Ruth Galloway receives a phone call that bears shocking news. A friend of hers from college, Dan Golding, has been killed in a fire at his Lancashire home. Her shock turns to alarm when she gets a letter from Dan. He has made a discovery that will change archaeology forever but he needs Ruth's advice. Even more alarming, he sounds vulnerable and frightened. DCI Harry Nelson is also rediscovering his past. Up north for a holiday, he meets his former colleague Sandy MacLeod, now at Blackpool CID. Sandy tells him there are strange circumstances surrounding Dan Golding's death. Many of those who worked with Dan seem to be afraid.
Many have secrets to hide. Ruth is drawn deep into the mystery, and where she goes, so does her toddler daughter, Kate. This time, it's not just Ruth's life at risk.
©2013 Elly Griffiths (P)2013 Quercus Publishing Plc
Action, suspense, great characters and a well-written story. I am getting used to the narrator/voices in my head disconnect (you know, when what you're hearing isn't how you thought the characters should sound ); Ms Corbett is absolutely capable-her men sound like men, her accents are amazing, and I like her voice.
If you're up for a decent forensic series without a lot of gore and isn't going to leave you unable to sleep at night, allow me to suggest this entire series. And I do suggest you start at the beginning to get the full flavor of how things are put together and who these people are.
And I'm delighted to say that while this series is beginning to flag a bit, it is still a solid 4 stars.
Always looking for twists in a story that surprise me!!!!
Ruth remains one of my favorite mystery characters. She is very real with believable strengths and weakness. Like all of us she is always second guessing herself. DCI Nelson and the Druid Cathbarth, other characters in these tales, are well developed with their own strengths and weakness. Ms. Griffiths' books, well plotted and riveting until the last paragraph, leave the reader wanting more.
Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.
The Ruth Galloway series is well-written and interesting, with good continuing character development throughout. Ruth is an archeologist who tends to always become involved in forensic activities, so has developed a strong relationship with some of the local police, as well as her friends from the university where she teaches.
In this book, Ruth receives a letter from a friend from an earlier time in her life, just after he has been killed in a fire, hinting at a stupendous archeological discovery. Ruth feels she must travel to Pendle University where he taught to investigate. So she sets out with her young daughter. Her friend Cathbad the druid is there, and so, conveniently, is Nelson, the policeman who is also father to her child.
As she looks into the discovery, dark and strange events begin to occur. Someone does not want her there, and will go to great lengths to get her to leave.This is a very good series. But it is always frustrating that Ruth manages to put herself into otherwise avoidable danger. In this book, it is her daughter who is at risk.
If the reader simply accepts that an intelligent woman with a young child seems to take chances that always lead to danger, this, like all the others, is a good book. It has good interaction among the characters beyond the mystery itself. I had read all the previous books, and this was the first with a narrator I have listened to. I was unimpressed with Clare Corbett's interpretation of male voices, but when she was simply reading the story itself, she was quite good.
Didn't read print version.
BRING BACK Jane McDowell! Clare Corbett is a terrible match for these characters! I'm going to finish the book, bit I'm dreading hearing the male characters talk. I can't comment on their accents, but she sounds as if she's doing parodies of male voices.
Go back to Jane McDowell as your narrator. Clare Corbett is irritating right from the beginning but when she starts to do the "voices" of the various characters she becomes unbearable. She is not able to keep the voices consistent with the associated characters and her idea of the local accents is just insulting. I could not finish listening to this book and will read it instead.
Change your narrator and a book should be read not performed!!!
I must remember that Elly Griffiths likes to write in the present tense and I dont like listening to stories written in the present tense. Whilst the story was interesting enough I found that the tense grated on me and I spent more time listening for that than I did for the plotlines. Shame, the premise is good, the locations mean something to me but I wont be getting any more.
I wont critique this book....I leave that to others who are more erudite than I. But do snuggle down with an Elly Griffiths mystery and prepare to be awake all night, wanting to listen all the way to the end. The Crossing Places is the first book of the Ruth Galloway series... listen to them in order.
I do want to recommend "cruising" around the Audible website. Elly Griffiths was a happy discovery for me, along with Kate Atkinson, Louise Penny and Deborah Crombie, authors I hadn't previously read but who are now numbered among my favorite contemporary mystery writers.
Oh, good grief, I almost forgot Peter May...The Black House and The Lewis Man were just outstanding and I'm so disappointed that Audible doesn't have the US publishing rights for the third book, The Chessmen. Nevertheless, whether you listen or read, this is such a good trilogy... a cut above his other books, which are lighter in tone.
I am a voracious reader (average about 4-5 Audible books a week, in addition to those I "eyeball".) I have been hooked on recorded books since the time of cassettes/CDs and was thrilled when I became an Audible member in 2007. I find reader reviews good guides to spending my credits, so have finally decided to write a few (although, I would rather be reading!)
This 5th volume is my favorite of the series. I appreciated the different setting: Blackpool sees Ruth consulting on recent find by her old college chum (now dead in a mysterious fire.) Druid friend Cathbarth and Kate are in tow.
DCI Nelson and wife are vacationing in Blackpool, visiting his mother. Naturally, the 3 become entangled in solving the mystery behind archaeologist Goldingls fiery death.
I like the introduction to Nelson' family (his mum is a hoot and bonds quickly with Cathbarth) as well as his old "stomping" ground and colleagues. I look forward to seeing more of Sgt Tim (hoping he will follow Nelson back south, as he is an intriguing character.)
The mystery holds together fairly well and Kate isn't too much an intrusive part of the story (I typically prefer the surly loners). I actually find myself looking forward to seeing how Griffiths handles Kate's aging.
Some of the transitions between scenes are a bit choppy, but I suspect this is due to the format (probably wouldn't be as harsh in text.)
Narrator handles the different accents and characters with aplomb.
Highly recommend to any mystery lover.
The narrator attempted to do several accents. If I were from Yorkshire, I would have been offended. Just because someone has an accent is no reason to make them sound stupid. The regular narration was so soft, I had to turn the volume way up. Even then, I could hardly hear it. But the "accents" were so loud and horrible that the dialogue seemed as if it were being yelled. Even the poor two year old screamed every single word of her dialogue. All in all, a ridiculous circus that really detracted from the book.
The performance was awful. The narrator's attempts to voice the characters was torturous.
A Maisie Dobbs book from the library.
"Hugely enjoyable series"
As I currently have a visual impairment the audio edition is a lifesaver for me!
The continuing story of Ruth Galloway and friends. If you have never read any of this series I would suggest starting at the beginning.
Yes I have listened to many of her performances and she is definitely one of my favourite narrators. This is one of her best performances, she really makes you feel a part of the story and the characters lives.
It is not an unputdownable gripping story but it does draw you in over the course of the book.
I love the Ruth Galloway series and would highly recommend it. This is not the best in the series as the story gets a little silly in places but I still loved it!
I have enjoyed all of Elly Griffiths books about Dr Ruth Galloway.
What a pity the publisher changed the reader for this unabridged book.
The general narration was fine but I thought this reader was very poor on the mens' voices..
A good story spoiled for me by this.
If there are any more planned, please revert to the original reader.
This is Elly Griffiths at her best, unfortunately at is ruined by one thing; the narrator's characterisation of Cathbad's voice.
The story is classic Ruth Galloway and it cannot be faulted, the usual suspects are all there, with the twist that the main plot is set on the Lancashire coast. Most of the voice characterisations, which is very important when listening to a book, are fine. The voice of Cathbad, however, is dreadful. The Druid grew up in rural Ireland and has spent his adult life, as far as we have been informed thus far, in Manchester and rural Norfolk; the narrator makes him sound as though he were a bad actor trying to portray the result of a Home Counties upbringing coupled with Eton and Oxbridge.
The book itself would be a definite "five stars", but I just cannot do the same for this audiobook as a whole.
"Mildly Enjoyable but Main Character Irritates"
I would probably read another book in the Ruth Galloway series (I have read all of them published so far) but I would hope that the character (and author) get over the 'I'm a mother now!' fixation. I understand the sketching of a character's concerns but the narrative's harping on the New Mother self-consciousness makes for irritating reading.
"Back on Form"
Great to see the author back on form. In this book we discover more about our favourite characters from the previous books and also discover new characters added to the family. I have to say I loved Nelson's Mum and her interpretation of Cathbads name.
I bought this novel without reading any synopses as I like the author so much. So imagine my surprise settling down on my train trip to Blackpool from Scotland to discover the book set in and around the blackpool area, which brought the whole story alive for me as I knew where Ruth and Kate were located.
Superb read that had me laughing, crying and near the end so shocked I could hardly breath and shouting aloud "Oh NO!: If you read you may discover why lol.
I Highly recommend this book.
"I miss the performance of Jane McDowell."
I miss the performance of Jane McDowell.
For the female voices and the story line, Clare Corbett does an excellent job, but her male and child voices sounds like a caricature.
"Was King Arthur black?"
The conclusion, though exciting, resorts to stereotype.
Weaker than books 1-3 in the Ruth Galloway series.
She seems suited to the character of Ruth Galloway, though male characters' dialogue is less persuasive.
Yes. I am not sure about the character of Ruth Galloway, but Philip Glenister would be well-suited to DCI Nelson.
Elly Griffiths’ plots are quite gripping, chiefly because of the slowly escalating potential threat to main character Ruth Galloway, an academic forensic archaeologist-detective, her little girl, and close friends. The threat invariably comes from a mix of present danger and something with its source in the archaeological past. While the past is mostly archaeological -- and is seriously treated -- the past in these novels sometimes includes a mythic dimension, filtered through Ruth's friend, Cathbad, a Druid; and it is only partly dispelled.
In this, the fifth Ruth Galloway thriller, Ruth's various relationships, personal and professional, have expanded since "The Crossing Places" and Elly Griffiths has to resort to what are barely-disguised asides to new readers or those who have forgotten earlier cases which had matured this or that relationship. She also has to risk story contortions in order to up the stakes and interest levels. Here, the action takes place in the North-west of England, and the carry-over characters from Ruth, herself, and, therefore, Kate, her daughter, through DCI Harry Nelson (Kate's father), Michelle (Harry's wife) to Cathbad, though without his Druidical purple cloak this time, as Kate's babysitter. This account warrants an exclamation mark but Griffiths just about retains credibility, but, in order to keep readers with her, must rely on the mounting threats to Ruth et al and also on the convincing, if stretched, archaeological dimension.
The barest plot summary is that a former student friend who also became an archaeologist at a university has discovered bones in a Roman outpost, bones that may or may not be those of King Arthur. This discovery greatly interests a sinister white supremacist group which has a strong and very creepy virtual presence. The novel was published in 2013 and, in its later stages, the writing may have been sharpened by the discovery of the bones of Richard III by archaeologists at the University of Leicester over the academic years 2012-13.
The plot is eventually resolved but there are so many characters and leads -- in part, the consequences of a complicated plot but also of the repertory of characters that, by book 5 of the series, has gathered around Ruth -- that the denouement verges on the silly, as well as leaning on stereotype. I doubt, therefore, that I will read books 4 and 6 of the series because it is now suffering from the drawback of any series that seeks to interconnect the extraordinary basics of a crime-thriller with the ordinariness that a "detective" such as Ruth Galloway needs (and that a detective such as Sherlock Holmes or Bernie Gunther or Miss Marple or Philip Marlow doesn't need). However, the quality of the first three Galloway books and the general intelligence of the author are such that I am looking forward to reading "The Zig-Zag Girl", a novel about Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens and magician, Max Mephisto, and set in a different time.
In the interesting and helpful reviews on this site, I haven't seen any comments on whether male or female readers happen to like the style that a central character such as Ruth Galloway generates, that is, the attaching of slightly exaggerated and often amusing adjectives to nouns, a tendency that seems to have increased in this novel now that Ruth's daughter, Kate, is a character who is active enough to merit adult descriptions. Or perhaps it is class, rather than gender, that influences the style of Elly Griffiths' thoughtful novels.
"One of the best of the series so far"
Moves the story along well
She did the baby's voice very well
It's well performed and a very different story
"Poor male characterisation"
Did not like the ale stereotyping of the typical northern man. In fact the characterisation of all males was poor verging on the irritating
"Good book, annoying narrator"
Not a bad story, quite interesting at times but the narrators attempt at male and the child's voices set my teeth on edge.
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