Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

The Ghost Fields – Elly Griffiths

Crime Fiction 5*'s
Crime Fiction
5*’s

In this the seventh in the series featuring Ruth Galloway, a forensic archaeologist, the historical find is the body of a pilot in a WWII plane. The hapless Barry West who came across the plane while clearing the ground for a new development of luxury homes. After recovering from the shock he calls the police and the excavation of the plane begins.

When Ruth is called by DI Harry Nelson she is convinced that the pilot hasn’t been there since the end of the war. That raises plenty of questions not least whose body is it, where has it been and who moved him to the plane and why? So quite a lot to discover and the place to start is the family who used to own the land the plane was found on; the Blackstock family have been in Norfolk for centuries.

There is plenty to get involved in this book from the array of personal and work relationships that have woven their way into the story. Judy is now having her second child with the druid Cathbad and although his role in this book is more muted than previously, it was good to see how life was treating him now that he lives in a house with his family. Ruth also gets to meet up with Frank who she met whilst filming the TV series in The Outcast Dead and of course her boss Phil is trying to muscle latest action. All the catching up with these well-known characters is part of the enjoyment of reading this series, but to get the full story arc, you do need to begin at the start of the series although it could be read as a stand-alone.

The mystery itself is surrounded by a colourful array of characters, whilst avoiding stereotypes, these are recognisable people even if some of them are not the kind that you would want to be friends with. As always Elly Griffiths gives us a good sense of place with the Norfolk landscape vividly described overlaid with a stifling hot summer which transported me right to the centre of the action. The storyline is also helped with some gentle humour so that despite the race to find a killer in the present as well as solving the mystery of the past this doesn’t feel gloomy.

Of course the link to the ghost fields in the title which is the name for the disused American air bases that were situated in the UK was of real interest to me as is the delving into the family history of the long established Blackstock family which results in some interesting revelations. This is an all-round good read, satisfying and comforting as well as informative. I’m already looking forward to the next book.

I’d like to thank the publishers Quercus for allowing me to read a copy of this book ahead of the publication date of 26 March 2015.

Previous books in the Elly Griffiths series

The Crossing Places
The Janus Stone
The House at Sea’s End
A Room Full of Bones
Dying Fall
The Outcast Dead

Standalone Novels

The Zig Zag Girl

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week In Books (March 18)

This Week In Books

Hosted by Lypsyy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week.

In a change of genre I am currently reading A Place For Us by Harriet Evans

A Place for Us

Blurb

The day Martha Winter decided to tear apart her family began like any other day.
So opens A Place for Us by Harriet Evans, a book you’ll dive into, featuring a family you’ll fall in love with … and never want to leave. If you devour Rosamund Pilcher and Maeve Binchy and have discovered Jojo Moyes, you’ll be thrilled to add Harriet Evans to your collection of favourite authors.
The house has soft, purple wisteria twining around the door. You step inside.
The hall is cool after the hot summer’s day. The welcome is kind, and always warm.
Yet something makes you suspect life here can’t be as perfect as it seems.
After all, the brightest smile can hide the darkest secret.
But wouldn’t you pay any price to have a glorious place like this?
Welcome to Winterfold.
Martha Winter’s family is finally coming home. Bookbridgr

I have just finished The Ghost Fields by Elly Griffiths where I had an enjoyable time catching up with Ruth Galloway’s investigation into a body found in the cockpit of a WWII plane. This should have been straightforward but the pilot’s body was found during the war so whose body is this?

The Ghost Fields

My review will follow shortly but you can read the opening paragraph in yesterday’s post.

Next I plan to read Humber Boy B by Ruth Dugdall. I have been waiting for another book by this talented author for quite some time so this book is being read with a high level of anticipation.

Humber Boy B

Blurb

A child is killed after falling from the Humber Bridge. Despite fleeing the scene, two young brothers are found guilty and sent to prison. Upon their release they are granted one privilege only, their anonymity.
Probation officer Cate Austin is responsible for Humber Boy B’s reintegration into society. But the general public’s anger is steadily growing, and those around her are wondering if the
secret of his identity is one he actually deserves to keep. Cate’s loyalty is challenged when she begins to discover the truth of the crime. She must ask herself if a child is capable of premeditated murder. Or is there a greater evil at play? Amazon

What are you reading this week? Please share in the comments box below.

See what I’ve been reading in 2015 here

Posted in Weekly Posts

Tuesday ~ First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (March 17)

First Chapter

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

My post this week is book seven from a series that I love featuring forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway; The Ghost Fields by Elly Griffiths.

The Ghost Fields

Blurb

Norfolk is experiencing a July heatwave when a construction crew unearths a macabre discovery – a buried WWII plane with the pilot still inside. Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway quickly realizes that the skeleton couldn’t possibly be the pilot, and DNA tests identify the man as Fred Blackstock, a local aristocrat who had been reported dead at sea. When the remaining members of the Blackstock family learn about the discovery, they seem strangely frightened by the news.
Events are further complicated by a TV company that wants to make a film about Norfolk’s deserted air force bases, the so-called Ghost Fields, which have been partially converted into a pig farm run by one of the younger Blackstocks. As production begins, Ruth notices a mysterious man lurking close to the Blackstocks’ family home.
Then human bones are found on the family’s pig farm. Can the team outrace a looming flood to find a killer? NetGalley

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

July 2013

It is the hottest summer for years. A proper heatwave, the papers say. But Barry West doesn’t pay much attention to weather forecasts. He wears the same clothes winter and summer, jeans and an England t-shirt. It’s sweaty in the cab of the digger, but he doesn’t really mind. Being a man is all about sweat; anyone who washes too much is either a foreign or worse. It doesn’t occur to him that women don’t exactly find his odour enticing. He’s forty and hasn’t had a girlfriend for years.
But he’s content, this July day. The Norfolk sky is a hot, hard blue and the earth, when exposed in the jaws of his digger, is pale, almost white. The yellow vehicle moves steadily to and fro, churning up stones and coarse grass. Barry doesn’t know, and he certainly doesn’t care, that people have fought hard over this patch of land, now scheduled for development by Edward Spens and Co.

Please note the quote is from a proof copy, the book is due to be published on 26 March 2015

Do you want to know more? Would you keep reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week In Books (March 11)

This Week In Books

With other blogs undergoing changes some of you will have seen my books for the week posted on Mondays but this really didn’t suit my reading and reviewing habits so I have decided to join Lypsyy Lost & Found and revert to a Wednesday post instead. Ideally this way  when I get back on top of my reviews there won’t be an inordinate wait for any book I feature to have its accompanying review.

I am currently reading The Night Falling by Katherine Webb set in Italy in 1921.

The Night Falling

Blurb

Puglia, Italy, 1921.
Leandro returns home now a rich man with a glamorous American wife, determined to make his mark. But how did he get so wealthy – and what haunts his outwardly exuberant wife?
Boyd, quiet English architect, is hired to build Leandro’s dreams. But why is he so afraid of Leandro, and what really happened between them years before, in New York?
Clare, Boyd’s diffident wife, is summoned to Puglia with her stepson. At first desperate to leave, she soon finds a compelling reason to stay.
Ettore, starving, poor and grieving for his lost fiancée, is too proud to ask his Uncle Leandro for help. Until events conspire to force his hand.
Tensions are high as poverty leads veterans of the Great War to the brink of rebellion. And under the burning sky, a reckless love and a violent enmity will bring brutal truths to light… NetGalley

I have just finished reading Out of the Silence by Wendy James which is a powerful novel that looks at the lives of women at the turn of the century. The setting is Australia but apart from the nicer weather this could be the UK, the same lack of choices for women both married and unmarried are examined in depth against the true story. This book is well-structured to give multiple viewpoints, some of which I confess to finding repellent but then I have choices, living as I do in the Twenty-First Century.

My review of Out of the Silence will be posted soon

Out of the Silence

Next up is the seventh in the Ruth Galloway series The Ghost Fields by Elly Griffiths

The Ghost Fields
Blurb

Norfolk is experiencing a July heatwave when a construction crew unearths a macabre discovery – a buried WWII plane with the pilot still inside. Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway quickly realizes that the skeleton couldn’t possibly be the pilot, and DNA tests identify the man as Fred Blackstock, a local aristocrat who had been reported dead at sea. When the remaining members of the Blackstock family learn about the discovery, they seem strangely frightened by the news.
Events are further complicated by a TV company that wants to make a film about Norfolk’s deserted air force bases, the so-called Ghost Fields, which have been partially converted into a pig farm run by one of the younger Blackstocks. As production begins, Ruth notices a mysterious man lurking close to the Blackstocks’ family home.
Then human bones are found on the family’s pig farm. Can the team outrace a looming flood to find a killer? NetGalley

What are you reading this week? Please share in the comments box below.

See what I’ve been reading in 2015 here

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (February 27)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

I went to the local charity shop and found a copy of A Quiet Belief in Angels by R.J. Ellory which had been on my wishlist for some time.

A Quiet Belief in Angels

Blurb

In 1930s Georgia, 12 year-old Joseph Vaughan hears of the brutal murder of a young girl, the first of a series of killings that will take ten lives in the subsequent decade. Compelled by fear and duty, Joseph and his friends establish The Guardians, a group of children determined to protect the people of Augusta Falls. Goodreads

I just had to treat myself to The Telegraph Book of the First World War edited by Gavin Fuller after reading a magnificent review of this FictionFan’s Book Reviews

The Telegraph Book of the First World War


Blurb

One hundred years on, the First World War has not lost its power to clutch at the heart. But how much do we really know about the war that would shape the 20th Century? And, all the more poignantly, how much did people know at the time?
Today, someone fires a shot on the other side of the world and we read about it online a few seconds later. In 1914, with storm clouds gathering over Europe, wireless telephony was in its infancy. So newspapers such as the Daily Telegraph were, for the British public, their only access to official news about the progress of the war.
These reports, many of them eye-witness dispatches, written by correspondents of the Daily Telegraph, bring the First World War to life in an intriguing new way. At times, the effect is terrifying, as accounts of the Somme, Flanders and Gallipoli depict brave and glorious victories, and the distinction between truth and propaganda becomes alarmingly blurred. Some exude a sense of dramatic irony that is almost excruciating, as one catches glimpses of how little the ordinary British people were told during the war of the havoc that was being wrought in their name.
Poignant, passionate and shot-through with moments of bleak humour, The Telegraph Book of the First World War is a full account of the war by some of the country’s most brilliant and colourful correspondents, whose reportage shaped the way that the war would be understood for generations to come. Goodreads

From NetGalley I have a copy of How I Lost You by Jenny Blackhurst which looks sufficiently harrowing to make my day!

How I Lost You

Blurb

They told her she killed her son. She served her time. But what if they lied?
I have no memory of what happened but I was told I killed my son. And you believe what your loved ones, your doctor and the police tell you, don’t you?
My name is Emma Cartwright. Three years ago I was Susan Webster, and I murdered my twelve-week-old son Dylan. I was sent to Oakdale Psychiatric Institute for my crime, and four weeks ago I was released early on parole with a new identity, address and a chance to rebuild my shattered life.
This morning, I received an envelope addressed to Susan Webster. Inside it was a photograph of a toddler called Dylan. Now I am questioning everything I believe because if I have no memory of the event, how can I truly believe he’s dead?
If there was the smallest chance your son was alive, what would you do to get him back? NetGalley

and finally I have a copy of The Ghost Fields by the wonderful Elly Griffiths which is due to be published 26 March 2015 by Quercus.

The Ghost Fields
Blurb

Norfolk is experiencing a July heatwave when a construction crew unearths a macabre discovery – a buried WWII plane with the pilot still inside. Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway quickly realizes that the skeleton couldn’t possibly be the pilot, and DNA tests identify the man as Fred Blackstock, a local aristocrat who had been reported dead at sea. When the remaining members of the Blackstock family learn about the discovery, they seem strangely frightened by the news.
Events are further complicated by a TV company that wants to make a film about Norfolk’s deserted air force bases, the so-called Ghost Fields, which have been partially converted into a pig farm run by one of the younger Blackstocks. As production begins, Ruth notices a mysterious man lurking close to the Blackstocks’ family home.
Then human bones are found on the family’s pig farm. Can the team outrace a looming flood to find a killer? NetGalley

What have you found this week? Do share!