Monday, September 30, 2019

Review: The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths

The Stone Circle (Ruth Galloway, Book #11)
by Elly Griffiths
Release Date: May 7th 2019
2019 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Kindle Edition; 384 Pages
ISBN: 978-1328974648
Genre: Fiction / Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher

4 / 5 Stars

DCI Nelson has been receiving threatening letters telling him to 'go to the stone circle and rescue the innocent who is buried there'. He is shaken, not only because children are very much on his mind, with Michelle's baby due to be born, but because although the letters are anonymous, they are somehow familiar. They read like the letters that first drew him into the case of The Crossing Places, and to Ruth. But the author of those letters is dead. Or are they?

Meanwhile Ruth is working on a dig in the Saltmarsh - another henge, known by the archaeologists as the stone circle - trying not to think about the baby. Then bones are found on the site, and identified as those of Margaret Lacey, a twelve-year-old girl who disappeared thirty years ago.

My Thoughts
The Stone Circle is the eleventh entry in the Ruth Galloway series and while I enjoyed it a lot better than the previous entry in this series, I have to say I am getting really sick of the threesome thing happening between Nelson, Ruth, and Michelle, Nelson's wife.   And no, it's not a sexual thing between them, but an affair that has been dragging its feet for way too long.  And I am not giving away anything by mentioning this, even if you are new to the series, as the dilemma meanders its way through everything in the book, and everything is now out in the open, and has been for many books now.  I'm sorry, but it's had its day in the sun, and now it's time to move on: either Nelson stays or he goes.

I have read every book in this series and while I loved the character development in the earlier books, I am truly not seeing it as much now simply because I feel like all the characters are in limbo, and waiting for something to happen between Ruth and Nelson.  I still enjoy the camaraderie between them and love how Nelson kind of lives in the past and has a hard time accepting newer technologies and newer ways of doing things, but he was learning there for a while which was interesting for his character.  And while I get how protective he is of Kate, does he really have a huge say in how Ruth raises her and what she does?  He does have another family already and sometimes I want to strangle him because he can seem so domineering.  I understand he is fearful that he might love Kate, and Ruth, to someone else or she may move away, but it's really her decision as she is not involved with him.  To someone who is new to the series, this may come across as judgmental but having read all the books and having to deal with this issue in EVERY book it does get old rather fast.

The mystery in this one was very interesting and I enjoyed it quite a bit.  It actually took me a little while to figure out who the murderer was as I bought into some of the red herrings, but eventually I caught on. I love it when an author, whose work with which I am familiar, can do that to me.  And as always, it's the archaeological perspective that has always drawn me to these books.  And I have to say, I love where Ruth lives.  How beautiful and remote it must be!! And Cathbad, dear Cathbad, love that character.  So interesting!!  The author's writing style has a way of grabbing you and making you feel like you are right there.  I do think it would help if you were familiar with the earlier books for this one as it does mention a much earlier situation and how that event shape people and their futures. It just might make more sense.

The Stone Circle was a rather interesting book and I really felt like it went back to its roots to what made this series so rather interesting.  The archaeological perspective woven around events is always fascinating and the history lessons are interesting.  I've already spewed my thoughts about Ruth and Nelson and Michelle so I won't go there again, but please do something about that situation.  Otherwise, this was a good, riveting mystery, one that I would definitely recommend.