The Thrill Week Blog Hop

Thrill Week is here! Mwahahahahahaaaa!!!

It’s finally here – Thrill Week – where myself and 6 other blogs will be celebrating all things crime fiction (one of my favourite genres). Pop on over to host Marce’s blog (Tea Time with Marce) to see her answers to the following questions and then have a peek at these lovely bloggers too – you’re bound to get some ideas and inspiration about which books you should be reading:

Best O’Books

Cafe of Dreams Book Reviews

Mental Foodie – A Book and Food Lover


  So to kick off the week, here are my answers to the questionnaire:


1) What is your favourite genre out of Thriller, Mystery, Suspense and Horror? Why?

I think I would have to say mystery. I love a good whodunnit and especially love trying to work out the perpetrator as early on as I can (what I especially love is, despite being a seasoned crime fic reader, the author can still fool me).

2) Who are your top 3 authors in those genres?

Tess Gerritsen, Val McDermid, Mary Higgins Clark.

Both Gerritesen and McDermid I love because of their ability to pull me in from page one with promises of high body counts, red herrings and clever psychological and forensic detail. I like intelligent crime fiction and these two are among the best for me. Mary Higgins Clark, on the other hand, is my Queen of Comfort in the crime genre. Her books are pretty formulaic but that’s what I love as I know what I’m going to get and she has never failed to deliver. I think MHC is a fantastic author who gets overlooked a lot but, for me, if I ever need a comfort read then she is at the top of my pile (and despite her books being formulaic, I hardly ever guess whodunnit until the end).

I am really excited to have have interviewed Mary Higgins Clark last year and I also have interviews with both Tess Gerritsen and Val McDermid coming up shortly so keep an eye out for those 🙂

3)Tell us who your favourite male and female authors are in the genre?

Female: Tess Gerritsen, Val McDermid, Mary Higgins Clark, Agatha Christie, Elly Griffiths, S J Bolton, Karen Rose, Tana French, Lisa Gardner

Male: Linwood Barclay, Harlan Coben, Jo Nesbo, Steig Larsson, Peter Robinson, James Patterson, Robert Goddard

Interestingly enough, I was able to immediately write down all the names of my favourite female authors, but with the exception of the first two males I had to go off and check what books I had read (which was accompanied by many “oh yeah”‘s) Wonder why that is?

4) What book do you remember loving but don’t remember the details?

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. I read this when I was in my early teens and again in my twenties but I don’t remember a thing about it other than there are 10 people who are called to an island and one by one they are killed off and the reader has to try to work out who is doing it. I could read it again today and still have no idea until the end. In fact, I really must read it again – it’s a fantastic book and I highly recommend it!

5) What has been your favourite book this year so far:

ThrillerThe Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen

MysterySacrifice by S J Bolton

SuspenseBefore I Go To Sleep by S J Watson

HorrorCarrie by Stephen King

  6) What series or trilogy would you recommend ?
  Rizzoli & IslesTess Gerritsen (Fantastic Detective / Forensic Pathologist duo who solve some really interesting and unusuak crimes between them. My favourites!)

Hill & JordanVal McDermid (Detective and Criminal Pyschologist who work together to solve serial killer cases and really get into the mind of the perpetrators. Brilliant series!)

Ruth & NelsonElly Griffiths (I love these two! Detective and Forensic Archaeologist who solve some old and new crimes when bones have been found. You gotta love Ruth & Nelson!)

The Millenium TrilogyStieg Larsson (Swedish Journalist, Blomkvist, gets involved in some high profile cases with the aid of his rather unique sidekick, Lisbeth Salander.)

Inspector Alan BanksPeter Robinson (Set in the Yorkshire Dales where it’s supposed to be rural and sleepy except bodies keep turning up, leaving Inspector Alan Banks to investigate. Great series.)

Gretchen LowellChelsea Cain (Not for the feint hearted. Gretchen Lowell is sick, sick, sick but you can’t help but read about her exploits).

  7) Recommend 1 or 2 books that you think more around the blogosphere should read
  If you want a proper crime, serial killer type book then you should definitely read Retribution by Jilianne Hoffman. I loved this book – pacey, gripping, creepy. Just brilliant!
  For something a little gentler then I would recommend Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris. It’s a great book and I never saw the twist coming at the end!

  8 What authors have you tried and look forward to reading more from them?

Linda Castello – I have read her first book in a series of crime books set in the Amish community, Sworn to Silence,  and loved it so I am looking forward to reading the next two

Jane Casey – Has written 3 books and I have only read the second one, The Burning, which I loved.

Karen RoseI have only read her latest book, You Belong to Me, and I really enjoyed it and am very excited to know that I have 10 more of hers waiting to be read!

Stephen Beckett – Againm, I have only read the first one (The Chemistry of Death) out of the 4 books he has written so far with the same lead character so I have more to look forward to.

Jilianne Hoffman – Despite loving Retribution (see above) I still haven’t read the other book by the author but I do have it at home so I am looking forward to diving in to that one.

  9) What authors in the above genres are on your TBR list but you haven’t tried yet?  Who should I read soon?
  I am always on the look out for new crime ficiton authors so I am open to suggestions.  Based on my likes, which authors or books do YOU think I should be reading?
  Have you seen anything you like? Do you already any of the authors above or do you think you might give any of them a go? And don’t forget those recommendations 🙂

  I will be doing another Thrill Week post on 6th September and I have the MOST AMAZING GIVEAWAY too! A total of  FIFTEEN BOOKS to giveaway so make sure you drop by!


Book Review: The House at Sea’s End by Elly Griffiths

In three words:

Mystery, Norfolk, bones



What I thought:

Elly Griffiths books are like my guilty pleasure without the guilt; I devour them and am always left wanting more.

The House at Sea’s End is the third book in the Ruth Galloway series. Ruth is a Forensic Archaeologist who lives on the Norfolk coast and examines bones for a living, sometimes having to help the police in their serious crimes unit to establish what may have happened to bones that can’t be immediately identified by the police. Ruth Galloway is one of my favourite crime heroines: she lives in a tiny cottage on a remote part of Norfolk by the salt marshes, she is slightly overweight, she has a cat, she reads lots of books and enjoys her own company – I heart Ruth! In this book, however, she has something other than serious crimes to concentrate on and that is motherhood. After a one-night stand with Detective Harry Nelson in the first book, Ruth has now given birth to Kate, whom turns out to be a whole mystery of her own. Of course, Nelson is back in this latest book too and I must admit to having a little crush on him.

The House at Sea’s End brings us the mystery of six skeletons that are found by a team of Archaeologists in the cliff’s on the Norfolk coast. Nelson and Ruth are amazed to discover that the bones are from Germany and could very well belong to German soldiers from WW2 – but how and why did they get there and who is trying to put them off the trail?

What I love about this series is that not only are these books great reading with a simplicity that makes me think of them as comfort reading (as opposed to hard-boiled crime fic) but the characters and so well drawn and developed throughout the books that I could read them for this alone; I just love following Ruth and Nelson’s story and meeting back up with characters such as Cathbad; it’s like meeting up with old friends. What I also love is the bleakness of the setting (and who can resist the covers for the books in this series?)

Have you read any of these books yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Highly recommended.

PS/ For any other fans out there – I have heard from Elly that she has now finished her fourth book in the series (not sure if I am allowed to say what it’s about or not so won’t just in case, but it sounds like another unusual crime and we can expect more in the Ruth / Nelson tale – yippee!). It will be on sale in the UK in January 2012 ☺


(souce: this book was sent to me for review by Quercus – thank you)


My favourite books of 2010


This was so difficult to narrow down – SOOOOO difficult! But narrow it down I have and here are the top 10 books I read in 2010:


East Lynne by Ellen Wood

“For about three weeks I felt like I was living in the middle of a Victorian soap-opera. There was murder, betrayal, divorce, disguises and death and all this set among a backdrop of stately homes and horse-and-carriages. What’s not to love?”



Corrag by Susan Fletcher

“It is truly one of the most beautiful and lyrical books I have ever read.”



Dog Boy by Eva Hornung

“The story is alternately shocking, pitiful, heartbreaking, tender, joyful and fascinating. I fell in love, smiled, cried and hoped. To live with this group of animals for a few days was a privelidge and one I won’t forget easily.”



Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa

“Although this book is only 330 pages long, it felt like an epic to me. I have spent 60 years with this family, watching them love, loose, fight, cry. I’m going to miss them. I cried at the end – not just because of their story but because of all the other thousands of peoples story – real people.”


North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

“This book has it all: class conflict, politics, religion, women’s rights and passion! It makes you think, it makes you reflect on what was and it makes you ponder how we got from there to where we are now. We smile with them, we cry with them.”


The Likeness by Tana French

“I just loved this book, I found that I couldn’t and put it down, nor did I want to. Despite the size of the book, I never once felt like it was too long; on the contrary I could have gone on reading for several hundred more.”



The Snowman by Jo Nesbo

“The whole book, for me, pacey and gritty and just not wanting to put the damn thing down. If you enjoy crime / thrillers / whodunnits then you will LOVE this!”



The Help by Kathryn Stockett

“I feel like I have lost friends now I have finished this book.”




Room by Emma Donoghue

“Room is both brilliantly written but also gripping: it took hold of me from the first page and never let me go until the end.”













The Crossing Places  & The Janus Stone  by Elly Griffiths

“So what do you do when you’re busy, busy, busy and you’re brain is crying out for a book that will allow you to slip inbetween the pages from one life into another with complete ease?”

(OK, so I’m cheating here but I had to include them both as I read the first two books in a new series this year and fell in love with it – roll on the next books!)


Have you read any of these? What do you think to my 2010 favourites?





Book Review: The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths

The Blurb:

“Ruth Galloway’s expertise is called upon when builders, demolishing an old house in Norwich, uncover the bones of a child minus the skull beneath a doorway. Is it some ritual sacrifice or just plain straightforward murder? DCI Harry Nelson investigates. The house was once a children’s home. Nelson traces the Catholic priest who used to run the place. He tells him that two children did go missing forty years before a boy and a girl. They were never found. When carbon dating proves that the child’s bones predate the home and relate to a time when the house was privately owned, Ruth is drawn ever more deeply into the case. But as spring turns into summer it becomes clear that someone is trying hard to put her off the scent by frightening her to death…”



What I thought:

So what do you do when you’re busy, busy, busy and you’re brain is crying out for a book that will allow you to slip inbetween the pages from one life into another with complete ease?  This is exactly how I felt last week – with my brain all over the place with work stuff, and not one, not two but three abandoned books by my bedside I knew that I needed to turn to a trusty author. In this case, I went for the second in the series of books by Elly Griffiths: having only read one of her books this may have been a gamble but I knew that it was the perfect book as when I closed the pages of the first in the series a few months ago, I was already in love with the characters and the setting. I was right to trust my instinct. This book and me went together like peaches and cream.

Ruth Galloway is an (almost) 40 year old, single, slightly overweight, cat-loving, book-loving forensic archaeologist from Norfolk. In other words she analyses bones for a living, so when a local building firm dig up an old childrens home to make way for luxury apartments and a childs skeleton is found, Ruth is called in to look for clues. Ruth is joined agian by the fabulous Nelson from Norfolk Police as well as Cathbad, the purple-cloak-wearing-historian.

What I love about the first two books that I have now read is that the characters are like you and me. Urbanisation is replaced with small towns (the sort you and I live in), cops on the edge with drinking problems are replaced with a family man (OK, Nelson has been a naughty boy but I still love him – mainly ‘cos he’s northern and doesn’t suffer fools gladly), sexy protagonists are replaced with a down-to-earth, doesn’t-care-what-she-looks-like woman who likes books and cats (go Ruth!). How refreshing!

So in summary – a tonic for my weary soul. If you haven’t read The Crossing Places (the first book in the series) yet then I would strongly recommend that you do as it is a fantastic book to introduce you to the characters, but to be honest it doesn’t need to be read in order to read The Janus Stone. If you want to learn more about the author, here is the interview I did with Elly a few months ago.

(This book is from my own personal collection)





Dare you read it? What is spooking our favourite authors?



They write the books we love reading; some of them even write crime ficiton to tease and terrify us. But what scary books do our favourite authors read themselves? What sends them scurrying back under the covers? Let’s find out….

Lindwood Barclay



Linwood Barclay is the author of four crime fiction novels including No Time for Goodbye. He has chosen Carla Buckley’s The Things That Keep Us There as his scary read.


Linwood Barclay's choice

 The scariest book I’ve read in a while is The Things That Keep Us Here, by Carla Buckley. It’s not a traditional horror novel, but a thriller about an outbreak of avian flu. Vampires, aliens, serial killers — they can be pretty scary, but at some level you think, this really couldn’t happen to me. Certainly  not  the vampires. But Buckley’s novel is set in a middle America and features people we know. And when the epidemic hits, and unleashes its terrors, you can’t help wondering what you would do if this kind of plague hit your own community. The story is rooted in today’s headlines. I found, when I put this book down to do other things, I was still thinking about it. 



Elly Griffiths 

Elly Griffiths is author of the forensic archaeology crime series, starting with The Crossing Places.

Elly Griffiths' choice

  My favourite ghost story is M.R. James’ Oh, Whistle, and I’ll come to you, my lad. For me it has everything a ghost story should have: a wonderful setting on a lonely East Coast beach, a buried object, a tantalising clue, a ghostly wind and night-time horror which may be nothing – and yet may be something. Just reading the title makes me shiver and yet, in the end, the ghost may be nothing but a pile of old clothes….



R J Ellory

 Roger J Ellory is the author of several crime fiction books including A Simple Act of Violence, A Quiet Belief in Angels, Candlemoth, The Anniversary Man and his brand new book Saints of New York.


R J Ellory's choice

 I was thirteen years old.  I was ill with chicken pox at boarding school and quarantined.  It was a twelve-bed room, and I was in there alone.  The door was locked.  Through the round porthole window of that door was a long black-and-white checkerboard tiled corridor.  Every once in a while I would hear the nurses’ footsteps outside.  I would hurry to the window, but by the time I got there whoever had been out there had disappeared into another room.  Hence I kept hearing people who didn’t really exist.  And then I decided to read ‘The Shining’.  Unnerving, disturbing, unsettling, creepy, provoking fitful sleep and disturbed dreams right to the end.  Half the book I didn’t really understand, and half of it scared the hell out of me.  It was the first time I was truly aware of the power that fiction possessed to evoke an emotional response.  I have read the book again since, and not only is it a great book, but it reminds me of how I felt at thirteen years old.


Gail Carriger

Gail Carriger is the author of the fabulous steampunk Parasol Protectorate series – the first three books in the series are Soulless, Changeless and Blameless.



I’m going to suggest Poe’s short story “The Cask of Amontillado.” I read this story first in High School and it has stuck with me ever since. There is something about not only the creepiness, but also the clean directness of the writing, and seeing an event from the mind of evil that only Poe can handle with such elegance. Oh, and it scared the hell out of me.



Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue is the author of this years Man Booker nominated book, ROOM.



Emma chose The Road by Cormac McCarthy. 

“THE ROAD, by Cormac McCarthy, scared the bejaysus out of me.  I found his vision of a destroyed Earth – vague in the details of how it happened, but precise in the descriptions of the grey, cold wasteland that resulted – dreadfully credible. And the idea that human emotions such as parent-child love go on in an even more intense form, after the apocalypse, didn’t comfort me but scared me even more.  The idea that love might come down to: do I shoot my child now before the cannibals catch him?”



Katherine Webb

Katherine Webb is the author of this summer The TV Book Club’s The Legacy.



Katherine has chosen Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd as her spookiest read.

” Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd is set partly in the present day, with a detective struggling to solve a series of grisly murders in London; and partly in the eighteenth century, as architect Nicholas Dyer begins to use ritual violence and the black arts to plant a dark heart at the centre of each new church he builds. Past and present converge in a chilling, uneasy and intense story that perfectly captures the foggy, secretive and dangerous atmosphere of a bleak London underworld. Ackroyd’s vivid prose style truly brings his settings to life, and pulls you into them. I was looking over my shoulder for weeks after reading it!”


Gabriele Willis

 Gabriele has written a number of novels set in and around Muskoka in Canada including The Summer of the Storm. She has chosen Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House as her spooky book.



 I think that the two scariest books that I’ve ever read and liked – no gore – are “The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson, and Stephen King’s “The Shining”. Both were read in the 1970s, so a long time ago, but some things just stay with you, don’t they? – even though on dark and lonely nights you wish they wouldn’t! Fortunately, my husband is not away on business trips much any more! The movies don’t do either book justice, especially the 1999 version of “The Haunting”, despite the big name stars (Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta Jones). The 1963 version was much spookier, although I was only 13 when I saw it and it scared the hell out of me for years – had to sleep with my light on!

Anyway, Shirley Jackson was a good writer, and Stephen King can make a fire hose or a hedge seem like the most sinister thing. I read and liked his early books, but he lost me with “It”.



 So what do you think to this collection of spine-tinglers? Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

Dare you read them?


Next up is…….What’s spooking the book bloggers?


Meet the Author: Elly Griffiths

Elly Griffiths

Meet Elly Griffiths:

Elly Griffiths writes a series of crime fiction novels with a difference – rather than the protagonist being a Detective or amateur sleuth, Ruth Galloway is a Forensic Archaeologist who lives in the saltmarshes on the north Norfolk coast. Her debut novel and first book in the series, The Crossing Places, was reviewed by me yesterday.

Elly’s Ruth Galloway novels take for their inspiration Elly’s husband, who gave up a city job to train as an archaeologist, and her aunt who lives on the Norfolk coast and who filled her niece’s head with the myths and legends of that area.  Elly has two children and lives near Brighton.


A big welcome to Elly:

Boof: Congratulations on being shortlisted for the Theakston’s Crime Fiction Awards this year. This was your debut novel and you were up against some of the heavy-weights of crime fiction like Ian Rankin and Peter James to name just two. How did you react when you found out you had been nominated?

 Elly: I was just amazed. To think that I was on the shortlist with such giants of the crime-writing world – it still doesn’t seem real. I was star-struck the whole time at Harrogate. When Reginald Hill asked me what my book was about, all I could say was ‘Norfolk.’


Boof: The heroine of the series, Ruth Galloway, is in her late 30’s who loves solitude, cats, is slightly over-weight and orders lots of books from Amazon (a girl after my own heart!). How did you come up with her?

Elly: I really don’t know how I came up with Ruth. She just appeared in my head fully formed. Maybe there are some elements in Ruth of my two sisters and one of my oldest friends – all strong, independent women- and maybe there’s a little of me. Like Ruth I struggle with my weight, I love cats and reading – and Bruce Springsteen! 

The Crossing Places

Boof: Ruth is an archaeologist and this is how she helps the police with solving a crime. What research did you need to do about archaeology for the books?

Elly: My husband’s an archaeologist and he helps me a lot with the technical stuff. He has also introduced me to a colleague who’s a forensic archaeologist. She actually does work with the police so she’s has given me some invaluable insights.


Boof: Your series of books are set in Norfolk on the English east coast: what made you decide to set the books here?

Elly: My aunt lives in Norfolk and, when I was a child, we used to spend holidays there. Now I go there with my children. I just love the space and the loneliness and the sense of history. The North Norfolk coast is very beautiful and also slightly spooky. 

north Norfolk coastline

Boof: The second book in the series, The Janus Stone, has just come out in paperback and there is a third book due out in January 2011. How many more do you plan to write in this series?

Elly: I’m currently writing Book 4 and I’ve got ideas for at least three more. That’s the great thing about archeology – and Norfolk. There are so many eras to choose from. The Crossing Places starts with Iron Age remains, The Janus Stone involves a Roman excavation, the new book, The House At Sea’s End, is about bones from the Second World War. I’ve got ideas for books about Aborigine skulls, Victorian graveyards, medieval plague pits…

The Janus Stone


Boof: Can you give us any sneak previews of what we might expect in future books? (I’m particularly interested to see what, if anything, develops between Ruth and Detective Harry Nelson)

Elly: I’m not sure myself what will happen to Ruth and Nelson in the end but, in the next few books, their relationship just gets more complicated.


Boof: Who are your favourite crime fiction authors?

Elly: I love C J Sansom, Ian Rankin and Reginald Hill (still can’t believe I spoke to Reginald Hill!). But my favourite British crime writer has to be the first – Wilkie Collins.

[Boof: Yay! I love Wilkie Collins!]


Boof: Who are your favourite crime fiction characters from other books? Did Ruth or Harry end up with any of the characteristics of any of them?

 Elly: Count Fosco in The Woman in White is my favourite literary character of all time. I love the way that, though he’s a thorough villain, he’s not quite all bad. I hope that my characters are not black and white but shades of grey….


The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

Boof: What jobs did you do before you started writing and how did you make the transition to being an author?

Elly: I used to work in publishing. I was an editor in one of the big companies. You’d think that this would be the perfect job for an aspiring writer but fifteen years in publishing almost killed off any desire to write. I didn’t start to write seriously until I left publishing.


Boof: Where is your favourite / most productive place to write?

Elly: I write in a room that I call the study but, unfortunately, the kids think it’s the place where they watch TV and play on the Playstation.


Boof: Have you ever read a book and thought “damn, I wish I’d written that!”

Elly: I don’t think so though one of the things that motivated me to finish The Crossing Places was the thought that someone else would write a book about a forensic archaeologist.


Boof: If you were to be stranded on a desert island on a year and you were only allowed to take 3 books with you, which ones would you choose?

Elly: The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, The Mating Season by P G Wodehouse, Nice Work by David Lodge


Boof: What is your literary ambition?

Elly: I’d love to write a really long book like The Moonstone or The Woman in White. And I’d love to be serialized on Radio 4.


Boof: Finally, the quick fire round:

Favourite colour: Red

Favourite animal: Horse

Favourite food: Pasta

Favourite song: Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen

Favourite author (non-crime): David Lodge

Favourite holiday destination: Italy

Favourite childhood memory: Going to Seven Sisters beach with my family and a whole group of friends, walking for miles over the sand and finally swimming in the sea.

 Thank you so much to Elly for agreeing to be interviewed on The Book Whisperer. The Crossing Places is a great book and I am really looking forward to reading the others in the series.



Book Review: The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths

The Blurb:

“Dr Ruth Galloway is in her late 30s. When she’s not digging up bones or other ancient objects, she lectures at a university in Norfolk. She lives, alone but happily so, in a bleak, marshy area called Saltmarsh overlooking the sea and Norfolk’s vast skies with her cats and Radio 4 for company. She’s a salty character – quirky. When a child’s bones are found in the marshes, near a dig that Ruth and her former boyfriend Peter worked on ten years before, Ruth is called upon to date them. They turn out to be bronze-age bones and DCI Harry Nelson, who called on Ruth for help, is disappointed. He had hoped they would be the bones of a child called Lucy who’s been missing, presumed dead, for ten years. He has been getting letters about her ever since – odd letters with references to ritual and sacrifice, and including quotes from the Bible and Shakespeare. Then a second girl goes missing and Nelson gets another letter – like the ones about Lucy. Is it the same killer? Is it a ritual murder, linked in some way to the site near Ruth’s remote home? Then one of Ruth’s cats is killed and clearly she’s in danger from a killer who knows that her expert knowledge is being used to help the police with their enquiries.”

(source: Amazon)


  What I thought:

Despite being a lover of crime fiction I hadn’t heard of this book or author before I was invited to go to the Harrogate Crime Fiction Awards last month. Elly’s book The Crossing Places had been shortlisted along with people like Ian Rankin and Mark Billingham and it was what she said on stage about her book having many layers that piqued my interest. What an acolade to have your book nominated and then shortlisted for such a high profile event as this, and I love that there was two debut authors on this list as it brings unknown authors to the fore. And thank goodness it does – I LOVED this book!

Ruth Galloway is in her late 30′s, has cats, is slightly overweight and orders loads of books from Amazon (what’s not to love?). She is a forensic archaeologist at the University of Norfolk, specialising in bones,  and is called out to the saltmarshes on the Norfolk Coast by Police Detective Harry Nrelson when a body is unearthed. The body is discovered to be that of a young girl from the iron age, but it brings to the surface the disappearance of a five year old girl, Lucy Downey, who has never been traced and whom Harry Nelson can’t get out of his head. He then shows Ruth a series of letters he has been sent over the years with cryptic clues about Lucy’s disappearance and asks Ruth to help him decipher them. In the midst of this, and almost 10 years to the day since Lucy vanished, a four year old girl is snatched from her back garden and Harry fears that the perpetrator has struck again.

What I loved most about this books is the setting and the characters. The saltmarshes on the north Norfolk coast sounded so bleak and wind swept that I longed to be there in Ruth’s little stone cottage sipping coffee and reading books while rain hurled itself at the windows. I loved the image of the sand dunes and sea spray and the solitude. Ruth and Harry are wonderful leads too: Ruth is a woman after my own heart and Harry is a straight-talking northern bloke (and being a northerner myself I loved  his tell-it-like-it-is attitude but also recognising his warm heart under his no nonsence exterior).

Reading this book made me want to do two things: 1) go for a long weekend on the north Norfolk coast – which we are now doing around my birthday in October and 2) want to rush out and buy the second in the series, The Janus Stone (which I have also now got and it is high on my pile!)


I am thrilled to say that Elly Griffiths agreed to do an interview on my blog and that is coming tomorrow so please do pop back to see what she has to say about writing her first books.