Hardback 1 February 2021
Paperback edition 8 July 2021
Dr Ruth Galloway returns to the moody and beautiful landscape of North Norfolk to confront another killer. A devastating new case for our favourite forensic archaeologist in this acclaimed and bestselling crime series.
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.
Nelson is called to an apparent murder-suicide of a couple at the isolated Black Dog Farm. Local legend talks of the Black Shuck, a spectral hound that appears to people before they die. Nelson ignores this, even when the owner's suicide note includes the line, 'He's buried in the garden.' Ruth excavates and finds the body of a giant dog.
All roads lead back to this farm in the middle of nowhere, but the place spells serious danger for anyone who goes near. Ruth doesn't scare easily. Not until she finds herself at Black Dog Farm.
📖 My thoughts..
The Night Hawks is the thirteenth book in the Ruth Galloway series of crime novels and as always this story gets off to a dramatic start when a group of metal detectorists, who call themselves The Night Hawks, discover the body of a young man in an isolated spot on the beach alongside some buried treasure which may well be artifacts from the Bronze Age.
Bringing forensic archaeologist, Ruth Galloway into the case means that she is, once again, working alongside DI Harry Nelson and his investigative team as they seek to discover more about the victim. As if this wasn't complicated enough the whole investigation becomes even more sinister with the discovery of two bodies in an isolated farmhouse, known locally as Black Dog Farm, a darkly sinister place where unusual things have happened before. That these unrelated deaths may be linked in some way is what makes this such a fascinating and complex crime story.
The Ruth Galloway series is by far my favourite crime series and I devour the books in the space of one sitting as they are, in my opinion, unputdownable. Having been a fan from the very first book , meeting up with Ruth and Harry in each successive story is like meeting up with your old friends. I enjoy how the author intersperses details of Ruth and Harry's complex relationship into the story as well as bringing back all the supporting characters, especially Cathbad and Judy, who are such an integral part of the story.
The plot in The Night Hawks is as complex as ever and the author deftly weaves together several complex story threads, gradually increasing the tension, until in the latter part of the novel the danger is ramped up to high and both Ruth and Harry have to find their inner reserves of strength in order to keep one step ahead of someone who really does want to see them come to harm.
This may well be the thirteenth book but the series hasn't lost any of its freshness nor its appeal to readers and if you haven't started this series then I do urge you go to the beginning and work your way through some excellent crime novels.
Elly Griffiths was born in London. She worked in publishing for many years. Her bestselling series of Dr Ruth Galloway novels, featuring a forensic archaeologist are set in Norfolk.The series has won the CWA Dagger in the library, and has been shortlisted three times for the Theakston's Old Peculiar Crime Novel of theYear. Her Stephens and Mephisto series is based in 1950s Brighton. She lives near Brighton with her husband and their two children.
Twitter @ellygriffiths #TheNightHawks