37. The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths

I am obsessed with this series by Elly Griffiths! She has become one of my favourite authors and this series of books holds a special place in my heart.

Synopsis (as taken from Amazon) is as follows:

Dr Ruth Galloway is flattered when she receives a letter from Italian Archaeologist Dr Angelo Morelli, asking for her help. He’s discovered a group of bones in a tiny hilltop village near Rome, but doesn’t know what to make of them. It’s years since Ruth has had a holiday, and even a working holiday to Italy is very welcome.

So Ruth travels to Castello degli Angeli, accompanied by her daughter Kate and friend Shona. In the town she finds a baffling Roman mystery and a dark secret involving the war years and the Resistance. To her amazement she also soon finds Harry Nelson, with Cathbad in tow. But there is no time to overcome their mutual shock – the ancient bones spark a modern murder, and Ruth must discover what secrets there are in Castello degli Angeli that someone would kill to protect.

Ability to read – I never have any difficulty reading Elly Griffiths’s work. Reading the Ruth Galloway Series now feels like coming home. The gap between novels seems long and yet I can jump right back in and feel completely at ease when another book comes out. I never have any problems when reading Elly Griffiths’s work.

Characterisation – These characters have come such a long way since the first Ruth Galloway book. It has been a joy to watch them develop and grow and work out what they want from life. I think Ruth has gained a lot of confidence over the series. I think she has a long way to come in terms of her own self-love but otherwise, as a character, she has overcome so many boundaries and forged her own path in life. Nelson has also come a long way, I like to think that he’s mellowed somewhat from the harsh detective we were first introduced to. I feel like Nelson has allowed himself the opportunity to have a life outside of work and to let people into his life and accept them.

Visualisation – I find it very easy to visualise what is going on in Ruth Galloway’s world. I think part of that ease comes from knowing the character’s so well and knowing exactly what action or dialogue they are going to use next. That definitely helps to visualise what is happening and to make the world more concrete.

Uniqueness – I feel like with every new story in the Ruth Galloway series, that I am seeing something new or learning something new about the characters. In that way, the book series is very unique because it keeps me guessing and keeps me on my toes in regards to what might or might not happen.

Extra – I can’t tell you how exciting it was to read a story that put Ruth in a different setting. I love her little house out on the Salt Marshes and I love all the crime she gets involved in within Kings Lynn, but it was so interesting to see her in a completely different landscape and see how the struggles and thrives. I think that Ruth really needed a break and coming to Italy provided that for her. I think the relationship between Ruth and Nelson has got so complicated and is such a vocal point of annoyance to the reader that it was nice to see Ruth elsewhere. Even though Nelson was present in this book, Ruth had many chances to operate without him and I thought that was pretty cool.

Hannah xoxo

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