Cover Image: The Night Hawks

The Night Hawks

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Member Reviews

I have read a number of very ‘bleh’ books recently so it was a treat to read a gripping crime thriller that’s also really interesting. This was a crime thriller of substance and I liked not only the characters, but also the Norfolk setting with its ancient history. 
I enjoyed the mix of archeology and police work. I was fascinated by the detectorists as well as the Norfolk folklore that pervaded the story – from the Black Shuck to the mysterious mermaid of Sheringham. 
This is the first of the Ruth Galloway books I’ve read, but it read fine as a standalone. I enjoyed Ruth immensely – her outlook on life and humour really appealed to me. I didn’t envy her very complicated personal life, however, and that alone tempts me to go back and read the books I missed out on to discover how she got herself into such a mess.
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I didn't see THAT coming!  That's a positive because I read a lot (a lot) of mysteries and procedurals.  In this latest in a long running and wonderful series, DCI Nelson is investigating a body which washed up on a beach in Norfolk and then what appears to be a murder suicide.  He ropes in Ruth, with whom he shares a daughter, who is happy to help with a skeleton found on the beach because she's stifling a bit at being the new head of the Archeology department at the university. Then a young policeman dies suddenly.  What happened at Black Dog Farm?  The adult children claim to have hated their father , among other things but there are so many inconsistencies.  The relationship between the characters, not just Nelson and Kate but also Judy and her partner Cathbad and the others (this time Ruth's dad) are terrific. While I felt certain I knew what happened at the Farm, turned out I did not.  Nope.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  This ends with a cliff hanger of sorts (all of the books do) which has made me eager for the next one.  Please take a chance on this if you haven't read Griffiths in the past- she gives great backstory and writes a crackling good story.
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I'd forgotten how good these books were.  I've read the first five in the series.  I was able to pick this up easily.  Griffiths gives enough back story so I could get back into the characters, but not too much so that the pace slowed.  And there weren't any spoilers so I can go back and read the books I missed.  I'm not English, an anthropologist, or an academic, but the character of Ruth really speaks to me.  All of the characters are well developed and the plot is complex without being over my head.  I just had to keep reading to find out who done it.  But the story doesn't just stop after the mystery is solved, but we get to follow up with the characters.
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The Night Hawks is a folklore-inspired mystery and the thirteenth book in the Ruth Galloways mystery series by Elly Griffiths.

You would think twelve books into the series, it would be hard to understand what was going on. But though I could tell that the characters had documented histories, enough background was explained to quickly pick up this book and enjoy it without first reading the past books. Of course, now I want to read all twelve of them, but that is a happy problem.

I loved the folklore inspiration of the Black Shuck that is the backbone of the mystery.  I had never heard the tale, so it was fascinating to learn about it.  I also loved how the author used the folklore of this creature to increase the suspense at specific points in the story dramatically.  The fascinating support character, Cathbad, is full of Norfolk folklore tales such as Black Shuck and is one of the most exciting support characters in the story. 

There is such a delightfully diverse group of support characters - some eccentric and some more familiar.  I could tell the series had deep roots because all the characters were so unique and well-developed that I could easily imagine them and delight at being in their company.  The main character, Ruth, is exceptionally layered with nuances and quirks that make her instantly relatable.  I can see how she can carry a series for thirteen novels.

Ruth and Nelson’s relationship is one that drew me in.  Not overly romantic, they do share a daughter, and though he stayed with his wife for many years because of their young son, I could easily discern that Ruth and Nelson still share deep feelings for each other.  I do not usually side with the “other women” in love triangles. Still, I was not far into the story before I found myself feeling Ruth’s pain that she never actually verbalizes or even reflects.

I did not even guess the murderer, though the reason is not as much of a surprise.  Did plot holes exist?  Possibly, but it did not phase me as I read because there were so many other elements to delight in that they took most of my focus.

To Read or Not to Read

If you are looking for a puzzling mystery with a fun touch of paranormal folklore, this is the story you have been hoping to read and do not be worried if you haven’t read any of its twelve predecessors as it can stand alone quite easily.  But beware, you are going to want to read them once you finish this one.
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Dr. Ruth Galloway has returned to Norfolk after spending time at Cambridge. She has joined the staff at the University of North Norfolk so her 11 year old daughter can be near her father. Though he is married with children and will not leave his wife for Ruth, Kate shouldn't be denied at least knowing her father better. On the academic page of Ruth's life she has to deal with a co-worker who refuses to acknowledge her being head of the department. He's very irritating but he is talented. Ruth is not best pleased with him.
The start of the body count and the mystery of what could possibly connect them comes from the Night Hawks, a group of metal detectorists who have been hunting for Bronze Age treasure. They get more than they bargained for. Not only do they find an ancient burial with its body but a much more recent corpse. Ruth is called in for the ancient corpse and Kate's father, DCI Harry Nelson is on the case of the new corpse.
That's just the start of this well-crafted mystery set in a fascinating corner of England. Full of local lore and great scenery and full of a great cast of characters, this is one of the best of contemporary British mysteries.
My thanks to the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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I was SO excited to receive an ARC of this novel! This is the 13th book in Elly Griffiths "Ruth Galloway" series. Doctor Ruth Galloway is a forensic archeologist living in Norfolk, UK. She has this awful habit of getting involved with the police cases she advices on and, along with DCI Nelson and his team, solves mysteries both new and ancient. 

I am a huge fan of Ruth's and have read the series. I honestly think The Night Hawks is my favorite so far. Ruth continues to be a kick ass career woman while raising her little girl, and the Black Shuck was so creepy! That ending though.... I need the next one now please. :)
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There may be nothing worse for Ruth Galloway to consider than amateur treasure seekers using metal detectors to uncover hidden objects along the beach. But when one of them discovers a dead body during a nighttime expedition, DCI Nelson is quick to call upon her forensic expertise. Ruth’s academic knowledge is also called upon when various artifacts from the distant past are also found on site.

The constant tension between "former" lovers, Ruth and Nelson, plays in the background. In the forefront, what starts as a stray body washed upon the shore, quickly changes into something more sinister. Metal detector members (the Night Hawks) may be at risk. A seemingly, unrelated murder/suicide at an old spooky mansion may hold other clues. Professionally, Nelson is at odds with his boss, who is pushing early retirement. Ruth is frustrated in her new head of department position by her newly hired assistant. Then there is the tangled domestic scene of Nelson’s family and the daughter he shares with Ruth. 

A strength of  Griffiths in this series are the recurring characters, especially Cathbad who has an intuitive sense of what may happen or who could be involved….even if his message is somewhat obscured even to him. Griffiths is on track with her better books in this new entry to her series. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this title.
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This is the 13th in the Ruth Galloway series, and finds Ruth called to the scene of dead body washed ashore. Ruth, a forensic archaeologist, is not normally called to unattended deaths, but because historical coins and a human bone were found near the body, she is asked to handle the treasure trove. The detective inspector in charge of the investigation is an ex-lover with whom she had a child, Kate. When two more bodies are discovered in an old farmhouse, murder/suicide is suspected. The alleged suicide note claims there is a dead body in the garden. Ruth is again called to a crime scene, this time the Black Dog Farm. On her way home from the scene, she sees a specter in the road, a massive black dog with red eyes known in local folklore as the Black Shuck…

Griffith has written a complex mystery with many threads needing to be pulled together. Her characters are multifaceted, and the book is as much about Ruth and Nelson as it is about the crimes in the storyline.

While this is the 13th book in the series, you need not have read the first 12 books to enjoy this one. Griffith’s writing is excellent, and she moves the story along at a spritely pace. Her descriptions of the remoteness and wildness of coastal Norfolk will have you keeping a night-light on as you read far into the night.

If you like your mysteries to be character-driven with elements of phantom dogs and other elements of folklore, you’ll enjoy this book.

My thanks to Houghton and NetGalley for an eARC.
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I was thrilled when I was sent the ARC of this book; I’ve never read any of the Ruth Galloway series but heard so many good things. I was almost nervous to start reading - would I understand the characters, the nuances of relationships, past history & generally ‘what’s going on’ ? I needn’t have worried; it reads well as a standalone as references are made to backstories as necessary.

The storyline really appealed to me. The eponymous Night Hawks, a group of metal detectorists who mainly search at night, find a man’s body on the seashore alongside potentially significant Bronze Age metal items.
One of it’s members is then connected to another crime - a murder/suicide. Are the cases connected too?
Ruth & DCI Nelson have their work cut out. Who was the body? Why the double deaths? Add to this mix some Norfolk hokum about Black Shuck - a doom foretelling hound (I have to be honest, I didn’t enjoy this part).

Overall, this is a good story. Plenty of suspects & motives for the crimes committed. I also enjoyed the complicated relationship between Ruth & Nelson. It makes me want to go back to the start of the series & see how they got to this point.
It is a solid read but for some reason I expected more. However, I recommend it to all; not just die hard fans of Dr Ruth Galloway who have read her previous twelve adventures.
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This new Ruth Galloway mystery is firing on all cylinders. Definitely one of my favorites. Ruth is back at the University of North Norfolk and is now head of the department. When an amateur archaeology group discovers a dead body from the present next to old artifacts, Nelson calls Ruth in for her expertise. Before long there are multiple deaths to investigate (along with a Bronze Age skeleton). There is enough work to go around for everyone on DCI Nelson's team and the local coppers. As the investigation moves along, there are connections galore. Would love to see what one of those boards with pictures and connecting string would look like for this book. The character development on this series is really top notch. The police procedural aspect, the archaeological bits, and the local legends (especially the Black Shuck) all work together seamlessly to deliver a satisfying episode in the series with the anticipation of another chapter to come.

Many thanks to Houghton Mifflin and NetGalley for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.
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I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

A love triangle amongst the characters and bodies old and new comprise the plot of this interesting novel about complicated relationships, anthropology, and murder.
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Elly Griffiths has done it again.  Ruth Galloway is relatable on so many levels - career women, mother, lover and homebody.  This English forensic archeologist solves crimes along with the other characters in the latest in the series of novels.  These books are best read in order as each character develops and ages in each one.  Nelson is Ruth's married love interest and partner in solving crimes.  Kate is their young daughter who now has a personaltiy of her own.  All the old beloved characters reappear along with quirky new ones.  The crime is solved at the end but the personal struggles will continue in the next book.  Can't wait!!!!
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The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths
Publication Date: June 29, 2021
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Description
“There’s nothing Ruth Galloway hates more than amateur archaeologists, but when a group of them stumble upon Bronze Age artifacts alongside a dead body, she finds herself thrust into their midst—and into the crosshairs of a string of murders circling ever closer.

Ruth is back as head of archaeology at the University of North Norfolk when a group of local metal detectorists—the so-called Night Hawks—uncovers Bronze Age artifacts on the beach, alongside a recently deceased body, just washed ashore. Not long after, the same detectorists uncover a murder-suicide—a scientist and his wife found at their farmhouse, long thought to be haunted by the Black Shuck, a humongous black dog, a harbinger of death. The further DCI Nelson probes into both cases, the more intertwined they become, and the closer they circle to David Brown, the new lecturer Ruth has recently hired, who seems always to turn up wherever Ruth goes.”
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Thank you to @netgalley @houghtonmifflinharcourt  for the digital ARC in return for my honest review. 
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My thoughts…
Did not disappoint. This is the 13th book from the Dr. Ruth Galloway series. This could be read as a stand-alone. I know that, because I recently started reading this same series, and it is not bothering my OCD reading self about starting a series from the beginning and also reading new releases, from the same series! LoL! Because, I 💚 Elly Griffiths like I 💚 Louise Penny. Anyway, this book was great and I just enjoyed reading about the “Black Shuck” and the legends surrounding it! And, I was thrilled with the twist at the end. Also, I was intrigued where the whole Nelson-Ruth thing is going.
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A digital copy of this advanced reader copy was given to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is the 13th book in the Dr. Ruth Galloway Mysteries series.  I have not read any of these books previously.  In the beginning of the book, I had a little bit of a difficult time getting the characters straight and their relationship to each other, but once I got on track, this was a really good book.  Archeology and murder mysteries, two of my favorite things.  Dr. Ruth Galloway is called out to a scene of the crime by DCI Nelson.  She unearths skeletal remains, but is part of the investigation.  There are several murders that do connect even though they don't seem like they could.  Of course, now I want to read the series from the beginning.
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Elly Griffiths is currently writing three different mystery series. There are the stories (historical) set around Brighton and the Harbinder novels in addition to those about Ruth, Nelson, Michelle and those around them. While I would happily read anything that Ms. Griffiths writes, I admit to a special soft spot for the stories about Ruth. Last year’s book featuring her as been nominated for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. I hope she wins.

‘A lot going on in this title. There is a mysterious and scary dog who apparently lives in a pretty horrible house in the middle of nowhere. Unlike with Holmes, this dog does bark but it is unclear why he is frequently sighted and to whom he belongs. He does terrify people though.

The farm where this beast has been seen is the sight of two deaths. Was there a murder/suicide or was this a crime committed by an outsider? The murdered doctor is a singularly unlikable character. He has intimidated his wife and children and has been doing some mysterious research with fatal results. Which unsavory aspect of his life led to his demise?

The Night Hawks of the title are a group of men who go hunting for metal objects. Their finds include finding bodies, both historical and contemporary. Several of them seem as if they may have been involved in the deaths in the novel. Some of these men have connections with the doctor and his family. Does that make them suspects?

Ruth also has a new colleague with whom to contend. What is in his past? Will Ruth rue having hired him? Where will he fit in the events of the story?

Around all of this, are Ruth, Nelson Kate, Michelle and their relationships. Where will they be by the end of the book?

Readers who are fans should absolutely rush out to get this 13th title in the series. I recommend it highly for its local geography, the people and the story itself.

Many, many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.
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I'm an enthusiastic fan of the Ruth Galloway series, so I was very excited to get a chance to read an ARC prior to publication. Elly Griffiths did not disappoint with this latest entry in the archaeology professor's busy world. As usual, there is a murder to be solved by DCI Nelson, a connection to bones that draws Ruth into the case, Cathbad's mysticism in the background, and the love triangle of the century, all interwoven. The mystery was well plotted as usual, with many suspects, and the ending was unexpected (that's all I'm going to say). If you like Ruth Galloway, you'll be pleased with this new book!
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I look forward to the release of every new book in this series. I relate to Ruth in a way that I can’t fully describe - I think she’s a five on the Enneagram, so maybe that is it.  Although the story lines of each book in this series tends to blur together for me, I enjoy every one.  I love the setting in Norfolk, and I love every character in the books and feel like I know them after spending so much time with them.  I recommend reading this series in order, or many of the story lines will not make as much sense.  If you are already a reader of this series, I’ll just say that the ending gives me much hope for the future of Ruth and Nelson’s relationship!

Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This is my second book by this author, but my first in this series. Not having read the previous books was no problem. And this even though the life situation in which the main character finds herself is overly complicated and probably results from the events in the earlier books. But the author explained well everything that was necessary without revealing too many details.

I liked the main idea. A group of metal detectorists called The Night Hawks find a man's body on the seashore. Soon after, members of this group appear in another investigation. This time it looks like one of its members killed his wife and then shot himself. DCI Nelson, with the help of an archaeologist and his former lover Ruth Galloway, must discover what happened and whether the cases are related.

This is a good mystery. There are many potential suspects, numerous members of The Night Hawks are acting suspiciously. And many of them might have had a motive. The whole thing has a bit of a mystical background related to the legend of Black Shuck, a hound that appears to humans before their death. The latter is not entirely to my taste, I prefer my crime stories stick to reality, but it was okey.

An interesting element of this story is the plotline related to the somewhat complicated life situation of Ruth and Nelson. You can clearly sense the tension in their relationship. The author did an excellent job in this regard. This is something that makes this book stand out and urges you to read the previous and the next books in this series.

The author wrote this novel during the lockdown and decided to weave some threads related to the pandemic into it, but I would like to reassure you that it is not about the current pandemic. Still, it is interesting to see how the current situation in the world has inspired the author.

This is a good and solid story, not only for fans of this series.
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Thank you NetGalley, Quercus and Author for this amazing book! 

WoW book 13! This is my first book by this author. 
It had me hooked from page one, this book had me so intrigued! 
The Night Hawks is both a page turning crime novel and another satisfying saga in the lives of the Norfolk murder squad and Ruth and Nelson.
Enjoyable, chilling and very enjoyable! 

I can't thank NetGalley, Quercus enough for this awesome book!
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I’m a big fan of mysteries with archeology/anthropology involved, so I was happy (and honored) to receive an advance review copy of Elly Griffiths’ latest book, The Night Hawks, featuring forensic archeologist, Dr. Ruth Galloway.   As the story opens, we find out that Ruth and her daughter, Kate, are back in the Saltmarsh after a stint in Cambridge, and Ruth is adjusting to her new position as head of the Archeology Department at the University of North Norfolk.  We also learn that the Night Hawks of the title are a semi-organized club of “metal detectorists” and although this particular group is properly registered, Ruth is not thrilled that they are active in her neck of the woods.  

Amateurs or not, though, the Night Hawks manage to discover a recently deceased body, a cache of Bronze Age artifacts, and a probable Bronze Age skeleton amongst the artifacts,  all in one night on the beach at Blakeney Point.  So Ruth, who is a consultant for the north Norfolk police, is called in.   The story takes off from there, as a couple of nights later some of the same detectorists overhear gunshots from what looks to be a murder-suicide in a remote, sort-of-spooky, farmhouse.   

DCI Nelson hates coincidences about as much as Ruth hates detectorists, so he’s personally investigating.   Are the two cases - the body in the ocean and the bodies at Black Dog Farm - really related? A bunch of series stalwarts get involved to help figure it out including local druid Cathbad; Nelson’s go-to DCI, Judy Johnson (also Cathbad’s partner); Nelson’s would-be-go-to-DCI, Tanya; and the rest of Nelson’s team.   What results is yet another fascinating mystery – a nice mix of forensics and police legwork.  Oh, and there’s also a healthy serving of local Norfolk folklore, including the Black Shuck, a huge black dog with red eyes, who predicts the death of anyone who sees him within a week.   Or is it within a year?   Or is it the death of someone else within a year?  Or ???  Well, anyway, the Black Shuck is bad news, and it’s not clear that the Norfolk Sea Serpent is all that much better…

I very much enjoyed The Night Hawks, and I only have a couple of small-ish issues with it.  First, but not all that important, is that I am not a fan of mysteries written in the present tense.   But after thirteen books in the series, I don’t think Griffiths could change this, even if she wanted to, and once I got a couple of chapters into the book, I didn't notice it all that much.    The other issue I have is with Ruth’s and Nelson’s relationship.   I get that relationships are messy, and don’t fit into neat little boxes, and you don’t get to pick who you love.   And sure, they have a daughter together, and sure, they seem to click on a number of levels.   But I still just have trouble with their relationship.    

I debated for a while on whether to give The Night Hawks four- or five-stars, but I do try not to give a lot of five-star ratings, just to keep a bit of scale.   So in the end, I gave this four-stars, and probably would have given it 4 ½ stars if I could.   Please note though that because I don’t give a lot of five-star ratings, a four-star rating is still a great rating from me, and definitely means that I recommend this book!   And finally, my thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley for the review copy!
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