The Blurb (from Goodreads):
Everything has changed for Dr Ruth Galloway.
She has a new job, home and partner, and is no longer North Norfolk police’s resident forensic archaeologist. That is, until convicted murderer Amyas 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 travellers to their deaths.
Is Amyas 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?
This year I’ve been reading my way through the Ruth Galloway series of contemporary British crime novels by Elly Griffiths. The Lantern Men is the twelfth in the series, and just as readable and entertaining as the first. Dr Ruth Galloway is a forensic archaeologist, who began working with the Norfolk police way back in Book 1: The Crossing Places. Along the way she’s had an on-again-off-again affair with the lead detective, borne him a child, raised her daughter alone, and helped him solve a dozen intriguing murder cases. The joy of these books is the characters, who all seem so real, and the muddle they make of their personal affairs. Dr Ruth is clever, overweight, sceptical and determined to make it on her own. DCI Nelson is brusque, drives too fast, loves football and his family, and is prone to ordering people about. There is also the delightful Cadfael, one of Ruth’s best friends, a druid with a penchant for purple cloaks. That makes the books sound very charming and whimsical, which is true – but the mysteries are clever and hard-hitting, and the danger is very real. It’s a beguiling mix, which explains why so many people are as addicted as me. Start at the beginning, though! For the real joy is the developing relationships between the dramatis personae.