The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths
Oh, I'm so disappointed that I finished already! I had planned to make The Chalk Pit last, but a few sunny days on the terrace had me turning the final page far too quickly. Now another year's wait to hear from my friends Ruth, Nelson and the rest again:-( The Chalk Pit centers around the death and disappearance of homeless people in the area around King's Lynn. Ruth, who discovers a number of bones underground is, as ever, drawn into the mystery, which puts her in frequent (though not unwanted) contact with Nelson. Their relationship is still complicated, and while Ruth is happy he is a father to Kate, she is disappointed that he is still with his wife. All the while, she isn't completely sure how she would integrate a man into her life with her daughter, even if it is the child's father. The personal parts of the Ruth Galloway mysteries are definitely my favorite, and I could read these books regardless of whether or not there is a mystery. I feel as if I know the characters, and I certainly wish I did! Griffiths has developed them so well and in a way that seems natural and very real. I suspect she has written part of herself into Ruth (much as I have with my own leading lady) and I believe we would get along rather well, if we ever met:-) Though my first love is for the characters in this series, the plot is by no means a disappointment. This story, in particular, very much appealed to me, and I thought the way the author writes about the homeless characters is so thoughtful and compassionate, and makes you think how little it can take for someone to lose everything, especially if they do not have a support network to help them back up. I suspected who the murderer was, but couldn't guess why, so the ending was quite satisfying. Though the ending to the personal story is anything but! I don't want to give details away, however, Griffiths drops a single statement which could have rather interesting consequences for the future of a number of characters. CANNOT wait for the next book! If you haven't read The Chalk Pit or the whole series yet, I envy you the pleasure!