Pandemic lockdowns have Ruth Galloway feeling isolated from everyone but a new neighbor—until Nelson comes calling, investigating a decades-long string of murder-suicides that’s looming ever closer, in USA Today Elly Griffiths’ penultimate novel in the beloved series.
Three years after her mother’s death, Ruth is finally sorting through her things when she finds a curious relic: a decades-old photograph of her own Norfolk cottage—before she lived there—with a peculiar inscription on the back. Ruth returns to the cottage to uncover its meaning as Norfolk’s first cases of Covid-19 make headlines, leaving her and Kate to shelter in place there. They struggle to stave off isolation by clapping for frontline workers each evening and befriending a kind neighbor, Zoe, from a distance.
Meanwhile, Nelson is investigating a series of deaths of women that may or may not be suicide. When he links a case to an archaeological discovery, he breaks curfew to visit Ruth and enlist her help. But the further Nelson investigates the deaths, the closer he gets to Ruth’s isolated cottage—until Ruth, Zoe, and Kate all go missing, and Nelson is left scrambling to find them before it’s too late.
PRAISE FOR ELLY GRIFFITHS AND THE RUTH GALLOWAY SERIES
Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel
Winner of the Mary Higgins Clark Award
Winner of the CWA Dagger in the Library Award
“Galloway is an everywoman, smart, successful and a little bit unsure of herself. Readers will look forward to learning more about her.” —USA Today
“Elly Griffiths draws us all the way back to prehistoric times . . . Highly atmospheric.” —New York Times Book Review
“Forensic archeologist and academic Ruth Galloway is a captivating amateur sleuth—an inspired creation. I identified with her insecurities and struggles, and cheered her on.” —Louise Penny
“This 14th installment in the beloved series finds forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway contending with a medieval skeleton, a family secret—and the encroaching COVID pandemic.” — People, Best Books of Summer
“Kicks of just ahead of the COVID-19 lockdown, adding an extra level of tension to a locked-room police investigation that intersects with local ghost stories, myths, and historical plague lore.” — Boston Globe, Summer Reading
“Ruth proves endearing in her insecurities and inspiring in her fierce determination as she copes with a perilous world. The Galloway series has achieved both critical acclaim and widespread popular success, and this latest installment will only enhance its reputation.” — Booklist (starred review)
“Lockdown provides a brilliant opportunity for Griffiths, bringing fresh drama into her characters' lives and she makes the most of it.” — Sunday Times (UK)
“A terrific story that allows Galloway and Nelson to get closer than they have been for years.” — The Times (UK), Best New Crime Fiction
“Griffiths' Ruth Galloway series combines imaginative plotting, cleverly located in deepest Norfolk, with the everyday dramas of her case of regular characters . . . This is Griffiths on top form.” — Mail on Sunday
“A classic English mystery from one of the leading authors in the field, charming from start to finish.” — Irish Independent