A bullet-ridden body is unearthed from a buried WW2 plane - but the body isn't from WW2. Dr Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist, must discover who the victim was, and who put him there.
'An almost gothic plot, involving family feuds and a crumbling stately home . . . one of the most vivid novels in a delightful series' Sunday Times
When DCI Harry Nelson calls Ruth Galloway in to investigate a body found inside a buried fighter plane, she quickly realizes that the skeleton couldn't possibly be the pilot. DNA tests identify the man as Fred Blackstock, a local aristocrat who had been reported dead at sea.
Events are further complicated by a TV company that wants to make a film about Norfolk's deserted air force bases, the so-called Ghost Fields, which have been partially converted into a pig farm run by one of the younger remaining Blackstocks.
Then human bones are found on the farm and, as the greatest storm Norfolk has seen for decades brews in the distance, another Blackstock is attacked. Can the team outrace the rising flood to find the killer?
The unearthing in Norfolk of a WWII-era U.S. plane, with its pilot in his seat and a bullet hole in his temple, propels British author Griffiths's well-crafted seventh mystery featuring forensic archeologist Ruth Galloway (after 2014's The Outcast Dead). The pilot is identified as Frederick J. Blackstock, a scion of a prominent Norfolk family, who served in the American air force, though Fred was supposedly lost at sea in a different plane and presumed dead. The decision of an American TV company to do a program about Norfolk's abandoned airfields brings Frank Barker, an academic Ruth was attracted to while working together on an earlier case, back into her life. The arrival of the film company and Fred's American daughter, Nell Blackstock Goodheart, sets the stage for a series of deaths and personal revelations that culminates in Ruth's being trapped in massive Blackstock Hall during a terrible storm. Griffiths nicely blends history and romance with gothic elements.