Forensic archeologist and college professor Ruth Galloway is having a hard time juggling the demands of her life, and things only get worse once this single mother returns to work after a maternity leave. When a team studying coastal erosion discovers skeletal remains buried under the cliffs near a historical home on Britain's Norfolk Beach, Galloway lends her expertise to the police and Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson. The site turns out to be a mass grave, but were the deaths accidental or the result of foul play? When the bones are determined to be roughly 70 years old, the investigation turns toward the Second World War, a time when the Norfolk coastline was patrolled by the Home Guard, a local group ready and prepared for German invasion. But when Nelson and Galloway and their counterparts begin questioning some of the Norfolk's now elderly guards--and those who knew them during wartime--the secrets they unearth may incur deadly consequences.
The House at Sea's End is the third book in the Ruth Galloway mystery series (after Crossing Places and The Janus Stone), and Elly Griffiths continues to enrich the main forensic investigation with compelling characters embroiled in personal challenges. Revelations about the father of Ruth's newborn daughter evoke as much suspense as the crime plot, rounding out Griffith's smart, well-balanced and atmospheric mystery. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines