Book Review: THE DARK ANGEL by Elly Griffiths

The Dark Angel.jpgSet mostly in Italy, in a small village on the hills just outside of Rome, THE DARK ANGEL is the tenth novel featuring Dr Ruth Galloway. Although I have still a few books to read in this series, I really enjoy it and this last book really kept me glued to the page. For once, I was thankful for my long commute to work because it gave me time to read and I went through this novel in two days.

Ruth Galloway needs a break from watching Harry Nelson, the father of her child and the married man she is love with, spending time with his pregnant wife, so when an Italian archaeologist, Angelo Morelli, asks her to go to Italy to look at a mysterious group of bones, Ruth happily accepts. She decides to turn it into a holiday and she brings her 6-year-old daughter, Kate, her best friend Shona and her son Louis. But, first someone leaves a warning on their door, and then there are other strange events that make Ruth suspect that not everyone in the small Italian village is happy about their arrival.

In the meantime, Harry Nelson has a lot going on in Norfolk. Although he looks happy about his wife’s pregnancy, it also means that his dream of forming a family with Ruth and Kate is over. Additionally, Mickey Webb, a man who threatened him after he put him in prison ten years earlier, is now out and, despite his claims of redemption, Nelson is not completely convinced.

What I like about the characters of this series is that their insecurities and their flaws make them more human and more likable. My favourite character is Cathcart who I find engaging and funny with his predictions and declarations. Ruth is a kick-ass forensic archaeologist, smart and determined, and she is one of my favourite female characters. I love reading about her relationship with Nelson. It is complicated, now more than ever: they love each other and have a daughter together who Nelson can’t recognize, and now his wife is pregnant. But is Nelson the father of the child? Sometimes, reading about their story it’s like watching a soap opera.

If the romantic side of the novel doesn’t have your attention, then you will love the atmospheric Italian setting with its rural villages, the good food and wine, and the culture and the history. Then, there is the suspenseful plot and the captivating writing, so in two words, a fantastic read.

Thank you Olivia Mead and Quercus for providing me with an early copy of the book.

THE DARK ANGEL was published in the UK on February 8th.

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