Two MURDER MYSTERY Mini-reviews: The Naturalist by Andrew Mayne, and The Ghost Fields by Elly Griffiths #Brainfluffmurdermysterymini-reviews #TheNaturalistmini-review #TheGhostFieldsmini-review


AUDIOBOOK The Naturalist – Book 1 of The Naturalist series by Andrew Mayne

BLURB: Professor Theo Cray is trained to see patterns where others see chaos. So when mutilated bodies found deep in the Montana woods leave the cops searching blindly for clues, Theo sees something they missed. Something unnatural. Something only he can stop.

As a computational biologist, Theo is more familiar with digital code and microbes than the dark arts of forensic sleuthing. But a field trip to Montana suddenly lands him in the middle of an investigation into the bloody killing of one of his former students. As more details, and bodies, come to light, the local cops determine that the killer is either a grizzly gone rogue… or Theo himself. Racing to stay one step ahead of the police, Theo must use his scientific acumen to uncover the killer. Will he be able to become as cunning as the predator he hunts—before he becomes its prey?

Ably narrated by Will Damron, who sounded exactly how I imagined Theo Cray would be like, I particularly enjoyed the opening where we were introduced to Theo, which was cleverly and originally handled. Overall, this was enjoyable, although the pernicky part of me was a tad annoyed at some of the plot holes and inaccuracies which could have been avoided with a bit more care. The progression of the story worked well, with some nice plot twists and a well-handled denouement. Highly recommended for murder mystery thriller fans, who like their protagonists nerdy and a bit too clever for their own good.

The Ghost Fields – Book 7 of the Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths

BLURB: Norfolk is experiencing a July heatwave when a construction crew unearths a macabre discovery – a buried WWII plane with the pilot still inside. Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway quickly realizes that the skeleton couldn’t possibly be the pilot, and DNA tests identify the man as Fred Blackstock, a local aristocrat who had been reported dead at sea. When the remaining members of the Blackstock family learn about the discovery, they seem strangely frightened by the news…

Once again, Griffiths delivers a really strong, engaging murder mystery that manages to involve Ruth. A growing part of the enjoyment of this unfolding series is to catch up with the strong cast of characters who are alongside Ruth – and there are a couple of plotlines here that I followed with bated breath with probably more anticipation and interest than the unfolding murder mystery, if I’m honest. That said, the investigation once again ticks all the boxes with a suitably exciting denouement. Recommended for fans of murder mysteries that fall between the cosy kind – and those that are grittily drenched in gore, but whatever you do, don’t crash into the series here – go back and start with The Crossing Places.

9 responses »

  1. I’m really enjoying The Naturalist series, although they are so over the top, and each book gets more and more silly in some ways. But I love them and can’t wait for the next book to be announced😁

    • Lol… I’m delighted that you are enjoying this series so much. I’m not going further with it – I found the anomalies far too annoying:)). But I did absolutely love that opening scene, which I think is one of the best I’ve ever encountered in a murder mystery whodunit.

  2. These days I’m reading the first of the Ruth Galloway mysteries, which I added to my TBR thanks to one of your reviews, and I’m enjoying very much both the setting and the characters, particularly Ruth who is a very unusual “heroine” for the standard of the genre 🙂

  3. Nice, honest reviews Sarah. I keep saying that I am going to start the Ruth Galloway mysteries, but have yet to take the plunge. I have read a couple from Elly Griffiths other series and enjoyed them.

  4. I love the Naturalist series – it is definitely over the top but I can’t help but be drawn in somehow and the last book I read left things in a very tense state so I can’t wait to return.
    Lynn 😀

  5. Two more books on my TBR, then ! I liked the title “The naturalist”, it’s original for a muder series and I don’t mind nerds at all 😉

    • Yes… the nerdy bit I can cope with – but I do resent it when the plot strays into OTT, unrealistic scenarios. However, it’s a series that has garnered many fans, and I’m aware my misgivings are in the minority:)).

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