I love Elly Griffiths's books, particularly her Ruth Galloway series, so I was thrilled to receive an early copy of The Night Hawks. It is a wonderful gothicky murder-mystery, with a nod to The Hound of the Baskervilles, and it's my favourite so far.
Ruth has returned to Norfolk after being offered the role of Head of the Archaeology Department at the university. She is suffering from slight imposter syndrome, not helped by a particular member of staff undermining her at every turn, but she is still DCI Nelson's expert of choice whenever a body is found. In this case, a young man has been found washed up on the beach at Blakeney Point by a group of metal detectorists called The Night Hawks. At first DCI Nelson believes the man drowned accidentally, but then more murders are discovered at the nearby Black Dog Farm - named for the legendary Black Shuck, a harbinger of death...
The Night Hawks is a fabulous traditional murder mystery, with humour and emotional conflict dished up alongside a fiendishly clever plot. Elly Griffiths takes care to write believable characters you can thoroughly engage with and care about. Ruth has finally landed her dream job, only to be undermined by an irritating mansplainer at every turn. She and DCI Nelson are still involved in their will/they won't they relationship, and fans will be delighted that Cathbad makes an appearance. I loved the gothic edge - a spooky old farm and a legendary ghostly dog. There's even buried 'treasure' - and bodies! I gave up trying to work out who the murderer was and just thoroughly enjoyed the story.
Although this book is number 13 in the series, you don't need to have read the others. Elly explains everyone's backstory deftly and succinctly before getting on with business. The Night Hawks is one of my favourite reads this year. Why isn't it a TV series yet?!!
Thank you to Elly Griffiths and Quercus for my copy of this book, which I requested from NetGalley and reviewed voluntarily.
The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths
Now You See Them by Elly Griffiths