'ONE OF MY FAVOURITE CURRENT CRIME SERIES' Val McDermid
'A FIVE-STAR THRILLER' Daily Express
'GOOD WRITING AND CLEVER CHARACTERISATION' Red Magazine
Boiled human bones have been found in Norwich's web of underground tunnels. When Dr Ruth Galloway discovers they were recently buried, DCI Nelson has a murder inquiry on his hands. The boiling might have been just a medieval curiosity - now it suggests a much more sinister purpose.
Meanwhile, DS Judy Johnson is investigating the disappearance of a local rough sleeper. The only trace of her is the rumour that she's gone 'underground'. This might be a figure of speech, but with the discovery of the bones and the rumours both Ruth and the police have heard that the network of old chalk-mining tunnels under Norwich is home to a vast community of rough sleepers, the clues point in only one direction. Local academic Martin Kellerman knows all about the tunnels and their history - but can his assertions of cannibalism and ritual killing possibly be true?
As the weather gets hotter, tensions rise. A local woman goes missing and the police are under attack. Ruth and Nelson must unravel the dark secrets of The Underground and discover just what gruesome secrets lurk at its heart - before it claims another victim.
The discovery of a cannibalized skeleton in a Norfolk underground tunnel catapults forensic archeologist Ruth Galloway into her engrossing ninth case (after 2016's The Woman in Blue). When a homeless man reports a missing woman and then is stabbed to death, Det. Chief Insp. Harry Nelson and his team join the investigation, which takes on added urgency when Det. Sgt. David Clough's significant other, who's the mother of his baby, disappears. Ruth's Druid friend, Cathbad, plays a prominent role, and series fans will find humor in Nelson's struggles with an ambitious female commanding officer. On the personal side, Ruth struggles with her love for the married Nelson, who's her daughter's father and whose wife, Michelle, makes a surprise revelation with far-reaching implications for the uneasy triangle. Despite grisly deaths, Griffiths maintains a gentle tone, and her portrayal of issues surrounding homelessness is compassionate and nuanced. A hopeful ending might seem facile to some readers and comforting to others.