Whenever I learn there’s a new Elly Griffith’s Ruth Galloway book, I become all tingly with excitement. These are my lexical comfort food, my not-guilty pleasure, into which I escape the moment the book is in my hot little hands. With this latest one, however, I deliberately kept it at arm’s length – knowing it would be a terrible distraction – until I’d met a very important deadline. It was to be my reward. Well, meet it I sort of did and now the book is devoured and I’m left hungry for more. Again.
The latest in this wonderful series – The Locked Room – which just gets (if it’s possible) better and better, sees Ruth, Nelson, Judy, Cathbad and the entire crew in the throes of Covid and lockdown. As you can imagine, this makes doing their respective jobs nigh on impossible and, when a dead body is found and someone has Ruth in their sights, an already difficult job becomes even harder. But, when a dearly beloved character falls deathly ill with Covid, everything else becomes insignificant, that is until someone else goes missing and finding them before the killer strikes again forces Nelson and co to act.
While I found the criminal/mystery plotline in this book a little weaker than in others, it’s the interpersonal relationships – their growth, the changes in certain characters and how they relate to each other and the choices they make that I just adore. This book is no exception and certainly, with Covid, Griffiths has used the pandemic and the enforced lockdowns and isolation, and the social and personal changes they enforced, as not only something every reader can relate to (missing family and friends, longing for open air, a face-to-face conversation, the trials of home-schooling, working from home, venturing to shops, uncertainty about rules) , but as an opportunity for many of her characters to do some long overdue self-reflection – and it works a treat.
Overall, another fantastic addition to a completely addictive series. Now to wait impatiently for the next one!