Rather than highlighting a book, this time I want to highlight and author. I’ve had the opportunity to read three books by Elly Griffiths over the past year, and all three were excellent as well as very different from each other. The first book I read was Stranger Diaries, a stand-alone novel that was probably one of the most atmospheric books I’ve ever read. I keep wondering how she did that. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend getting a copy from your library or your local independent bookstore.
The next book I read was The Stone Circle. That one I wrote a blog about, titled Ancient Circles, Ancient and Modern Bones. This isn’t intended to be blatant self-promotion, but go ahead, click on the link and read the blog. It might help develop your interest in the Ruth Galloway series, one of Griffiths best known and highly touted.
Now I’ve finished the third Griffiths book, Now You See Them, which is part of her Magic Men series. It’s totally different from the other two, and just as interesting and engaging as everything else I’ve read by Griffiths. That’s what prompted this blog. It’s rare for me to find an author who writes such different series and still have each one as engaging as the others. Well, technically, Stranger Diaries is a stand-alone, but you know what I mean.
So, this is a two-for-one blog and a three-for-one recommendation. I suppose you could call it just a one-for-one since the same author wrote them all, but that would be splitting hairs. So, if I’ve piqued your interest, here’s my review for Now You See Them.
This is the fifth book in the Magic Men series by Elly Griffiths and my first read of the series. Because I’ve read two other books by Griffiths, I wanted to see if this one held up to what I had already read. Yes, indeed, it held up on all counts.
The book begins with the disappearance of a school girl. It is clear from the beginning that the principle characters have relationships that date back to past occurrences, although it isn’t difficult to follow how they relate to each other in this book. In this series, I believe it would be in the reader’s best interest to read the books in order as it would give the reader the opportunity to understand all the nuances that have been created from personal relationships.
As the chief superintendent begins to investigate, his wife, a detective with the police force before she married and left the force to raise a family, it becomes clear the missing girl is one of a series of girls who has disappeared. In addition to the suspicion that this is a serial crime, one of the girls is discovered murdered, which adds to the urgency for a solution.
In addition to investigation of the disappearances and murder, there is considerable attention given to the personal relationships between the principle characters. There is the relationship between the chief superintendent and his wife. Prior to this book and probably part of earlier books in the series, it is clear he was a detective inspector and she was his sergeant, along with the current detective inspector who as a secondary role in this book. Other characters who have previous relationships with the couple are a magician turned actor, his daughter, a close friend of the wife who is a reporter, and various other tertiary characters. Curiosity about all these people’s previous relationships is raised as this book is being read, increasing the desire to go back and read the earlier books.
The mystery itself does stand alone and there is enough information regarding how the characters relate to each other for the reader to still enjoy the book. That said, I do believe this series is best enjoyed being read from the beginning in order to fully appreciate the different characters, their personalities, and their motivations.
My thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing and NetGalley for providing me an advanced digital reader copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
I hope I’ve interested you enough to try at least one book by Elly Griffiths. For me, I plan on going back to the beginning with the Ruth Galloway series and the Magic Men series. I want to experience the characters as they grow and develop from the start. So, I’ll simply close by saying Happy Reading.