Elly Griffiths on Ruth Galloway’s journey to Italy in The Dark Angel

Elly Griffiths' takes us behind the scenes of The Dark Angel, the latest and 10th novel in the Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries.

Posted on February 19, 2018 in Behind the Scenes, News

I’ve always wanted a house in Italy. Well, who hasn’t? My dad was Italian and there used to be a family house just outside Pistoia but it was sold before I was born. I got sick of hearing about it, to be honest: the vineyard, the swimming pool, the view over the hills. Then, twelve years ago, my husband and I came into a small legacy. It wasn’t enough to acquire the vineyard/swimming pool dream but it could buy a little flat somewhere unfashionable. After viewing a few places which looked as if the previous occupants had just popped out for cigarettes (they all smelt of nicotine), we came across a property in a hilltop village in Lazio called Fontana Liri Superiore. The two-storey apartment, which was actually built into the old city wall, had been owned by an elderly, aristocratic lady who had left it to her great nephews and nieces. Luckily for us, the nipote were only interested in selling the place quickly so we bought it for a ridiculously low sum.

We soon realised that Fontana Liri was a very special place. Its only recent claim to fame is that it was the birthplace of Marcello Mastroianni but it has a history going back hundreds of (most bloodthirsty) years. The area saw fierce fighting between the Romans and the Italic tribes and, two thousand years later, it saw the bombing of nearby Monte Cassino. I decided that I would send Ruth to Fontana for a holiday. With so many old bones about, what could possibly go wrong?


The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths is out now.

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