Cover Image: The Stone Circle

The Stone Circle

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Member Reviews

Anonymous letter bringing up 20 year old case of a missing child and for DCI Nelson past memories of other missing cases, relationships, affairs and children. During the search for clues there are complications, twists and turns including a kidnapping and relationship problems that drive you to keep reading to learn the answers.
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The Stone Circle is the eleventh entry in the Ruth Galloway series and while I enjoyed it a lot better than the previous entry in this series, I have to say I am getting really sick of the threesome thing happening between Nelson, Ruth, and Michelle, Nelson's wife.   And no, it's not a sexual thing between them, but an affair that has been dragging its feet for way too long.  And I am not giving away anything by mentioning this, even if you are new to the series, as the dilemma meanders its way through everything in the book, and everything is now out in the open, and has been for many books now.  I'm sorry, but it's had its day in the sun, and now it's time to move on: either Nelson stays or he goes.

I have read every book in this series and while I loved the character development in the earlier books, I am truly not seeing it as much now simply because I feel like all the characters are in limbo, and waiting for something to happen between Ruth and Nelson.  I still enjoy the camaraderie between them and love how Nelson kind of lives in the past and has a hard time accepting newer technologies and newer ways of doing things, but he was learning there for a while which was interesting for his character.  And while I get how protective he is of Kate, does he really have a huge say in how Ruth raises her and what she does?  He does have another family already and sometimes I want to strangle him because he can seem so domineering.  I understand he is fearful that he might love Kate, and Ruth, to someone else or she may move away, but it's really her decision as she is not involved with him.  To someone who is new to the series, this may come across as judgmental but having read all the books and having to deal with this issue in EVERY book it does get old rather fast.

The mystery in this one was very interesting and I enjoyed it quite a bit.  It actually took me a little while to figure out who the murderer was as I bought into some of the red herrings, but eventually I caught on. I love it when an author, whose work with which I am familiar, can do that to me.  And as always, it's the archaeological perspective that has always drawn me to these books.  And I have to say, I love where Ruth lives.  How beautiful and remote it must be!! And Cathbad, dear Cathbad, love that character.  So interesting!!  The author's writing style has a way of grabbing you and making you feel like you are right there.  I do think it would help if you were familiar with the earlier books for this one as it does mention a much earlier situation and how that event shape people and their futures. It just might make more sense.

The Stone Circle was a rather interesting book and I really felt like it went back to its roots to what made this series so rather interesting.  The archaeological perspective woven around events is always fascinating and the history lessons are interesting.  I've already spewed my thoughts about Ruth and Nelson and Michelle so I won't go there again, but please do something about that situation.  Otherwise, this was a good, riveting mystery, one that I would definitely recommend.
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I am so sad that I have to wait for the next book. This series is phenomenal! I love Ruth and Cathbad.
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This is the 11th book in the Ruth Galloway mystery series, and I’m still interested in the main and recurring characters and their developing stories. I felt this title was particularly strong on the back story elements, while the individual book plot was a little thin, but it was as readable as ever. Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy.
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I love this series and thought that this was a great instalment.  I find myself being especially drawn to Judy and am really excited that she continues to evolve as a character.  The Ruth / Nelson relationship took and interesting turn and I'm curious to see what plays out in the next book.  I also found that the actual mystery in The Stone Circle was a solid one, unlike some of the previous instalments.  This series continues to stay strong and I know that I'll be picking up the next book.
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The newest Ruth Galloway mystery harks back to the first installment of the series with an anonymous letter sent to DCI Nelson. It refers to a missing child and looks very much like letters he received on a case from years past. That case that was solved with the help of forensic archeologist Ruth Galloway.

The present case is also about a missing child. It's a cold case from 1981. The disappearance of a young girl during a street party celebrating the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer was never solved. The letters Nelson received then and now are anonymous, but although intended to mimic the original letters, the new ones can't be from the same writer. The originals were later traced to Ruth Galloway's mentor, Norwegian professor Erik Anderssen. Anderssen has been dead for years, but someone knows enough about the first case to use the information to have the body turn up at a current archeological dig run by Erik's son Leif Anderssen.

Meanwhile Nelson's wife is about to give birth to a baby boy and Ruth is thinking of moving to Cambridge. She's in a relationship that could make her happy, and with Nelson about to become a father again, she must think of her own future and that of her young daughter. It would be hard to imagine Ruth living somewhere other than the saltmarsh. The story's surprising ending is another salute to the first book in the series.

I always enjoy the Ruth Galloway series. The characters draw me in even more than the mystery that holds the story together. Even the smallest role may be a continuing one with tendrils that might help solve a future mystery.
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Enjoyed this book. Kept me interested all the way through. Would recommend to a fellow reader.  Love the cover.
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Found this book absolutely great! Will be posting full review on the blog very shortly. Catching up soon on all my reviews!
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We are back in Norfolk for this book, and it is all the better for it. DCI Nelson is investigating an abduction while Ruth is involved in the excavation of some bones that prove not to be her usual ancient finds. The story cracks along at a pace, and the relationships between characters are as convoluted as ever. I do hope Ruth finds love though, and puts Nelson out of her mind. He's consistently treated her badly, and seeing him playing happy families is revolting. All in all a great read. 

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an advance ARC copy of this book.
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Elle Griffiths books are always a winner.  The plot is interesting and exciting, the main protagonists Dr. Ruth Galloway is a very endearing character, who as a reader, you always want to cheer her on.  The back story of her relationship with DCI Nelson, the father of her daughter is a tangled web, as he is a married man who’s wife is expecting their new baby at any moment.  It is set in Norfolk as are all of the novels in this series.  There are many wonderful characters who are also through out the books.  This book is about a baby abduction and of course a murder..
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'Ellly Griffiths launches Ruth Galloway, archaeologist, into an investigation of how the bones of a girl who went missing many years ago ended in The Stone Circle.  DCI Nelson likewise searches for a baby abducted from her mother.  Ruth and Nelson have had a love affair with a child, but he is married and his wife just had a baby.  Griffiths is famous for her complex relationships and plots; this is an excellent example of lots of suspects in intricate circles of family and friendship over time.
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Who picks up the 11th book in a series? Readers of Griffiths' Ruth Galloway series do.

Because of NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt allowing me to read this new release, I'm excited to report that the latest adventure for Ruth and her fellow characters is another strong showing! The author neatly interweaves the last episode and this, continues the complex relationships between the major protagonists (aargh!), and introduces new characters that are somehow not new.

The adventure and thrills in this story are compelling: Ruth is again thrown into danger, by a deer of all things, and kidnappings and murders abound. The eleventh release is a great addition to Ruth's story line.

Some of the irritations I've experienced in previous books in this series are less evident here -- it seems there is less hemming and hawing, and more direct action and developments. I wouldn't start the series here: The story line is very much an ongoing process. But this is a GREAT read and only adds to the overall series. If you enjoyed any of the first ten books, you'll love this one as well!
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THE STONE CIRCLE by Elly Griffiths is one of the most atmospheric novels I’ve read in a while. In this, the eleventh in the series featuring archeologist Ruth Galloway and DCI Nelson, sometimes lovers who have gone their separate ways. This novel brings back memories and some characters or their relatives from earlier novels in the series. DCI Nelson has received anonymous letters in the past and is receiving similar letters now. When he follows the letters to a local archeological site he encounters two bodies, one modern, one ancient along with a son of former archeologist he and Ruth encountered in an earlier book.
As DCI Nelson and Ruth go about trying to identify the bones of the modern victim (Nelson) and the ancient ones (Ruth), the are constantly reminded of earlier cases and times when they were thrown together. Ruth and Nelson have a child together although he is married to Michelle who is in the last few weeks of her pregnancy as the novel begins. This pregnancy also goes back to an earlier case with the identity of the father being a question that will be settled once the baby is born.
The mystery of who killed the modern day victim as well as who buried her in the henge are the chief questions law enforcement are trying to answer. While Ruth and Nelson are wrapped up in those questions they are also being pulled into the past as they deal with Lief, the son and physical copy of Erik, a prominent character from an earlier novel. Are previous difficulties being reincarnated? Is he as innocent and well-meaning as he appears to be?
In addition to solving the murders, Nelson is called in on the kidnapping of a child who has ties to modern day victim. As he rushes to solve this case along with the child’s murder Ruth is drawn back into the past by Lief. To what end? Are his intentions for the good or not? The questions continue to mount as Ruth and Nelson are constantly banging up against each other then bouncing off to their separate lives.
All these questions, along with possibly as many as a dozen more await the reader as they make their way through the book. While the mystery for this book is self-contained, with so much of the information being tied to previous cases, the reader’s enjoyment might be enhanced by reading the earlier books first. My thanks to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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4.5* rounded up.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley.

Erik's son comes over from Norway for a dig and this leads to the discovery of both a bronze age skeleton and some modern remains, leading to the re-opening of a cold case. Then a baby goes missing.

I thought every one was on top form in this book and Michelle has her baby and we find out who the father was... As usual the plot itself doesn't bear thinking about too deeply, but at this stage the characters are like old friends and I am almost more interested in their lives than I am in the crimes (and definitely more than I am in the archaeology!)

If I were to list my niggles...


Why did Mostyn go to such torturous lengths to ensure Margaret's remains were discovered, rather than just giving the police an anonymous tip off? Why didn't he just tell the police what he knew, either now or at the time of her disappearance? Why did Lief play such games? - he needed a slap. Why did Anna make up an untrue story about her step-father and, given that it was untrue, what was the motivation for her actions?

Still, I am enjoying these very much.
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This is an exciting book, with an old murder, a new murder, and a baby abduction.  There are a lot of characters, and it probably would have been easier if I had read all the previous books, but I gradually figured them out.  The plot was complicated, but good.

DCI Nelson receives a letter very much like the ones from Erik years ago; it tells him to go to the stone circle.  He calls Ruth who tells him a new wood circle has been found which has a stone cist in the center.  Ruth goes to the new circle, and at first thinks she sees Erik, but finds it is Leif, Erik's son, who is from Oslo, in charge of the dig. The center cairn hold the bones of a young woman from the Bronze Age.  To one side they find a modern burial with a stone with a hole nearby.  Ruth does the digging for the modern burial, and finds the skeleton of a child, which is very well preserved.  She surmises it is a reburial from a much richer soil.  

The police begin checking cold cases, and  soon find a 12 year old girl, Margaret Lacey, disappeared in 1981.  The police begin interviewing all the original suspects as well as family and friends and 
 get some new clues.  Meanwhile, Michelle, Nelson's wife has her baby George, and Nelson takes a few days off to be with Michelle and George.   

Then a body is found shot in the center of industrial buildings.  They identify it as John Mostyn, a suspect for Margaret's death, but the police don't think he was responsible for it.  The police are pretty busy with the Margaret case and Mostyn's murder, and then Margaret's niece, Star's baby Ava goes missing.  However, by the end, Judy has found Margaret's killer; and Nelson has found Ava's abductor and Mostyn's killer.
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This book harks back to the first book in the Ruth Galloway series, The Crossing Places. The mystery of the first henge found off the Norfolk coast returns when a second henge is found and another modern body is found near an ancient one.
A girl went missing in the 80's when Lady Diana married Prince Charles. Margaret was never found. Now DCI Nelson and Ruth are able to confirm that the bones found near the second henge are those of Margaret.
Past emotions are brought to the fore as multiple events bring the past to the present situation.
Lief, Erik's son is head of the new henge dig. Nelson's wife Michelle has a new baby. Ruth, Nelson, Cathbad remember the first henge and are haunted by past events. Margaret's family mourns afresh.
The point of view shifts to another character just as things are getting interesting along one line of inquiry. It is not an unusual tactic for an author to take, but I found myself wanting to get to the end of the train of thought and events.
I did not read all the books in between book 1 and book 11. I feel like the author did a marvelous job of tying first to last. I probably wouldn't suggest reading this if you haven't at least read The Crossing Places because it plays an important role in understanding the implications of things that arise in this book
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I love this series and have read every book in it, but I was a little disappointed in this one.  I personally don't want Ruth and Nelson together.  I like that she is independent.  I understand that Nelson and his wife don't necessarily work as a couple anymore.  He's outgrown her.

The case itself again manages to weave both history and archaeology with a present day murder story..  And all the regular characters appear.
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So far I have loved everything I have read by Elly Griffiths so my opinion is definitely biased. If you like the Ruth Galloway series you are going to like this book.  It has all the elements - murder, mystery, forensic archeology, relationship and character development.  One word of caution, if you haven't read the previous book in the series, The Dark Angel, do so before you start this one because there are numerous spoilers that will lessen the tension .
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I have to admit that I have only read the first book of this series, The Crossing Places, so I am very fortunate that this book circles back to the events of that novel. When forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway first met DC Nelson eight years ago it was to examine some bones found in the salt marshes near an Iron Age henge. Ruth had been a member of the original archaeological team that excavated the henge. That excavation was headed by a Norwegian, Erik Anderrson and now his son Leif is back to excavate a recently discovered stone circle. When a child's bones are uncovered in the circle and identified as those of a girl who disappeared thirty years ago, Ruth finds herself once again involved a murder investigation as the Nelson and his team seek to identify where and how the girl was killed.

There are many ties to the past in this novel. Many of the characters are the same as in the initial case, although they have all moved on with their lives. Ruth now has a daughter and is thinking it could be time to move on with her career, Nelson and his wife Michelle are expecting a new baby despite their rocky marriage and Cathbad the Druid is now a responsible husband and father of two young children. Leif Andersson who looks eerily like his dead father Erik has unfinished business with Ruth and Cathbad on behalf of his father. There is a lot happening in this book. Apart from the cold case investigation and the stone circle excavation, there are anonymous letters (similar to those from the original case) a man is murdered and a baby goes missing.

As before, the book is well written and the plot driven by this cast of interesting characters. I really enjoy the mix of archaeology and mythology that Elly Griffiths provides as a background to her intriguing mysteries. Can't wait to go back and read the rest of the series.
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I have followed this series from the beginning and love the character Dr. Ruth Galloway. Once again Elly Griffiths did not disappoint. I have followed all the characters since the first book and it was so easy to dive back into the story. I thought I had figured out the perpetrator and was completely wrong which is what I loved about this book. The author gives you just enough information for you to calculate who you think committed the murder and then takes you on a world spin that leaves you completely surprised. This is still one of my favorite series.
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