setting, the compelling, quiet-till-it’s-not forward march of the personal stories of Ruth, Nelson, and company.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sherrie

    Excellent as always, one of the best. But almost dropped a star for the few unnecessary political references. I hope Ruth goes back to Norfolk, she doesn't seem happy in Cambridge or happy with Frank. Like Nelson, I find him irritating and I don't know why!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Hall

    All change for forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway and the gang in a terrific twelfth instalment! Two years on from the events of The Stone Circle and life has moved on not only for forensic archaeologist, Dr Ruth Galloway, but for all of the recurring cast in Elly Griffiths’ latest instalment of a series that mixes archaeology, murder and characters readers have come to care about. In an instalment where the mystery element is tightly plotted and a combination of local myth and contemporary All change for forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway and the gang in a terrific twelfth instalment! Two years on from the events of The Stone Circle and life has moved on not only for forensic archaeologist, Dr Ruth Galloway, but for all of the recurring cast in Elly Griffiths’ latest instalment of a series that mixes archaeology, murder and characters readers have come to care about. In an instalment where the mystery element is tightly plotted and a combination of local myth and contemporary serious crime, the novel excels with a solid police procedural full of accessible archaeology detail, local folklore and credible character motivations. In a bid to get over her complicated relationship with DCI Harry Nelson of King’s Lynn CID and progress her career, forensic archaeologist, Dr Ruth Galloway, has left her beloved cottage on the Saltmarsh behind and with it the University of North Norfolk. Swapping the life that she was so content with for the dreaming spires of Cambridge and living with American historian, Dr Frank Barker, she is adjusting to teaching at St Jude’s College, having a partner and parenting her rapidly maturing nine-year-old daughter, Kate, with Nelson, now an hour away in North Norfolk. Meanwhile fifty year old DCI Harry Nelson is raising what he hopes will be his fourth and final child, two and a half year old George, after wife Michelle’s unexpected arrival, not that this does anything to lessen his silent and irrational fury at Ruth cohabiting with smarmy Frank. When DCI Nelson hears the news that Ivor March has been found guilty of murdering two young women whose bodies were buried in the garden of his girlfriend it is small compensation given he is convinced that two other missing girls have died at March’s hands. When Nelson visits March in prison and questions him about Nicola Ferris and Jenny McGuire, both of whom he met through the evening classes that he ran, March - rather surprisingly - says that he is willing to disclose their whereabouts but only if Dr Ruth Galloway will excavate, leaving Nelson highly suspicious. The opportunity to bring closure to two grieving families and the lure of working on another case sees Ruth agree, only for the location to give up more than expected... As the team look into the goings-on at a writers and artists retreat of which Ivor March was a part of they discover a local myth about the lights of the so called Lantern Men leading the lost to their deaths and March and his ‘spiritual brothers’ real life interpretation, supposedly without the dark twist. Nelson thinks otherwise and sets about investigating the individuals involved, only for the murder of young female cyclist fitting March’s chosen profile in a remote area of marshland to present the team with a fresh enquiry.. but it is a copycat killing or does it prove Ivor Marsh’s innocence? Whilst DI Dave Clough is heading up his own team in Cambridgeshire, DI Judy Johnson, ambitious DS Tanya Fuller and ‘Super’ Jo Archer remain and are joined in CID by DC Tony Zhang. Together with the link to local legends, the mystery entails several complexities which make it both satisfying and involving. As usual there is a strong sense of place with the proximity to the Norfolk coast and the fens. Full of the Griffiths’ usual wit, situational comedy moments and the everyday realities of life, the plot weaves in an array of connections, from Ruth having just attended a writing retreat at Ivor March’s ex-wife’s venue to part-time druid Cathbad’s daughter, Maddie, reporting on the case for the local newspaper. My favourite returning crime fiction series without a doubt and one that is best served by reading in order for the continuing wider storylines and character development.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    I absolutely adore this series and everyone in it and The Lantern Men may even be my favourite of them all, which is saying something. It is staggeringly good and I wanted to do nothing but read it. It's a great story, hugely atmospheric, with (as normal) such a strong and powerful sense of place. The characters are so strong and so loved that the novel also feels comforting. I can't find a single fault. Review to follow on publication day on For Winter Nights.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    This continues to be one of my “must-read” and “will-re-read” series. An excellent continuation of the series.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    Thanks so much to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoy the mysteries that Elly Griffiths writes. I've only read one of her Magic Men series, but I plan on eventually rereading that first one and catching up on the series. She's also had a standalone in the past year or two that was quite good. But I absolutely adore the misadventures of one Dr. Ruth Galloway and friends. This one jumps ahead a little in time after the l Thanks so much to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoy the mysteries that Elly Griffiths writes. I've only read one of her Magic Men series, but I plan on eventually rereading that first one and catching up on the series. She's also had a standalone in the past year or two that was quite good. But I absolutely adore the misadventures of one Dr. Ruth Galloway and friends. This one jumps ahead a little in time after the last one, setting everyone up in different locations geographically as well as in different places in their lives than the last time we saw them. This one also has a large cast of potential suspects, which made it really fun, since it was definitely a hard to solve mystery. We get a little more depth to some of the characters we already know (specifically Tanya), and we get a new character or two that also show some potential. I really like Tony Zhang! I don't want to spoil anything, but here's a quick rundown: Ivor March is in jail for the murders of two women. There are a few more victims that have yet to be found, and Nelson and team are convinced Ivor March is responsible. Even more so when he tells them he'll reveal the location of the two bodies but only if Ruth manages the digs. Of course, things get even more twisty after that. So I'll zip my lips and let you read and find out. I'd really encourage you to read the rest of the series before this one. Lots of personal relationships and plot points from prior books will be spoiled if you don't. But you could read this one in its own if you wanted. Great entry into the series!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Erin Clemence

    Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review. Expected publication date: July 14, 2020 After years of pleading his innocence, convicted murderer Ivor March is finally willing to reveal where his victims are buried. The only stipulation? Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist, has to be the one to dig them up herself. Ruth is now a college professor, raising her young daughter with her new partner and has lo Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review. Expected publication date: July 14, 2020 After years of pleading his innocence, convicted murderer Ivor March is finally willing to reveal where his victims are buried. The only stipulation? Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist, has to be the one to dig them up herself. Ruth is now a college professor, raising her young daughter with her new partner and has long since left the police department behind. But at the encouragement of her former police partner (and her child’s father), Ruth decides to once again step in and provide closures to the victims’ families. But when Ruth uncovers three bodies, instead of two, the investigation points toward Ivor actually being innocent of his crimes and now Ruth and the police must work together to discover the real murderer. “The Lantern Men” by Elly Griffiths is the twelfth novel in the Ruth Galloway series. I have not read any of the other eleven Galloway novels, but the premise of this one inspired me to give it a shot. I did not know the characters or their histories, and was not familiar with Griffiths’ work, so this one was definitely a shot in the dark for me. Although I was able to follow along with the plot easily enough, not reading the earlier Galloway novels made me feel like I was missing the deeper connections between the characters. I enjoyed Griffith’s taut storytelling, and the dramatic police procedural format however. Ruth is funky and intelligent, and Harry Nelson (police detective and Ruth’s former partner) is the stereotypical detective in every way, but he is likable in his own rough and gruff way. There are a lot of characters in this book, and it is difficult to keep them straight. The police investigators and their various partners, Ruth and Harry’s past and present partners and their children, and all of the suspects from Grey Walls that are being investigated for the murders. Again, they may have been characters that were mentioned in the other Galloway novels, but for a newbie Griffith’s reader, it was taxing to get through them all. Although it is obviously not necessary, I would definitely recommend reading all of Griffith’s Galloway series from start to finish, in order to understand the romantic and professional nuances of all the characters. That being said, Griffith knows how to write a police procedural! “The Lantern Men” has all the aspects you come to expect from a crime drama, and it was definitely an interesting story. I will have to add Griffith’s other Ruth Galloway novels to my TBR list!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    "She had the strangest desire to follow the marsh light.... even though the path might lead to her death." - 3.5 stars- What a confusing timeline! Did I skip a book? Apparently two years have past since the last one. And Ruth has moved to Cambridge. (What's the point? -- have to read to find out!) Alot of repetition throughout with the photos so I felt this wasn't as good as her previous. What I love is how the author uses the Lantern Man tale and ties it to a serial killer.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lee

    I love this series but I must admit I felt at the start of this, the twelfth book, as if Griffiths had added in some unnecessary drama. I was a little frustrated, considering what a great place the series had seemed to finish on after The Chalk Pit (#11) until… A little way in, I became as absorbed in the book and its characters as ever. Griffiths and Ruth and Nelson basically just hypnotised me until I bended to their will and I fell in love with them all over again. The book starts with Ruth ha I love this series but I must admit I felt at the start of this, the twelfth book, as if Griffiths had added in some unnecessary drama. I was a little frustrated, considering what a great place the series had seemed to finish on after The Chalk Pit (#11) until… A little way in, I became as absorbed in the book and its characters as ever. Griffiths and Ruth and Nelson basically just hypnotised me until I bended to their will and I fell in love with them all over again. The book starts with Ruth having left the salt marsh and living in Cambridge, working at the university there and (ack!) newly living with a man -the American host with the most from the previous books, Frank. The mystery surrounds the murders of two women and two more missing. Nelson has already arrested a man, Ivor March, for the murders and Ruth gets involved when March agrees to tell them where the bodies of the other two women are buried if Ruth agrees to come back and exhume them. Soon after however, another woman is murdered and Nelson and Ruth have to work out whether or not it’s a copycat killing, March is pulling some strings from the inside, or if March has been innocent all along. As usual, the murder mystery plotline is only there to bolster the soap opera that goes on in the background. Griffiths doesn’t disappoint in this arena. All the usual gang are back. Like Nelson, I could have gone without Frank but I did enjoy all the scenes featuring the other regular supporting characters. Although I must say, surprisingly given this is book number 12, Nelson and Ruth really are the focus of this installment. (Griffiths has, in the most recent books, given more scenes to the supporting characters such as Michelle, Judy and Cathbad.) Nelson is his fantastic best. His humour and heart and overall Gene Hunt-like mannerisms always win me over. Ruth continues to walk that fine line between independence and giving in to her feelings for Nelson. I say this each time I review one of the Ruth books but I’ll say it again -- do not read this until you’ve read the other eleven. I don’t believe the books in this series can be read as standalones. So much of it would go over your head and I truly can’t rate The Lantern Man as a standalone. I will say, however, that I think Griffiths’s writing itself has improved. Perhaps it’s that she is more confident than she was in Ruth’s early days. I flew through this book, eager to learn what would happen but, perversely, I didn't want it to end. I think I might almost get my wish as I'm sure there will be a book 14. 5 out of 5

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Ruth Galloway is in a new place both literally and figuratively as The Lantern Men opens. Two years have passed and she and Kate have left Norfolk for Cambridge where she is now teaching and they are living with Frank. She is on a writer’s retreat little knowing that she is on the periphery of a serial killing case being adjudicated in Norfolk. And shortly she will be reunited with Nelson in her role of forensic archaeologist. A lot of life to juggle. The title of this episode refers to folk tale Ruth Galloway is in a new place both literally and figuratively as The Lantern Men opens. Two years have passed and she and Kate have left Norfolk for Cambridge where she is now teaching and they are living with Frank. She is on a writer’s retreat little knowing that she is on the periphery of a serial killing case being adjudicated in Norfolk. And shortly she will be reunited with Nelson in her role of forensic archaeologist. A lot of life to juggle. The title of this episode refers to folk tales of the fens. ’The lantern men. It’s an old legend round these parts. Mysterious figures carrying lanterns that haunt the fens and marshes. If you follow their lights, you’re doomed.’ (loc 849) I will not provide a lot more plot here as I think it would be better for you readers to discover it for yourselves. I did enjoy this outing very much and it may be one of my favorites. There are many changes, a lot of introspection by many characters brought about by both change and the major case. While I do recommend that readers begin earlier in the series to learn of all the relationships, this episode could be read on its own as an exciting story. A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bruce Hatton

    It’s always a pleasure to read the latest addition to one of my favourite crime series. Things have moved on quite a bit since The Stone Circle. Ruth Galloway is now working in Cambridge as a lecturer, where she lives with Frank Barker; plus, of course, Kate and Flint. Dave Clough, now a Detective Inspector is also in Cambridge and leads his own team. However, Nelson, Judy, Cathbad, Phil and Shona are still in North Norfolk. The old team are reunited when convicted murderer, Ivor March (whom Nel It’s always a pleasure to read the latest addition to one of my favourite crime series. Things have moved on quite a bit since The Stone Circle. Ruth Galloway is now working in Cambridge as a lecturer, where she lives with Frank Barker; plus, of course, Kate and Flint. Dave Clough, now a Detective Inspector is also in Cambridge and leads his own team. However, Nelson, Judy, Cathbad, Phil and Shona are still in North Norfolk. The old team are reunited when convicted murderer, Ivor March (whom Nelson is sure killed more women than the two he was convicted for) says he will tell Nelson the location of two more bodies, but only if Ruth conducts the excavation. The whole case seems to centre around a “writer’s retreat” in the Fens called “Grey Walls” and the ancient Fenland legend of The Lantern Men. Once again, I was amazed at Elly’s brilliance at characterisation. Not only the usual crew but this time she’s assembled a whole cast of potential villains. The story builds to a thrilling finale along the north Norfolk coast during a cycle race in which Nelson’s daughter Laura is taking part, and the ultimate ending shares many similarities with Ruth and Nelson’s first adventure together in The Crossing Places.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Roman Clodia

    How much fun it is to be back in Ruth Galloway's world! As ever, the plot isn't the greatest, slow to get going and filled with cliches (view spoiler)[ not least the obligatory climax as Ruth is lured yet again into the clutches of the maniac serial killer before being rescued in the nick of time by Nelson (hide spoiler)] - but then plot is not what keeps me coming back. Griffiths has written a tremendous ensemble of characters, even if, as here, there have to be vast coincidences to bring them How much fun it is to be back in Ruth Galloway's world! As ever, the plot isn't the greatest, slow to get going and filled with cliches (view spoiler)[ not least the obligatory climax as Ruth is lured yet again into the clutches of the maniac serial killer before being rescued in the nick of time by Nelson (hide spoiler)] - but then plot is not what keeps me coming back. Griffiths has written a tremendous ensemble of characters, even if, as here, there have to be vast coincidences to bring them together. Quirky just doesn't do justice to them and the asides have me snorting with amusement: Nelson on picking up one of Michelle's books, for example: "who writes this rubbish? If he met a man like Christian Grey he'd have him up on a charge before he could say 'safe word' ". One of my favourite comfort read series, this is pure entertainment, and the soap opera of characters' lives continues... Many thanks to Quercus for an ARC via NetGalley.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alyson Read

    I swear each book in this series gets better and better, no mean feat considering this is book number twelve in the Ruth Galloway series! I have to admit having been a little dismayed at the start to find that everything has changed for Ruth since the last book. She and daughter Katie are living with Frank in a Cambridge town house and has taken a more prestigious job at the University there. No longer is she North Norfolk police's resident forensic archaeologist, although if she were honest she I swear each book in this series gets better and better, no mean feat considering this is book number twelve in the Ruth Galloway series! I have to admit having been a little dismayed at the start to find that everything has changed for Ruth since the last book. She and daughter Katie are living with Frank in a Cambridge town house and has taken a more prestigious job at the University there. No longer is she North Norfolk police's resident forensic archaeologist, although if she were honest she would have to admit the lure of the Saltmarsh and DCI Harry Nelson (Katie's father) has never truly gone away. The story starts with the conviction of Ivor March for the murder of two young women, although Nelson has always been convinced he was also responsible for the deaths of two more. Since Ruth had already moved away, it was her former boss Phil who was instrumental in unearthing the bodies and evidence that were crucial to March's arrest and imprisonment. While Phil receives a strange message on a postcard, Nelson gets a very tempting offer - March will reveal the whereabouts of two more corpses but only if Ruth does the excavating this time. Ruth is tempted by the chance to do some good and also break up her rather mundane existence, and agrees to speak to March who tells her that the bodies are buried near a village bordering the fens. A place said to be haunted by the Lantern Men, ghostly figures who lure travellers to their deaths with their lights. It is one of the very many tales told about the area that seem to be widely known and even believed by some people, but could it be that there also be some very real and human Lantern Men? As Ruth joins forces with detectives Nelson, Judy and Tanya, the plot thickens with each new discovery. Niggling doubts grow that they might have got the wrong man and the killings may not be over at all. Ruth becomes drawn deeper into the legend and many old secrets are revealed in a dramatic finale. Not even knowing who she can trust any more, she must rely on her instincts and her old friends in order to emerge from this unscathed. The author has excelled in bringing all the old gang back together and even Cloughie, who has moved away to Cambridgeshire to run his own team as a DI, gets in on the action! The Ruth Galloway series is definitely best read in order, although every book is hugely enjoyable in its own right, and for me it is like coming home to old friends. In my opinion the author never fails to deliver and has maintained the consistently high standards of all the previous novels All the old favourite characters such as Judy and Cathbad feature in a brilliantly told and compulsive read. I can't recommend these books enough!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.