The Locked Room ~ by Elly Griffiths

Published ini late June 2022 this  isn’t a thriller but a highly suspenseful novel, but it’s well written and  quite entertaining with plenty of attention given to a twisty plot and a few memorable characters, The thing is that the  Covid quarantine messes with everyone’s lives.  

The Locked Room
By Elly Griffiths
Read by Jane McDowell 9h 41m
Rating: A+ / crime and covid
 (#14 in Ruth Galloway series) 

Again, there are lots of characters, but maybe I should just say there are lots of names, because most do not develop into characters. A few are fully fleshed out, another few are semi-“rounded” (as we used to say), and many others only appear in one scene or chapter.  (Is it a thing these days that if a character is created at all they must be given a name?) 

There have been several “suicides” in the general area of Norfolk and now comes Covid.  It’s the late winter and early spring of 2021 and the quarantines and restrictions are just being put in place.   Griffiths captures the feelings and the fears of the people as they figure out how to work with the rules
Dr Ruth finds a mysterious photo and gets a new neighbor, Cathbert feels ill,

Students and school teachers are on Zoom or FaceChat, 1st responders appear everywhere in Hazmat suits, the streets, stores, restaurants, bars and theaters are all empty. Get togethers of almost any kind are at least, postponed. And especially hospital visits are curtailed so people die there alone. 

Close quarters can put a strain on almost any relationship, but for the most part, people are all very kind. All of these things are present much ini evidence in the families and the neighborhoods of the book.  It gives an added dimension to the usual tension in a detective book.  

 In The Locked Room Ruth Galloway is going through the her mother’s old things although her death occurred 3 years prior.  She comes across a photo of the house she is living in now.  Huh?  On the back in distinctive handwriting her mother wrote, “Dawn 1963.” Ruth has no idea what any of this could mean, but it touches her heart so she keeps it to figure it out.

With Covid now presenting a very real threat Ruth teaches her anthropology students via Zoom while Kate, age 11, does her own homework pages, builds with Legos, and writes her own novel. They go for walks with the dog.  Ruth’s romantic partner, Harry Nelson, a detective chief inspector and is conducting a lot of his business via telephone and Zoom but there are times when that’s not possible.  

Meanwhile, Judy, another Detective Inspector, and her husband Cuthbert are personally impacted by Covid.  

This is a very good book –
Augustine Steward’s House (photo)

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2 Responses to The Locked Room ~ by Elly Griffiths

  1. Lisa Hill says:

    *chuckle* Well, it might be true that Covid messed with everybody… but an interesting statistic has just emerged here. Contrary to all the predictions, there was *less* domestic violence during the lockdowns. (There were also fewer suicides too.)
    Strange, eh?


  2. That’s what I’d thought I’d heard earlier – during the height of it. It was odd to hear but all sorts of odd things were happening and we all knew we were under serious pressure. I wonder when Griffiths actually wrote this. (Or maybe it as different in different places.)


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