The Night Hawks: Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 13 by Elly Griffiths @ellygriffiths #MurderMystery #BookReview

Author: Elly Griffiths

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

The following night Nelson is called out just after midnight. Gunshots and screams have been reported at Black Dog Farm near Sheringham, where there appears to have been a murder-suicide. According to local legend, the isolated farm is haunted by the Black Shuck, a huge, black dog that appears to people before they die.

I’m really enjoying this series and the continuing development of the diverse cast of characters and, although I do think it’s time Nelson made up his mind which way to jump, it can’t be much fun being in that position, or for those involved. But perhaps, after that ending, the time is fast approaching for a decision.

Elly Griffiths’ writing is as engaging and atmospheric as ever, incorporating local folklore and legend into an engrossing and many layered murder/mystery. As always, perfectly plotted and combined with forensic archaeology and police procedural. The archaeological aspect has obviously been researched in depth and adds an authentic layer to the storyline, which has several misleading and twisty threads. I love the characterisations in this series. They are as much a part of the storylines as the investigations and crimes. Nelson is pointedly ignoring hints about his retirement and there’s a surprising development for two of them. 

Book links ~ Waterstones | Hive Books | | Amazon 

Elly Griffiths was born in London. The inspiration for her books about forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway came from her husband who gave up a city job to train as an archaeologist. Elly lives near Brighton but often spends holidays on the wild Norfolk coast. She has two children and a cat.

Author links ~ Website | Facebook | Twitter  

2 thoughts on “The Night Hawks: Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 13 by Elly Griffiths @ellygriffiths #MurderMystery #BookReview

  1. Sadly I got tired of the ongoing eternal triangle several books ago, and have given up on the series as a result. Soon they’ll all be too old and wrinkly for it to matter…*

    *I can get away with that ageist comment because I’m even older… 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sorry, I missed this, it’s been a manic few days. Looks like there might be a resolution on the horizon. I hope so because I am enjoying the stories. Ageist…tut tut… 😂

      Liked by 2 people

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