Published: February 2021 by Quercus
Category: Muder, Mystery, Archaeology, Book Review
The Night Hawks, a group of metal detectorists, are searching for buried treasure when they find a body on the beach in North Norfolk. At first Nelson thinks that the dead man might be an asylum seeker but he turns out to be a local boy, Jem Taylor, recently released from prison. Ruth is more interested in the treasure, a hoard of Bronze Age weapons. Nelson at first thinks that Taylor’s death is accidental drowning, but a second death suggests murder.
Dr Ruth Galloway has returned to Norfolk and her much loved cottage after a stint as a Cambridge lecturer, taking over her old boss’s position as Head of Archaeology at North Norfolk University. She’s hardly had time to settle in when she gets a call from DCI Nelson to say a body has been washed up at Blakeney Point, found by some metal detectorists.
The Night Hawks, as the detectorists call themselves, often go out at night, hunting for treasure along a stretch of coast known for archaeological finds. The Night Hawks discovered the body as they find a possible Bronze Age hoard that included what Ruth thought was part of a skull.
‘There’s something…’ says Troy. ‘I almost fell over it.’ He’s very young, still a teenager, and his voice wavers and breaks.
Alan, an older detectorist, reaches out in the dark to touch his shoulder. ‘What is it, lad?’
But another of the hawks is pointing his torch at the ground by Troy’s feet. And they all see it, first some clothes swirling in the incoming tide, a movement that gives the appearance of life. But then, caught in a clump of sea grass, a dead body, it’s arm outstretched as if asking for their help