Monday, July 18, 2016

The Woman in Blue

Title: The Woman in Blue
Author: Elly Griffiths
Published: May 3rd 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Genre: Suspense
Series: Ruth Galloway #8

When it comes to Elly Griffiths, you have to have her book in one hand and a dictionary in the other. An author that pushes vocabulary levels, which is not a bad thing, but does hinder your reading flow.

Many ingredients are thrown into this story pot. While cat sitting, Cathbad sees a woman dressed in blue and white reminiscent of the Virgin Mary in the adjoining cemetery, when he goes to investigate, he comes upon a woman with a beautiful glowing face. The next morning, Chloe Jenkins body is discovered along a road that is heading to the Sanctuary, a rehab center for the wealthy. Thus begins the newest Ruth Galloway novel.

This is a book of secrets. It seems that everyone has one and even if they do not know that they are holding a secret it is there floating somewhere in their past. Combine that with jealousy and revenge and you quickly have DCI Nelson and his group of investigators running all over Walsingham trying to figure out what exactly is going on.

Ruth is trying to do her best to stay out of this investigation and I think that is what caused this to be a boring read for me. There are glimmers when an old college friend, Hilary Smithson, asks her to read letters that have been sent to her. Letters that threaten women that are becoming priests, letters that imply a woman’s place is in the home, letters that have a very dark and scary tone.

Strangulation is the murder of choice in this book. Three blonde haired blue eyed woman, two of which die are strangled. With all of them, one comes too close to home for DCI Nelson and when it does, yet another secret is revealed.

It is finally Ruth that puts the puzzle together which is surprising since she spent most of the book completely out of character obsessing over both her parenting skills and wistful over a man that, though he is the father of her child, is married to another woman.

I like Ruth better when she is a no holds barred kind of woman. When she sets her sights on a problem and sets out to solve it. None of the bumbling head in the sand and hope they all go away persona that was prevalent in this book. For me, the Ruth Galloway series is slowing down a bit, all the previous characters are there, but they have turned into singular dimensional cardboard cutouts with no deep hook that keeps me fully focused.

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