Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths


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.

Everything has changed for Ruth Galloway. She has a new job, home, and partner, and she is no longer North Norfolk police’s resident forensic archaeologist. That is, until convicted murderer Ivor 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 travelers to their deaths.

Is Ivor 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?

Ruth Galloway is back in a new mystery that picks up a couple years after The Stone Circle. Fans of the series might be disconcerted to find Ruth in Cambridge living with Frank and raising Kate away from Nelson. For all appearances, she has moved on.

That notion is quickly dispelled as Ruth is drawn firmly back into a case with Nelson and rest of the Kings Lynn squad. They have also had some changes, with Clough promoted to lead his own team in Cambridge. There are lots of complicated emotions and motives here, both for Ruth and Nelson and for the intriguing cast of characters wrapped up in the ever-present murder mystery.

I was pleased to find Ruth once again written as a strong, capable, independent woman who is more than one side of a complicated triangle with Nelson and Michelle. I also found 9 year old Kate to be a delight. Griffiths has skillfully balanced the emotional, personal relationships of the story with a cracking good mystery that had me guessing right up to the very end. Griffiths’ books are ones I constantly recommend, and this one is no exception. Recommended.

Publication Date: July 14, 2020
Published By: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Thanks to Netgalley for the review copy