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    A Wonderful Instalment

    This is my first foray into the depths of the Ruth Galloway series written by Elly Griffiths. Whilst I would say that, obviously, the books in the series would be better read in chronological order for continuity, and greater character understanding, I still found that jumping in at book twelve did not prevent me from enjoying the story immensely. This is a wonderfully woven crime mystery set in a stunning location in Norfolk, England. From the opening pages, the sense of menace never eases up and the story unfolds like an uncoiled spring. In this twelfth instalment featuring forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway and DCI Harry Nelson of the Norfolk Police, Ivor March, an artist and tutor, has just been convicted of killing two women. DCI Nelson is convinced that March has killed a further two women. Upon questioning, March says he will reveal their locations if Ruth is prepared to carry out the necessary excavations. Ruth is wary but agrees, finding that the location offers up more than she expected. The area, near a village bordering the fens, is said to be haunted by the Lantern Men, mysterious figures holding lights that lure travellers to their deaths. The book is a great example of a classic style murder mystery with an element of local legend and myth. The story keeps me guessing as to whom is responsible for the murders and their actual motives. Yet, for me, the main strengths in this police procedural are Elly Griffiths' wonderful bunch of characters, even though coincidences were required to bring them all together. The Lantern Men is a neatly plotted and elegantly told mystery and I have been inspired to read the other books in the series, beginning with The Crossing Paces. I am looking forward to seeing where Elly Griffiths takes Ruth next. I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Quercus via NetGalley at my request, and this review is my own unbiased opinion.

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