Elly Griffiths is one of my favourite authors and I absolutely love her Ruth Galloway mysteries. These feature Ruth (a forensic archaeologist) and Nelson (a Detective Chief Inspector) investigating a series of murders, usually with some historical connection. There are also other reoccurring characters, such as the druid Cathbad (I adore Cathbad!), along with Ruth's friends and Nelson's police colleagues.
I loved this book! (You knew I was going to say that, didn't you?) Ruth heads off on a working holiday to Italy at the invitation of old friend (and ex-lover) Dr Angelo Morelli, taking her friend Shona and both their children along too. Angelo, has found an old skeleton he wants her opinion on, but fails to mention that someone has got it in for him - which becomes a bit of an issue when Ruth finds unpleasant surprises on the doorstep of the apartment she's borrowed from him. Along with the Romans and Volsci, topics covered are WW2, the Italian Resistance, immigrants and refugees, and Nelson and Cathbad also make an appearance.
The engaging characters are the reason I enjoy these books so much. I also like the history, the humour, and the fact that they are not too 'gritty'. However, while I'm happy to rate this book as a five-star 'must read', new readers would probably get more out of the series if they start with the first book, The Crossing Places. Much of The Dark Angel is about the characters' ongoing relationships, which I loved, but I can see it would completely go over your head if you were not already familiar with who is who.
I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of this book, which will be published on 8th February 2018.
Thank you to Elly Griffiths, Quercus and NetGalley for my copy of this book, which I received in exchange for an honest review.