The Last Remains by Elly Griffiths
If you would like to thank anyone for the recent summer weather in the UK, then you can thank me and my husband. It's our fault. Earlier in the year volunteers were sought to water our village's hanging baskets. We duly signed up for week commencing 3 September. As the weather became wetter and wetter over summer we gleefully rubbed our hands. And then Saturday dawned and we knew we had lucked out. Haha. So you see the sunny weather is entirely our fault!
I'm getting ready to launch Autumn on the blog, but not quite yet. I want the weather to be crisp or wet, and feel snuggled up in cosy blankets. It's coming people!
Today's review is the last in the Dr Ruth Galloway series. I've read every book in this series and enjoyed them immensely. Let's see if this was a fitting end to the series.
When builders renovating a cafe in King's Lynn find a human skeleton behind a wall, they call in DCI Harry Nelson and Dr Ruth Galloway to investigate.
The bones are identified as the remains of Emily Pickering, an archaeology student who went missing several decades ago. Emily had been part of a group of students digging at Grime's Graves, Norfolk's famous Neolithic flint mines. Suspicion falls on her course tutor and another member of the group - Ruth's good friend Cathbad.
Then just when the team appear to be making progress, Cathbad disappears. The race is on to find him and prove his innocence - but will Ruth and Nelson uncover the truth in time to save their friend?
I say this each time I review the excellent novels of Elly Griffiths, but when it comes to reading the Dr Ruth Galloway, please read them in order. It is possible to read them as standalone novels, but you will miss a lot! Especially when it comes to Ruth and Nelson's tangled love-life! I've popped a list below of Elly Griffiths books in order at the bottom of the post.
This is especially important when reading this the last book in the series. In some way, this serves as a fitting tribute to the series. There are snippets of the earlier books mentioned here, almost like little easter eggs peppered through the novel. We meet old characters, reference myths and folk tales mentioned before touch on Ruth's past loves and Nelson's family. Old cases are talked about. Cloughie makes a welcome return. Shona is on hand to offer Literary insights.
All in all it reads like a family Christmas. We see our best loved characters, and we have an inkling what is going to happen. It's comfortable.
I feel Elly Griffiths has finished the series at exactly the right time. There are only so many times that murder can be committed, Nelson and Ruth investigate, Ruth finds herself in peril and Cathbad ends up saving the day. I will definitely miss the archaeological background and the origin of everyday landscape.
This book feels like a love letter to the characters we have come to adore. My favourite remains Cathbad, just for his other worldliness, his insight and calmness. But he is troubled in this book. It feels fitting that starting the series with him as a suspect, we now finish the series in the same boat.
These have been fascinating reads, a crime novel with a slight twist, well-researched and with heart. I've very much enjoyed the series and am sad this will be the last. But the series has ended in style and I am delighted by that.
I'll be back on Tuesday with a classic novel. In the meantime have a smashing weekend.