Ruth is in London clearing out her mother’s belongings when she makes a surprising discovery: a photograph of her Norfolk cottage taken before Ruth lived there. Her mother always hated the cottage, so why does she have a picture of the place? The only clue is written on the back of the photo: Dawn, 1963.
Ruth returns to Norfolk determined to solve the mystery, but then Covid rears its ugly head. Ruth and her daughter are locked down in their cottage, attempting to continue with work and home-schooling. Happily, the house next door is rented by a nice woman called Zoe, who they become friendly with while standing on their doorsteps clapping for carers.
Nelson, meanwhile, is investigating a series of deaths of women that may or may not be suicide. When he links the deaths to an archaeological discovery, he breaks curfew to visit Ruth.
It was great to return to Norfolk to see Ruth again and the added dimension of Lockdown Britain added realism and different problems and possibilities. We find Cathbad as an online yoga instructor, which is great, but then things start to go wrong. Meanwhile DI Nelson’s investigation into a series of suicides will probably lead nowhere but why did all the women attend the same slimming club?
Michele’s absence, staying with her mother is prolonged by the pandemic, and Nelson seeks help from Ruth over an archaeological discovery. A seemingly uneventful investigation soon becomes intensely dangerous, and we become suspicious of Ruth’s new neighbour. I particularly enjoy reading the very different viewpoints of Ruth and Nelson as the plot unfolds.
This is a book for those who have already read the previous Dr Galloway mysteries, but it doesn’t disappoint. Our favourite characters continue to develop, the investigations are intriguing and the last chapter promises more personal events in their future.
The Locked Room on Amazon UK
My Review of The Crossing Places the first Ruth Galloway Mystery by Elly Griffiths