The Dark Angel

The Dark Angel

FROM THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR, THE 10TH DR RUTH GALLOWAY MYSTERY - CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF RUTH 'My favourite current crime series' Val McDermid Dr Ruth Galloway is flattered when she receives a letter from Italian archaeologist Dr Angelo Morelli, asking for her help. He's discovered a group of bones in a tiny hilltop village but doesn't know what to make of t...

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Title:The Dark Angel
Author:Elly Griffiths
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Dark Angel Reviews

  • Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: Giving your son to God sounds sinister somehow. Ruth once found the body of an Iron Age girl who had been tied down and left on the marshes to die, an offering to some faceless, nameless diety. She thinks of Isaac carrying the wood on which he is going to be sacrificed by his father, a story which pops up quite often in her parent's church, where it seems to be held up as an example of good parenting.

    THE BLURB: Dr Ruth Galloway is flattered when she receives a letter from Italian archa

    EXCERPT: Giving your son to God sounds sinister somehow. Ruth once found the body of an Iron Age girl who had been tied down and left on the marshes to die, an offering to some faceless, nameless diety. She thinks of Isaac carrying the wood on which he is going to be sacrificed by his father, a story which pops up quite often in her parent's church, where it seems to be held up as an example of good parenting.

    THE BLURB: Dr Ruth Galloway is flattered when she receives a letter from Italian archaeologist Dr Angelo Morelli, asking for her help. He's discovered a group of bones in a tiny hilltop village but doesn't know what to make of them. It's years since Ruth has had a holiday, and even a working holiday to Italy is very welcome!

    So Ruth travels to Fontana Liri, accompanied by her daughter Kate and friend Shona. In the town she finds a medieval shrine and a dark secret involving the war years and the Resistance. To her amazement she also finds Harry Nelson, who is enduring a terrible holiday at a resort nearby. But there is no time to overcome their mutual shock - the ancient bones spark a modern murder, and Ruth must discover what secrets there are in Fontana Liri that someone would kill to protect.

    MY THOUGHTS: I completely understand why the Ruth Galloway series is, and I quote, 'My favourite current crime series' - Val McDermid.

    Elly Griffiths writes in a quietly sinister fashion that keeps me glued to the page. Her characters are delightful, but all too human, all capable of deceit, guilt, indecision and bad judgment. It was lovely to catch up again with Cathcart (known as Michael in his pre-druid life) and his very perceptive pronouncements. He is a very deep character, and one of my favorites.

    My favorite passage from the book is this- 'As he speaks, he turns to the tombstone, white and stark among the older graves, like a false tooth in a mouthful of decaying molars.' Wandering through graveyards is a pastime of mine. I make up stories about the inhabitants, and wonder about their lives. However, I doubt that I will be able to do so in the future without thinking of the 'decaying molars'.

    The setting for this book moves from Norfolk to the Liri Valley region in Italy, a rather beautiful and historic area. I soaked up the atmosphere, and swear I gained a kilo from all the delicious sounding pasta they ate. Although the village of Castello degli Angeli where Ruth is staying is completely fictional, other places they mentioned and visited are real, and I journeyed along with them, enjoying the sights if not the food, courtesy of Google Earth.

    The plot is not particularly fast-paced, but the book loses nothing because of this. In fact it is, in this instance, a redeeming quality. That is not to say that there is no action, because there is plenty.

    The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths is an extremely satisfying read. I award it ☆☆☆☆1/2 simply exquisite stars.

    Thank you to Quercus Books via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

    Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the 'about' page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

    This review and others are also published on my blog sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

  • Miss M

    More soap opera than crime solving this time around, but there's nothing wrong with that. Occasionally.

  • Paromjit

    This is the tenth in the series featuring Dr Ruth Galloway, the forensic archaeologist set in Norfolk. Ruth has been experiencing an emotionally stressful time when her hopes of cementing a relationship with DI Harry Nelson are dashed with his wife, Michelle, becoming pregnant. It is the summer holidays, and Ruth is contacted by Professor Angelo Morelli asking her for her expertise in a excavated skeleton in Italy. Angelo is a famous TV archaeologist, and is an ex-lover of Ruth's from her past.

    This is the tenth in the series featuring Dr Ruth Galloway, the forensic archaeologist set in Norfolk. Ruth has been experiencing an emotionally stressful time when her hopes of cementing a relationship with DI Harry Nelson are dashed with his wife, Michelle, becoming pregnant. It is the summer holidays, and Ruth is contacted by Professor Angelo Morelli asking her for her expertise in a excavated skeleton in Italy. Angelo is a famous TV archaeologist, and is an ex-lover of Ruth's from her past. This bolsters Ruth's ego which is badly in need of a boost, and with her best friend, Shona, Louis, and her daughter, Kate, sets off for a break in the sun, with Angelo providing them with accommodation in the beautiful Liri valley, at the fictional village of Castello di Angeli. Nelson is disturbed to hear that Mickey Webb, a man responsible for the death of his wife and two children in a fire, has been set free after seeing the light and becoming a committed a Christian, who married again whilst in prison. Webb uttered threats promising retribution when Nelson arrested and charged him, suspicious events have the police keeping an eye on him. This latest addition in the series focuses less on the two crime storylines in Norfolk and Italy, instead giving us a welcome insights into the returning and familiar characters and their relationships.

    Nelson is out of sorts when he finds out that Ruth and Kate have gone to Italy without informing him, although hearing about an earthquake has him boarding a flight with Cathbad in tow, to ascertain that Ruth and Kate are okay. Ruth is greeted by unwelcome graffiti on the apartment walls, and a wolf's skull left by the door. The local community has a strong history of the partisans and the resistance fighters fighting the Nazis. Ruth finds herself caught up in the media interest in Angelo's skeleton which appears to have been subject to a deviant burial, given the stone in the mouth. Nelson's departure has an insecure Michelle pondering on the quandry she finds herself with her uncertainty as to who is the father of her unborn child and contemplating getting involved with Tim who loves her unconditionally. Ruth once again comes across a murder, that of the old priest, Don Tomaso, who had wanted to share some information with her. Ruth finds herself in danger, that extends to her precious daughter, Kate, Shona and her son, Louis. Meanwhile, in Norfolk a scary scenario unfolds with deadly consequences that has a fearful Nelson wracked with guilt racing back to his lawful family in England.

    It is always a pleasure to catch up with this wonderful cast of characters that have wormed their way into my heart. I was particularly pleased to experience a little more time in the company of Cathbad, who has had a miniscule part in recent books. Ruth remains entangled and subject to her emotional need for Nelson, a married man who remains loyal to Michelle and his two daughters. He is ripped apart though by his feelings for Ruth and his daughter, Kate, fuelling ongoing trauma in his life, destined to continue for some time yet. I enjoyed the Italian location and the intrigue and the continuing passions that are inflamed by the past. All in all, this was a terrific read, highly entertaining and wonderful to once again be immersed with this great cast of characters that Griffiths continues to develop in a compelling manner. I can't wait for the next book! Many thanks to Quercus for an ARC.

  • Malia

    I want to start by saying this in one of my favorite series and the characters dear to me, because they have always come across as very real. The mystery aspect of the plot in the Ruth Galloway books is not their strong point, but I don't really care, I read them for my love of the characters. As for The Dark Angel, I really enjoyed a solid two thirds of the book and really sped through, though I had intended to pace myself and make it last. But then something happened, and though I won't say an

    I want to start by saying this in one of my favorite series and the characters dear to me, because they have always come across as very real. The mystery aspect of the plot in the Ruth Galloway books is not their strong point, but I don't really care, I read them for my love of the characters. As for The Dark Angel, I really enjoyed a solid two thirds of the book and really sped through, though I had intended to pace myself and make it last. But then something happened, and though I won't say anything to spoil it, this really upset and disappointed me, because I not only felt it was unnecessary, but also a bit of a cop-out. Anyone who has read this book will know what I am referring to and I would love to know what you think! All in all, I still really like Ruth and would be happy to know her in real life, but the way the book ended was so disappointing I just cannot give it the five stars I had felt sure I would initially. Even four feels a bit of a stretch, but I have my loyalties. When you wait a whole year for the next installment in a beloved series and the book really lets you down, it almost feels personal. I am sure you know what I mean. It's been a few days since I finished this book, but had I written this review immediately after I turned the final page, I do not doubt it would have been downgraded to three stars, which makes me quite sad:-/

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  • Kristy

    Ruth is dealing with a lot on the personal front, including the fact that Nelson's wife, Michelle, is pregnant. Ruth and Nelson's daughter, Kate, is six now, and while Michelle knows about Kate, Nelson's older daughters do not. Nelson was very close to leaving Michelle for Ruth, before he found out his wife was pregnant again. So when Ruth is invited to Italy to assist a former friend, Angelo Morelli, in looking at some bones, she is actually a bit excited at the thought of a holiday/work trip.

    Ruth is dealing with a lot on the personal front, including the fact that Nelson's wife, Michelle, is pregnant. Ruth and Nelson's daughter, Kate, is six now, and while Michelle knows about Kate, Nelson's older daughters do not. Nelson was very close to leaving Michelle for Ruth, before he found out his wife was pregnant again. So when Ruth is invited to Italy to assist a former friend, Angelo Morelli, in looking at some bones, she is actually a bit excited at the thought of a holiday/work trip. It will give her and Kate a chance to get away. They embark on the trip along with Ruth's friend Shona and her son, Louis. Once there, Ruth realizes how entrenched the people of the Italian village are in the past--including what happened during World War II. Further, Angelo is convinced someone is trying to kill him. Before she knows it, Ruth is immersed in a modern-day murder mystery: something she can't seem to avoid, no matter where she travels.

    . Despite the fact that I know absolutely nothing about bones, I identify with her (e.g., stepping on a plane with Kate for the first time and feeling nervous flying with her daughter, whose safety "overrides everything else").

    , and

    , especially the grumpy yet protective Nelson. The Nelson/Ruth dynamic is its typically complicated yet oddly sweet self, and there's a surprising amount of progress or information regarding the characters' personal lives in this novel.

    As mentioned,

    .

    . Each character is so perfectly "them," and I enjoyed that we heard from a lot of characters this time around, even Nelson's elder daughter. Oh, and yes,

    , involving an Italian town, some bones (of course), and a variety of deeply buried secrets. Griffiths introduced us to some new characters with the new locale, and

    . It was front and center enough to keep us interested, but refreshing to get a little more movement on the characters' personal lives, too.

    Overall,

    . As always, I cannot wait for the next Ruth novel (especially because there is some serious unresolved business by the end of this one!). I think of Ruth, Harry, Kate, and the entire cast as dear friends by now. You can read this as a stand-alone, but as always, I recommend reading the whole series, because it's just so darn good. 4.5 stars.

    A huge thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for a copy of this novel in return for an unbiased review; it is available in the U.S. everywhere as of 05/15/2018.

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  • Sandy

    3.5 stars

    When I started reading this, I couldn’t help but think about how far these characters have come. There’s a personal story arc that has evolved at a snappy pace from the beginning & it shows no sign of slowing down here.

    As the book opens, we find Ruth in a bit of a funk. Nothing like going to a wedding to make you reflect on your life as a singe mom. Especially when the father of your daughter is there with his pregnant wife. So when the chance to check out old bones in Italy comes

    3.5 stars

    When I started reading this, I couldn’t help but think about how far these characters have come. There’s a personal story arc that has evolved at a snappy pace from the beginning & it shows no sign of slowing down here.

    As the book opens, we find Ruth in a bit of a funk. Nothing like going to a wedding to make you reflect on your life as a singe mom. Especially when the father of your daughter is there with his pregnant wife. So when the chance to check out old bones in Italy comes along, Ruth packs up Kate & runs away.

    Angelo Morelli is a charismatic Italian archeologist with a problem. Someone is messing with his dig site & his head. He need some publicity to bolster interest & funding so calls old friend Dr. Ruth Galloway. In short order Ruth arrives in the beautiful small town of Castello degli Angeli with Kate, best friend Shona & her son. But from the start, it’s clear not everyone is happy about her visit.

    There are several plot lines that emerge from the Italian side of the story. A mysterious immigrant named Samir, the local cleric anxious to talk to Ruth & a mystery from WWll involving Angelo’s grandfather. Back in King’s Lynn, Nelson gets news a convicted killer has been released. He’s responsible for putting the guy away & remembers his threat to get even. Probably not a good time to dash off to Italy.

    A large part of the book, much more than previous ones, is devoted to the entangled love lives of Ruth, Nelson, Michelle & Tim. At times, it felt like the author is getting ready to tie up some long standing story arcs in the next instalment & uses this book to clear her plate. The ending certainly takes care of one aspect…..lordie, I did NOT see that coming. The result (for me) was the plot lines dealing with mystery & archeology were underserved. I desperately wanted to know more about Angelo’s grandfather time in the resistance & learn Samir’s history as I found him an intriguing character. These are glossed over & the whole Italian side of the story kind of fizzles down to a neatly tied up resolution. There’s a lot more going on back in Norfolk but Ruth & Nelson are absent for all of it. We also spend significant time listening in on the inner thoughts of our 4 star-crossed lovers as each considers their situation.

    So…not my favourite in the series. I love Ruth. In many ways she is an every-woman whom you can relate to & I enjoy that the focus has always been on her strength & intelligence instead of her appearance. This is book #10 & I think the author in that tricky spot where she needs to fish or cut bait re: the long running love triangle (or square). So personally, I’m going to consider this one a small bump in the road & look forward to catching up with the gang in #11.

  • Linda

    There are serious dangers in waking the spirits of the dead.

    Dr. Ruth Galloway, UK bone specialist in archaeology, seems to know this quite often and usually up front and personal. Ruth has been contacted by an old colleague, Angelo Morelli, to examine some unusual bones found in an excavation site in the Liri Valley in Italy.

    Dead men usually tell no tales, but this one speaks volumes from the confines of his grave. Buried face down is demeaning at best, but this poor soul has also had a stone l

    There are serious dangers in waking the spirits of the dead.

    Dr. Ruth Galloway, UK bone specialist in archaeology, seems to know this quite often and usually up front and personal. Ruth has been contacted by an old colleague, Angelo Morelli, to examine some unusual bones found in an excavation site in the Liri Valley in Italy.

    Dead men usually tell no tales, but this one speaks volumes from the confines of his grave. Buried face down is demeaning at best, but this poor soul has also had a stone lodged in his mouth where his tongue should have been.....the silence of an ancient statement.

    The August Italian sun beckons for one last holiday before Ruth's daughter, Kate, returns to school. Wishing for company on this trek, Ruth invites her friend, Shona, and her son, Louis, to join them. What appears to be a routine dig turns into far more than what Ruth bargained for. The historical vibes of the village have been laced with the impact of Fascists, Nazis, and resistance fighters during World War II. It is evident in the older generations who speak of an occupied Italy where the deep footprint is still embedded there.

    The lulling breezes of the Italian countryside will soon reverse and take on a mighty windstorm. Ruth comes upon the body of the local elderly priest in the darkness of the village church. Who would ever harm this gentle soul and, more importantly, why?

    Elly Griffiths creates quite the multi-leveled scenario here with lightning strikes both in Italy and in the UK simultaneously. Be assured. I have only read a few of her books and I was still able to follow the backstories going on in the lives of these characters. And there's quite a bit of eyebrow-raising with sparking relationships and who is connecting with whom. That in itself will draw you into this storyline. Oh, the games people play.

    The Dark Angel emerges you into the pools of great storytelling from the onset. Just as things begin to sort out towards the end, Griffiths throws in a totally unexpected event that will play havoc in the future of many of these characters. Have mercy! She can't write fast enough for the next one to get here while we anxiously tread water. Yowzers!

    I received a copy of The Dark Angel through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Quercus) for the opportunity.

  • Diane S ☔

    In the last several months I have read an inordinate amount of novels set in Italy. Was surprised to find in this book, which is set in England, that I would once again be traveling to Italy, in particular Castello degli Angeli. A town slowly dying, all it's young people moving to Rome for employment opportunities. It is also a town with a long memory, memories and tragedies from the second World War.

    Ruth is called to Italy when an old friend finds bones and needs a bone expert. Wanting to get a

    In the last several months I have read an inordinate amount of novels set in Italy. Was surprised to find in this book, which is set in England, that I would once again be traveling to Italy, in particular Castello degli Angeli. A town slowly dying, all it's young people moving to Rome for employment opportunities. It is also a town with a long memory, memories and tragedies from the second World War.

    Ruth is called to Italy when an old friend finds bones and needs a bone expert. Wanting to get away from home, due to the emotional turmoil caused by the ever changing situation with Nelson. She takes Kate, and Shonna and Louis travels with them. Things will develop in Italy, unexpected situations, but things will also happen back home.

    I enjoy this very character oriented series, the mix of characters, including a druid. It is interesting, I always learn something new pertaining to archeology and past civilizations. The personal developments and changing relationships are also enjoyable, though I admit to wanting to shake Nelson in more than one situation. For some reason, with this series, I feel as if I am actually a character in the story, rather than a reader watching from afar.

    ARC from Edelweiss.

  • Brenda

    This was disappointing.

    I think the author boxed herself in by using Italy as the setting for this book. It was easy enough to get Ruth there with a request to consult on an archeological television show. She, of course, brings her daughter. Ruth's best friend, Shona, also comes along with her son. Shona provides a way to free Ruth from childcare. To get Nelson to Italy, the author writes in an earthquake. It’s minor by Italy’s standards, but it rattles Nelson enough that he races to Italy to mak

    This was disappointing.

    I think the author boxed herself in by using Italy as the setting for this book. It was easy enough to get Ruth there with a request to consult on an archeological television show. She, of course, brings her daughter. Ruth's best friend, Shona, also comes along with her son. Shona provides a way to free Ruth from childcare. To get Nelson to Italy, the author writes in an earthquake. It’s minor by Italy’s standards, but it rattles Nelson enough that he races to Italy to make sure Ruth and Katie are okay. It’s strange that a beloved character, Cathbad, comes with Nelson. Cathbad seems to be there to help keep the kids occupied and to dispense his occasional nuggets of mystical wisdom.

    Much is made of Ruth's self-image problem with her weight and Shona accentuates that. Shona is attractive and stylish, but also shallow and selfish. Ruth is self conscious when she appears at the beach in a one piece bathing suit while everyone else is wearing bikinis. I don’t see how these two are best friends. Shona seems to take advantage of Ruth when she takes a nap or goes off to flirt with Graziano.

    Most of this book feels like watching someone else's video of their vacation. It’s dull and boring. Ruth completes filming for the tv show in just a few hours, but she’s not involved in any archeological digging. They go to the beach or the pool or to church. I can’t tell you how many times the kids were sat down to watch a Disney DVD. Ruth and Nelson have one day to spend together alone, and they do something unexpected.

    As for the crimes, a priest is murdered in the small village where our main characters are staying. Ruth is only a witness and Nelson has no jurisdiction. The reader isn’t really privy to the investigation, except for knowing that some World War II event is causing problems now. There wasn’t enough to keep me interested in that crime. Back in England, a prisoner is released and is threatening revenge. Nelson thought he had it handled before he left, and Judy thought she had it handled after that. This leads to the only important event that happens in this book.

    This book is weak and makes me feel like the series is dying. I wonder if the author should have started this book with that important event, figured out where the chips should fall, and brought this series to a conclusion. Maybe this book just delayed that scenario until the next book.

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