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A Dying Fall (Ruth Galloway Mystery) Paperback – March 11, 2014

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Product Details

  • Series: Ruth Galloway Mystery
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (March 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0544227808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0544227804
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Griffiths, who won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for The Crossing Places (2010), her first novel starring forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway, returns with the fifth in the series. Griffiths again ably fuses a contemporary murder mystery with a mystery from the long-buried past. The contemporary case revolves around the death in a fire of Dan Golding, the golden boy from Ruth’s university days, whose life ended in a tiny flat in a broken-down neighborhood near an obscure northern England university housed in an abandoned cigarette factory. The day after Ruth learns of Golding’s death, she receives a letter from him, written days before he died, begging her to come to the university and help him identify bones from a find of potentially great importance. Both Ruth and Detective Chief Inspector Nelson, her former lover and father of her daughter (it’s complicated), travel north to Lancashire—Nelson to investigate Golding’s death, which has moved from accident to murder, and Griffiths to answer her old friend’s plea. Both plot strands make compelling reading, but the way Griffiths interweaves them is absolutely masterful. As with all Ruth Galloway mysteries, the application of forensic archaeology is intriguing. Ruth examines the site of a former Roman settlement and then the bones buried beneath a sarcophagus, bones that may have belonged to King Arthur himself. Readers are in for a really good time with this flesh-and-blood bone expert. --Connie Fletcher --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Praise for the Ruth Galloway Mystery Series

"Elly Griffiths draws us all the way back to prehistoric times…Highly atmospheric." —The New York Times Book Review

"Galloway is an everywoman, smart, successful and a little bit unsure of herself. Readers will look forward to learning more about her." —USA Today 

"Ruth Galloway is a remarkable, delightful character…A must-read for fans of crime and mystery fiction." —Associated Press

"Forensic archeologist and academic Ruth Galloway is a captivating amateur sleuth—an inspired creation. I identified with her insecurities and struggles, and cheered her on. " —Louise Penny, author of the bestselling Armand Gamache series

"These books are must-reads." —Deborah Crombie, author of the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series

"[Ruth Galloway’s] an uncommon, down-to-earth heroine whose acute insight, wry humor, and depth of feeling make her a thoroughly engaging companion." —Erin Hart, Agatha and Anthony Award nominated author of Haunted Ground and Lake of Sorrows

"A wonderfully rich mixture of ancient and contemporary, superstition and rationality, with a cast of druids, dreamers and assorted tree-huggers as well as some thoroughly modern villains…A great series." —The Guardian

"[An] excellent series…Skillful and engaging." —The Globe and Mail

"Griffiths is one of England’s freshest mystery writers. Her novels combine a dramatic sense of place with a complicated mystery, and with each new installment, her character of Ruth Galloway becomes more complex and dynamic." —Curled Up with a Good Book

"Griffiths does a lot to humanize forensic archaeology and serves up great dollops of historical details in her Ruth Galloway series…Griffiths is great at conveying the archaeologist’s passion for finds, forensic or historic." —Booklist, starred review

"Griffiths is a true mystery writer." —Ann Arbor News

More About the Author

Elly Griffiths was born in London in 1963. Her first crime novel The Crossing Places is set on the Norfolk coast where she spent holidays as a child and where her aunt still lives. Her interest in archaeology comes from her husband, Andrew, who gave up his city job to retrain as an archaeologist. She lives in Brighton, on the south coast of England, with her husband and two children.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By miki101.Michaela on December 26, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
... here she comes again: Dr Ruth Galloway, the British anthropo-pathologist.

Nothing so "telegenic" like a Tempe Brennan aka "Bones" or the glamour of a "Kay Scarpetta" - she simply is "herself" - without additionals. A woman of 42 years and a bit "on the plumper" side - now a hard-working "Single-Mother" and teaching forensic archaeology at Norfolk University. She is raising her daughter, living alone, owning a cat and a battered car, like many of us normal women do... But she is also a thoroughbred scientist.

Our Ruth is shocked when she learns that her old university archeologist friend Dan Golding has died tragically when his house burned down. But a letter from the dead, from Dan, written just before he died, is the most unsettling thing she ever received...
Dan tells her of a great archaeological discovery he made, but also says that he is scared for his life. Was Dan's death linked to this find? The only clue is his mention of the Raven King, an ancient name for a very famous historic figure...

Then Ruth is invited by Pendle University to examine the skeleton Dan found.
Ruth travels to Lancashire near Blackpool - the hometown of DCI Harry Nelson - with her eighteen-month-old daughter Kate and her druid friend Cathbad in tow.
What she finds is a campus living in fear of a sinister right-wing group called the White Hand. She also discovers that the bones are revealing a shocking fact about that Raven King - maybe King Arthur ??? - and then they vanish mysteriously.

When DCI Nelson - visiting his mother in Blackpool - learns about the case he is soon drawn into the investigation and is also rediscovering his past. His long-time friend Sandy Macleod - now at Blackpool CID - tells him that Dan's death is highly suspicious.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Divascribe VINE VOICE on January 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Elly Griffith's fifth installment in her Ruth Galloway/DCI Harry Nelson series takes both of them from their usual stomping grounds on the Norfolk coast to Lancashire in the north of England, although on what first appear to be separate missions. Ruth learns that an old university friend, fellow archaeologist Dan Golding, has died in a house fire in Blackpool not long after making a discovery of what he believes are the bones of the legendary King Arthur at a nearby dig. Dan's department head at the university where he was teaching asks Ruth, who's an expert on analyzing ancient bones, to come to Blackpool and check out the bones herself. At the same time, DCI Nelson has been ordered to take a holiday and decides to visit his mother -- in Lancashire. He visits an old police pal there, and before you know it, he's involved in the investigation of Dan Golding's death and other strange goings-on that seem to be related to it.

This forms the bones -- pun intended -- of "A Dying Fall." Ruth and her friend Cathbad -- a Druid who comes along to help Ruth with her toddler, Kate -- are soon drawn into the Golding case when it becomes apparent that it was a murder, not an accidental fire. And Ruth's analysis of information on the bones reveals a very startling fact about the man who may have been King Arthur. Add a secret society on campus that appears to be white supremacist, and you have quite a brew of suspicion.

This is a solid addition to the series with interesting information about ancient Britain and the Arthur legend. It advances the difficult situation, and continuing attraction, between Ruth and DCI Nelson, who fathered her baby during a brief affair.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By J. Murray VINE VOICE on February 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This may be the last of Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway series I read. It has nothing to do with Griffiths' writing skills--she's wonderful. Her dialogue is crisp, her settings vibrant and enticing, her plot engaging. I even love most of the characters--who couldn't be enchanted by the Druid Cathbad with a heart of gold and the easy-going attitude toward life we would all love to emulate. I can easily understand why it's a Mary Higgins Clark award-winner.

The problem is Ruth Galloway--the main character. I don't like her.

But I'm ahead of myself. This latest book penned by Elly Griffiths, "A Dying Fall" (Houghton Mifflin 2013) dwells on that rich content we armchair anthropologists love--ancient bones with stories to tell. In this case, a colleague of Galloway's (Dan Golding) discovers them, contacts Ruth, but dies in a mysterious house fire before he can discuss his find. As luck would have it, the friend's employer (a struggling college) invites Galloway (a well-known expert in this field) to evaluate what should be a 1500-year old skeleton. She quickly realizes the bones that likely caused her friend's death have been replaced by worthless substitutes. It doesn't take long for Golding's killer to set his/her sights on Ruth and worse, her toddler daughter, Ruth uses her considerable intellect, her enigmatic friend Cathbad, and the father of her daughter DCI Nelson to unravel the mystery even as other lives are claimed in the murderer's effort to stop Ruth from uncovering the truth.

Sounds wonderful, doesn't it? And it is, despite being one of those present tense books that always take me a few chapters to get used to. Griffiths, like Elizabeth George, puts you smack amidst the English landscape in her scenes, characterizations, language, customs.
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