I have enjoyed Elly Griffith’s Dr. Ruth Galloway series going on six years now. Ruth is first introduced in The Crossing Places (2010), when her archeological ability becomes necessary to Norwich, DCI Harry Nelson. He asks her to decide if a child’s bones found near a prehistoric henge site belong to a girl who disappeared a decade ago or if they are much older.
This request changes Dr. Galloway’s life in ways she never expected. Instead of narrowing her involvement to examining and running tests, Dr. Galloway finds herself becoming more and more involved in the case. By the end of the book she decides to become a forensic archeologist in addition to her lecturing duties at a local university.
The juggling of both jobs carries through to the other books in the series. They include The Janus Stone; The House At the End of the Sea; A Dying Fall; A Roomful of Bones; The Outcast Dead; The Ghost Fields; and out this year – The Woman in Blue.
Outside of work Ruth has a complicated relationship with married man and father of two, DCI Harry Nelson. He develops strong feelings for Ruth and her for him. During one emotionally rocking case, the two consummate their relationship and Ruth becomes pregnant with their daughter Katie.
The way in which Griffith writes this relationship and the other ones Ruth has with Calthbad (a friendly druid/university scientist(, Detective Sergeant Judy Johnson feel like life and not like a cliché’. Nor do I feel as I have read each book in the series that Ruth’s involvement in a case is unnatural. There are few authors I have read who pull this off as well as Griffith.
The archeological and historical elements of each book are woven well with the police procedural and the mystery elements of each book. Combined they have made for an enjoyable series that I plan to stick with for as long as Griffiths chooses to write the Dr. Ruth Galloway series.