The Ghost Fields by Elly  Griffiths
(Quercus, 2015)

The Ghost Fields

by Elly Griffiths

When a Norfolk farmer finds a Second World War plane, the Betsy Ann, in a quarry, local archaeologists are called in. At first it all seems fairly straightforward – many American airmen were based in Norfolk and their empty hangers and airstrips, the so-called ‘ghost fields’, can be found all over East Anglia. Anyway, Ruth is preoccupied with a discovery of her own – a Bronze Age body found on the Saltmarsh. Then DNA tests reveal a surprising link between the prehistoric body and the dead American pilot. They are both connected to a prominent Norfolk family, the Blackstocks, famous for their great house and also for their supposed curse.

Against her will, Ruth finds herself attending a Blackstock family reunion along with the descendents of the dead airman. The evening ends in tragedy when one of the guests is found dead. Nelson and his team are called in and discover that, all around the world, members of the family are dying mysteriously.

A television company becomes involved (reuniting Ruth with American historian, Chet Barker), investigating the Bronze Age man and his links with present day inhabitants. DNA tests, taken as part of a live TV programme, show that the true Blackstock family heir is actually someone very close to both Ruth and Nelson. Could Clough be both the heir to the family fortune and the next victim?