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The Stone Circle, by Elly Griffiths. 

June 6, 2019

The Stone Circle
The Stone Circle, by Elly Griffiths.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019.

2 stars

Domenica de Rosa is a prolific and popular British writer in her 50s. She has written two crime novel series under the pen name of Elly Griffiths.  The Stone Circle is her eleventh mystery about Ruth Galloway, a forensic archeologist.

The Stone Circle takes place on the English coast near Norfolk where  Ruth Galloway has been called back to help the local crime team at the scene of a prehistoric dig where they had been involved 20 years before.  The more recent burial of an adolescent girl on the site raises new questions and opens a host of old ones.  Characters from the previous novels in the series abound.  Events from the past haunt the present, including the past relationships among the main characters.

Finding the right balance of previous and new material in a series is always a problem for those who write series.  As a new reader of this series, I was overwhelmed by people and events from the earlier books.  I had trouble following 15 or 20 characters who had had complicated histories with each other.  Not only was it hard to keep up with everyone and their pasts, but unresolved problems from previous books clutter the book.  Subplots dangle without clear connection to the main narrative.  Even more problematic, the mystery being investigated got lost in subplots.

I suspect that readers already familiar with the series will find the book more rewarding than I did.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 7, 2019 5:00 pm

    I’ve read one of the Ruth Galloway novels but wasn’t wowed by it – maybe it was because like you I hadn’t been following it from the beginning

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