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The Lantern Men

Publisher’s Description

Everything has changed for Dr Ruth Galloway.

She has a new job, home and partner, and is no longer North Norfolk police’s resident forensic archaeologist. That is, until convicted murderer Ivor March offers to make DCI Nelson a deal. Nelson was always sure that March killed more women than he was charged with. Now March confirms this, and offers to show Nelson where the other bodies are buried – but only if Ruth will do the digging.

Curious, but wary, Ruth agrees. March tells Ruth that he killed four more women and that their bodies are buried near a village bordering the fens, said to be haunted by the Lantern Men, mysterious figures holding lights that lure travellers to their deaths.

Is Ivor March himself a lantern man, luring Ruth back to Norfolk? What is his plan, and why is she so crucial to it? And are the killings really over?


I recently read forensic archaeological crime mystery The Lantern Men (Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries, #12) by UK author Elly Griffiths.

The protagonist Dr Ruth Galloway has left the marshes and working at the University of Oxford and living in a townhouse with her new partner. But she is restless and soon requested to work a cold case murders on the marshes of Norfolk. A series of missing women from an artistic retreat and local folklore of lights on the marshes that lead the lost astray are the Lantern Men. But this specific folklore is imbedded the past and present of the retreat – saving the lost on the real and metaphorical marshes and missing women the likely victims of a sinister killer.

Ruth Galloway is the forensic archaeologist that convicted killer Ivor March requests to find two of his victims Detective Nelson is certain he killed. Soon, Ruth is following a trail of history, folklore and tales of the lantern men. But as the psst students and leaders of the retreat become interwoven with legendary and real lantern men, Ruth and Nelson wonder if there’s more than one killer – and more recent missing women on the marshes taken by a very real Lantern Man.

Final Thoughts

I’ve read several Dr Ruth Galloway mysteries by Elly Griffiths and the clever integration of local folklore in The Lantern Men is highly intriguing. The suspense and thriller aspects of a murder mystery were cleverly interwoven with the folklore of the lantern man central to theme and crimes.


A highly recommended mystery – both for it’s history and crime themes. There’s even something for fans folklore and suspense. A great read!