Review 1832: The Lantern Men

Anthropologist Ruth Galloway has taken a job at Cambridge, and she and her daughter Kate are living with Frank, the American historian she met several books ago. She has made this move for a promotion but also to make a break from Harry Nelson, Kate’s father and her married occasional lover.

But fate pulls her back to Norfolk and the Saltmarsh, which she dearly misses. Nelson has got a conviction against Ivor March for two murders of beautiful tall blond women, but he thinks March murdered two more women whose bodies were never found. Although the two women’s bodies were found in the backyard of March’s girlfriend, Chantal Simmonds, and his DNA found on them, he has insisted he is innocent, and he has several acolytes who believe him.

Now March has told Nelson he will divulge the burial place of the other two women on the condition that Ruth perform the forensics rather than Ruth’s ex-boss Phil. Ruth agrees, and when she disinters the bodies, she finds three, not two.

The deaths seem to center around a group of people who used to live in a commune. The men called themselves the Lantern Men and went out to rescue lost women. But the legend of the Lantern Men is more sinister.

This series continues to be excellent, both in the mysteries and in the private lives of the recurring characters. Although Griffiths pulls a little bit of a fast one in the identity of one character, I didn’t hold it against her. My only regret is that when I read this book I only had one more book to read in the series until the next one came out.

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