The Dark Angel

The Dark Angel

by Elly Griffiths

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview


In this highly atmospheric mystery, Ruth Galloway—described by Louise Penny as “a captivating amateur sleuth”—and DI Nelson have their summer vacations horribly disrupted by a murder in a medieval Italian town where dark secrets are buried as deep as bones.

It’s not often that you’re called to the Italian countryside on business, so when archaeologist Angelo Morelli asks for Ruth Galloway’s help identifying bones found in picturesque Fontana Liri, she jumps at the chance to go, bringing her daughter along for a working vacation. Upon arriving, she hears murmurs of Fontana Liri’s strong resistance movement during World War II, and senses the townspeople have a deeply buried secret. But how could that connect to the ancient remains she’s been studying?
 
Just as she’s getting her footing in the dig, DCI Nelson appears, unexpectedly and for no clear reason. When Ruth’s findings lead them to a modern-day murder, their holidays are both turned upside down, as they race to find out what darkness is lurking in this seemingly peaceful town.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781328585202
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 05/07/2019
Series: Ruth Galloway Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 42,518
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author


ELLY GRIFFITHS is the author of the Ruth Galloway and Magic Men mystery series, and the standalone novel The Stranger Diaries. She is a recipient of the Mary Higgins Clark Award and the CWA Dagger in the Library Award.

Read an Excerpt

The confetti is still blowing in the street. Ruth watches as Clough and Cassandra get into the white Rolls-Royce–Cassandra laughing as she shakes the pink and yellow hearts from her hair–and drive away. They’re an unlikely pair, no-nonsense policeman DS Dave Clough and beautiful actress and daughter of local aristocrats Cassandra Blackstock–but they met in the course of work and fell in love. And to prove it, they’re getting married. Bully for them, thinks Ruth, although that sounds bitter even to her own ears.

Mr and Mrs Blackstock-Clough are on their way to a reception at Blackstock Hall. Ruth should be on her way there too–next to her, Kate is positively hopping with excitement and anticipation–but all she wants is to get back to her little house on the salt marsh, shut her door and sleep for a week. But Cathbad and Judy are approaching, with Michael and Miranda skipping between them, like an advertisement for family values. Ruth plasters on a cheerful, I-love-weddings smile.

‘Have you got your car?’ says Judy. ‘If not, there’s space in ours.’

‘It’s OK,’ says Ruth. ‘I’ve got my car.’ There’s no way she’s going to risk being stuck at Blackstock Hall, a crumbling stately home in the middle of the Norfolk marshes, without her own transport. ‘I’ll see you there,’ she says, keeping on the smile. Her cheeks are hurting now.

The car park is full so she has to wait before she can get her car out. As she stands, holding Kate by the hand, Nelson drives past in his Mercedes, Michelle at his side. Nelson is frowning at the other cars and doesn’t seem to notice her, but Michelle smiles and waves. Ruth waves back. With any luck, Michelle won’t want to stay at the reception long. She is pregnant, after all.

Within a remarkably short time, most of the guests have left. Ruth’s red Renault and a sporty black jeep affair are almost the only cars left.

‘Hurry up,’ says Kate. ‘We might miss the cake. Uncle Dave is going to cut it with a sword.’ Uncle Dave is what Kate calls Clough, who is quite a favourite with her. Ruth dreads to think what might happen if Uncle Dave gets his hands on a ceremonial sword.

‘They won’t cut the cake for ages yet,’ she says. ‘There’ll be other food first.’

‘Will there be prawns?’ asks Kate suspiciously.

Almost certainly, thinks Ruth. She is sure that Cassandra will have put together a sophisticated menu, in defiance of Clough’s often-stated preference for pie and chips. But she knows that Kate dislikes prawns ‘because they have whiskers’.

‘The food will be lovely,’ she says. ‘Let’s go now.’

As Kate climbs into her car seat, a voice behind them says, ‘Ruth.’

Ruth turns. It’s Tim Heathfield, the detective sergeant who used to be on Nelson’s team but has now moved back to Essex. Ruth has always liked Tim, who is both intelligent and sensitive, but she wants to talk to him about as much as Kate wants to eat a prawn vol-au-vent. Because she knows the reason Tim left Norfolk. Tim was in love with Michelle, and what with Ruth being in love with Nelson, it all makes things rather tricky.

She forces herself to turn and smile. ‘Hello, Tim. How are you?’

‘I’m fine,’ he says. ‘How are you? Kate’s growing up fast.’

‘I’m six,’ says Kate from the car, determined not to be left out of the conversation.

‘Are you going to the reception?’ says Ruth. The jeep must belong to Tim, she thinks. It’s like him, handsome in an understated way and tougher than it looks.

‘No,’ says Tim. ‘I promised Cloughie that I’d come to the wedding but I couldn’t really face the reception. Blackstock Hall doesn’t hold the best memories for me.’

Ruth can understand that. Tim once shot a man at Blackstock Hall, saving Nelson’s life and probably Ruth’s as well.

She can see why he wouldn’t want to go back there. She’s not exactly looking forward to it herself.

‘I’m staying in King’s Lynn overnight,’ Tim is saying. ‘And I wondered if we might be able to meet up for coffee tomorrow. I’d like to ask your advice about something.’

Ruth wonders how long it takes to emigrate. There is nothing she wants less than to have a cosy chat with Tim.

‘That would be great,’ she says. ‘Why don’t you come to the house? It might be difficult to get a babysitter. Say eleven o’clock?’
 
 
The reception is in full swing by the time Ruth arrives at Blackstock Hall. The austere grey house has been transformed into a glittery bower full of fairy lights and flowers. There is a marquee on the lawn and a string quartet playing in the entrance hall. Ruth compliments Sally, Cassandra’s mother, on the décor.

‘Oh, it was all Cassie’s idea,’ says Sally, in her vague way. ‘But we’re planning to open the hall as a wedding venue, so if you know anyone who’s getting married...’

But Ruth’s friends are all mired in domesticity or getting divorced. Only her gay friends are still getting married. She smiles and moves on into the marquee where she sees tables laid with a multitude of glass and cutlery, all signs that a long and formal meal is expected.. This means hours of eating and drinking and speeches and little chance of a quick getaway. At least she is at a table with Cathbad and Judy and their kids, miles from Nelson. She sees place cards for Tanya, another DS on Nelson’s team, and her partner, Petra, too. Tanya will not be pleased to be seated at a table full of children.

Kate is delighted to be next to Michael, who is younger than her and perfect for indoctrination. She immediately regales him with a description of prawns. ‘They have little black eyes and long, long whiskers.’

Michael’s face crumbles. ‘I don’t want...’

‘It’s all right, Michael,’ says Cathbad. ‘There won’t be prawns. I’ve looked at the menu. Anyway, we’ve both got the vegetarian option.’

Ruth looks at the menu in the middle of the table and feels slightly sick. All those courses. When will she be able to escape? She can’t even drink because she’s driving. She takes a sip of her water and discovers that it’s elderflower, musty and slightly perfumed. She puts her glass down.

‘Are you all right?’ asks Cathbad, who is sitting next to her.

Ruth doesn’t want to have a heart-to-heart with Cathbad because there’s a danger that she will actually tell him what’s in her heart. Luckily, at that moment, Cassandra and Clough come into the tent, to a chorus of ‘Congratulations’ from the band and the cheers of the guests.

Kate stands on her chair and Ruth doesn’t have the energy to tell her not to.

‘Cassie looks like a fairy princess,’ she tells Ruth.

‘She really does,’ says Ruth. She has failed to pass on her republican principles to her daughter.


It’s past nine by the time Ruth finally drives away across the marshes. It’s still light, the sky all soft pinks and blues, the sea an azure line against the horizon. Kate is quiet in the back and Ruth thinks that she’ll be asleep before long.

It hadn’t been too bad really. Cassandra’s father made a heartfelt, though mercifully brief, speech and Clough had surprised them all with a witty and emotional tribute to his bride. For Ruth, the best–and worst–moment had been when he had thanked, ‘the boss, the one and only DCI Nelson.’ Nelson had raised his hand, looking embarrassed, but all the police officers in the room had cheered lustily. Ruth thinks that Nelson is in danger of becoming popular, partly because he is known to be at loggerheads with his boss, Superintendent Jo Archer. Super Jo herself, stunning in a bright red dress, had watched serenely from the table she shared with sundry Blackstock relatives. When Ruth left the marquee she had been dancing rather suggestively with cousin Roger.

At least Nelson and Michelle hadn’t danced together. After Clough and Cassandra had circled romantically to Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’, various other couples had taken the floor, including Cathbad and Judy and Tanya and Petra. Ed sang about people finding love in mysterious ways and Ruth watched as Nelson leant forward and whispered something to Michelle. She smiled and shook her head. Ruth had turned away, not wanting to be caught staring at them.

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The Dark Angel (Ruth Galloway Series #10) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all 10 books. Ruth and Nelson are very smart engaging characters. Ruth is evolving with her emotions. Being a mom helps! I have yet to figure out "who done it " . You must read these books in order. Can't wait for the next book
Anonymous 10 months ago
I+enjoyed+the+plot+and%2C+after+having+read+all+the+books+leading+up+to+this+one%2C++the+characters+seem+like+old+friends.++I+love+this+series.++I+am+starting+to+wonder+if+Ruth+and+Nelson+ever+get+together%2C+but+I+think%2C+if+they+did%2C+the+series+would+not+be+so+good.++Stephanie+Clanahan+
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Story+not+as+compelling+as+others.++At+some+point+there+needs+to+be+a+resolution+to+the+Ruth+and+Nelson+drama.+after+10+years+of+unrequited+love+it+is+beginning+to+read+like+a+bad+soap+drama+and+there+is+no+forward+movement.++Ruth+is+looking+like+a+self+centered+academic+rather+than+trying+to+do+what+is+right+for+her+daughter+and+Nelson+is+looking+like+a+man+having+a+mid+life+crisis+and+believing+he+can+have+too+families.+feeling+more+frustrated+reading+about+these+characters+now+than+interest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful series and this book was hard to put down.
eadieburke More than 1 year ago
The title of Elly Griffiths 10th novel, The Dark Angel, in the Ruth Galloway Mystery series seems to suggest there is a darkness hovering over Ruth's next archaeological dig. She is contacted by Angelo Morelli, a former friend and lover, to help him identify some bones from the Roman era in Italy. She will be staying in Pompeo’s (Angelo’s grandfather) old apartment in Castello degli Angeli, a small Italian village that has it's own secrets dating back to the German occupation from World War II. Ruth decides to take Kate, Shona and Louis, Shona's son, along with her. Back in Norfolk, Nelson hears about an earthquake in the area of Italy that Ruth and Kate are visiting. He cannot contact her on the phone and shows up the next morning in Castello degli Angeli much to Ruth's surprise. After Ruth discovers a modern-day body in the village church, their holiday turns upside down as the darkness in this little village is brought to surface. This book takes place in two different settings, Norfolk and Italy, and the plot switches back and forth throughout the novel. Elly Griffiths' descriptions and history of each setting gives us a feeling like we are visiting there too. This series should be read in order as the characters and storyline develops throughout and the characters start to feel like friends that you really care about. The plot was paced in such a way that each chapter had a cliffhanger which makes you want to read on and kept the pages turning until the surprising ending. Each book does involve a mystery but it's the characters and their relationships that really drive the story. I look forward to each and every installment in order to see how they are developing. This series is by far one of my favorite and I would have to say that The Dark Angel ranks at the top of the series for me. I would suggest that you pick up the first book, The Crossing Places, and promise you that you cannot just read the first one, as this series is contagious! I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dark Angel keeps you on the edge. Big fan of Elly Griffiths.
NovelKim More than 1 year ago
There is no need to go into great depth as the formula is very familiar. Griffiths uses the same characters for her base, adds a few new ones to change it up, throws in a murder or two or three, moves the locale to a small town in Italy and voila the tenth in the Ruth Galloway Series. Unfortunately, the archaeological aspect is lacking, the murder ho hum, the new characters unlikeable and the rest not very convincing. Ms. Griffiths has offered better in her earlier books in this series.
martha_martisima More than 1 year ago
Becoming reacquainted with the Ruth Galloway Mysteries is easier once we have reached Book 10, The Dark Angel. The title itself is an oxymoron, as we associate dark with evil and angels with light. But, as we read this fantastic novel, we also need to remember that every word contains its opposite. So when all kinds of angels are present -- in the name of the town, Castello degli Angeli; in the name of the male archaeologist, Angelo; as well as in statues and buildings -- it makes the reader notice them and try to figure out their meaning (or meanings). The main characters are also old friends we have known and loved – Ruth and Kate, Nelson, Michelle, Shona, but above all (for me), Cathbad. Every time we see him we remember how special he is – not at all eccentric, as many will undoubtedly label him. He adds some mystery but also sensitivity to an otherwise sordid set of circumstances. The new characters also add to the story, and the ambience of the Italian towns and their characteristics (food too, naturally) are portrayed without making them sound alien or quaint. In all, Elly Griffiths manages to recreate these towns and their inhabitants to perfection. We see them and also feel them! What drew me into the plot even more was the balance towards the end – the paragraphs switching from a scene in Italy to one in England, almost like a tennis game, when you need to turn your head from one player to the other. Some of the scenes are almost replicated in the exchange, and it becomes a real match. And it is indeed like a game -- but a deadly one, where we reach the end panting, as we too have become players and have had to run along with the characters. Everything comes to a close in perfect harmony, but the writer has kept two cards up her sleeve. We are left as Ruth is waiting for the gate for her flight to be called – “It’s a strange in-between place..., neither Italy nor England, neither earth nor air, ...like the liminal zone between life and death.” And we shall have to wait until the next book to leave this zone and learn the outcome of one key aspect of the narrative, as well as of another one pertaining to the information in the new message on Ruth's phone. We shall then, and only then, be able to leave this in-between zone that Elly Griffiths has masterfully created.
vaj More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book for the most part, Parts of it are slow and repetitive in Ruth and Nelsons' guilt around their affair and where their lives are going and it took a while to get to the meat of the story. It was very poignant when Don Tomaso and Tim die. I definitely would read more books by Ms Griffiths. #TheDarkAngel #NetGalley
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been hooked since the first book in the series and can’t wait to see what happens next for Ruth and Nelson - plots are getting lighter but the characters development is the true story line and keep me interested. Ruth is the person I want to know more about forever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As soon as I finish reading a Ruth Galloway mystery, I long for the next one to come out. I very highly recommend the series. The characters are quirky, the relationships complicated, the settings well described and...the mysteries are good too. In this latest novel, Ruth, a forensic archaeologist, travels to Italy. She is accompanied by her friend Shona, Shona's son and Ruth's daughter, Kate. Nelson, a police inspector and Cathbad, a Druid (yes!) eventually travel to Italy as well. The Italian town setting is eerily described. Ruth has come to Italy to offer an opinion on ancient bones but bones from WW II also come to light. There is intrigue and murder. All is eventually solved. Best of all, there are the relationships; Ruth and Nelson, Nelson and Michelle, Michelle and Tim, for the adults and other relationships between parents and their children including Ruth and Kate, Nelson and Kate and Michelle and Laura. While the mysteries are good, it is quirky, eccentric Ruth and her relationship with Nelson that I most eagerly follow. If you have read the series, rejoice in this latest entry and, if you haven't, start from the beginning and rejoice in discovering a fine series.
les_trois_reves More than 1 year ago
Let me begin by saying thank you to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the Advanced Reader Copy of this novel. I have an admission to make... A friend of mine recently suggested that I read The Crossing Places, the first novel in the Ruth Galloway Series, and not only did I read that first installment, but I binged the rest of the series in a matter of a few weeks. In other words, I found this series incredibly addicting. When NetGalley offered me the chance to read the next installment, I was thrilled. And I have to say, my expectations were not in vain. I am always impressed by the author's ability to maintain chemistry and tension between Ruth and Nelson. I also love that these characters are so flawed, each in their own unique way, but they are also so loveable in spite of their foibles. This latest installment lived up to all the rest. I had great fun, once again, trying to guess the final outcome. Who will be revealed as our villain? What new danger will Ruth encounter? How will the pieces of the characters lives fall back into place as the book draws to its conclusion? I highly recommend this series to anyone looking for a fun page-turner. I enjoy the balance of suspense and humor-- it's the perfect recipe for any mystery. I can also recommend Elly Griffith's Magic Men Series as well. Both series are imaginative, but above all, they are filled with realistic, genial characters-- real, organic people whose lives I become invested in throughout the telling of their stories. If you are new to this series, I recommend picking up The Crossing Places. If you are a devoted reader of the series, I highly recommend this new installment containing the latest exploits of Ruth Galloway and friends. Thanks again to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the opportunity to read and review this book.
S_White_1218 More than 1 year ago
Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review! Ruth, still reeling from the events of the end of the last book, is living day to day, trying to hang out. An old friend calls her up and invites her to help with some bones in Italy, so she packs up Kate, Shona, and Louis and heads to Italy... where of course, murder happens. Meanwhile, back in Norfolk, one of Nelson's cadre of historical arrests is released, and stuff happens at home as well. I enjoyed watching Ruth getting to explore the little Italian town, be on vacation, and get to meet some new characters. The relationships from prior books all develop a little more, and we get some depth added to at least one character who previously had very little page time. And while some of the events at the end were expected (because of well-written build up throughout the course of the novel), one big thing was completely unexpected, at least to me. Yet again, a Ruth Galloway novel that doesn't disappoint - it's like Elly Griffiths knows what she's doing! ;) Thank goodness she does. And thank goodness the publishers keep coming back for more. I know I'm ready for the next one!
RowingRabbit More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars When I started reading this, I couldn’t help but think about how far these characters have come. There’s a personal story arc that has evolved at a snappy pace from the beginning & it shows no sign of slowing down here. As the book opens, we find Ruth in a bit of a funk. Nothing like going to a wedding to make you reflect on your life as a singe mom. Especially when the father of your daughter is there with his pregnant wife. So when the chance to check out old bones in Italy comes along, Ruth packs up Kate & runs away. Angelo Morelli is a charismatic Italian archeologist with a problem. Someone is messing with his dig site & his head. He need some publicity to bolster interest & funding so calls old friend Dr. Ruth Galloway. In short order Ruth arrives in the beautiful small town of Castello degli Angeli with Kate, best friend Shona & her son. But from the start, it’s clear not everyone is happy about her visit. There are several plot lines that emerge from the Italian side of the story. A mysterious immigrant named Samir, the local cleric anxious to talk to Ruth & a mystery from WWll involving Angelo’s grandfather. Back in King’s Lynn, Nelson gets news a convicted killer has been released. He’s responsible for putting the guy away & remembers his threat to get to get even. Probably not a good time to dash off to Italy. A large part of the book, much more than previous ones, is devoted to the entangled love lives of Ruth, Nelson, Michelle & Tim. At times, it felt like the author is getting ready to tie up some long standing story arcs in the next instalment & uses this book to clear her plate. The ending certainly takes care of one aspect…..lordie, I did NOT see that coming. The result (for me) was the plot lines dealing with mystery & archeology were underserved. I desperately wanted to know more about Angelo’s grandfather time in the resistance & learn Samir’s history as I found him an intriguing character. These are glossed over & the whole Italian side of the story kind of fizzles down to a neatly tied up resolution. There’s a lot more going on back in Norfolk but Ruth & Nelson are absent for all of it. We also spend significant time listening in on the inner thoughts of our 4 star-crossed lovers as each considers their situation. So…not my favourite in the series. I love Ruth. In many ways she is an every-woman who you can relate to & I enjoy that the focus has always been on her strength & intelligence instead of her appearance. When an author gets to the tenth book in a series, you can’t expect every one to be a 5 star read so personally, I’m going to consider this one a small bump in the road & look forward to catching up with the gang in #11.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A little fantastical for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful! A fantastic new installment in the series. Thoroughly enjoyed their jaunt in Italy.