The bones turn out to be two thousand years old, and DCI Harry Nelson, who called on Ruth for help, is disappointed. He'd hoped they would be the bones of a child called Lucy who's been missing for ten years; he's been getting letters about her ever since. Then a second girl goes missing and Nelson receives more letters.
Soon it becomes clear that Ruth is in grave danger from a killer who knows that her expert knowledge is being used to help the police with their enquiries.
©2009 Elly Griffiths; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
Say something about yourself!
This engaging story is well written and totally captures the hauntingly lonely sea side life the main character has chosen for herself. She is a forensic archeologist working in the field, lecture hall and with the police as a solver of crime. Her work focuses on working out mysteries from the past and present. The story is heavy on nature, mythology, archeology and spookiness in general. I really enjoyed the narration and way the book unfolded. It held my interest-- as any good page turner should. As the first book in a series it bodes well for readers who enjoy crime stories with a dash of odd characters and brooding nature thrown in. But be aware--it is creepy!
The book holds together pretty well and provides a few heart pounding moments. Suspects abound and the author keeps you somewhat guessing. But the heroine does whine a bit, especially about being fat. Some of the action seems very contrived and the hopeful ending is completely unbelievable. To be believable, the story should have taken place over a few months instead of over 10 years. The worst part is the narrator's attempt at a male Norwegian accent. Because of these problems, I hesitate to recommend the book.
I've never been a fan of mysteries, but I loves the author's use of details to provide me with a great picture of the characters and places. LOVED IT. Am now reading the Janus Stone and enjoying it just as much.
Yes. Narrator Jane McDowell was pitch perfect in capturing Ruth's voice.
Story a bit slow paced at first, but was an interesting view into the life of independent archaeology prof, Ruth Galloway. Is she contented or lonely? I still can't decide. Different worlds to explore here: archaeology and the desolate salt marshs Ruth calls home.
Blogger of accidental discoveries through books
I really enjoyed the plot and found the characters believable. The backdrop of the Norfolk salt marshes created a wonderful damp wind blown atmosphere and in my mind's eye I could see it's beauty and feel it. The narration by Jane McDowell was just right for me. An excellent mystery.
I don't know about you, but why are there so so so many 5 star reviews. I LOVE books, but so few are 5 star.
The story was good, the narration fair, overall I enjoyed the listen.
Not action packed or full of witty dialog, just a decent story line with relatable characters and good imagary.
books and music
This is the first time I have listened to this author and this reader. It was an engrossing story, a wonderful sense of place, and great characters. And with one exception, the narrator was as good as the story. That exception was the dreadful Scandinavian accent that was totally unnecessary for the character: the descriptions of him were more than sufficient for you to see him as the Viking hippy character he was. But even with that jarring note, I loved this book.
Hi, I am a voracious reader with a wide range of tastes.
The excellent writing and character development. Ruth the main character, she is a strong women and yet flawed, as all people are, making her very realistic.
Well I did guess who the bad guy was half way through, but was kept enthralled by the plot all the same.
I am going to buy the second book now.
Creepy. Suspenseful. Atmospheric.
It reminded me a little of the Donna Leon series. Inspector Harry Nelson reminded me of Leon's Brunetti - both a little out of shape, gruff, brusque but deep thinkers. This novel had the same strong sense of place - not Venice obviously, but it makes you feel as though you really know the area of the east coast of England where the story is set.
Yes I did - I gasped out loud at the ending.
Wonderfully creepy and mysterious. I listened to most of this book hiking or driving in bright California sunshine. I still felt as though I was stumbling about on a mud flat in the dark as the unseen riptide roared close by.
You will enjoy the book if you like reading about the north of England landscapes and if you're looking for something similar to Simon Beckett or early Katy Reichs. The story is not nearly as suspensful as Beckett's, but you will find all the usual gory medical details, and a bit of campus romantic thrown in. All in all a decent read, although I wouldn't list it as a 'best of' anything.
"enjoyable crime hokum."
I personally enjoy history/religious/pagan based books I am a great fan of Phil Rickman's Merrily books. Being a science teacher I enjoyed the forensic bits. The forensic archeologist Ruth is a well rounded character who you quickly get to like. The story moves quickly along and although you guess whodonit about half way along it is enjoyable to see how it pans out and who becomes a suspect and the various twists and turns.
"Crime and archaeology - what's not to like?!"
This is the first of Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway novels I've read, and I'm very, very impressed! As a fan of Phil Rickman, and other pagan/paranormal storytellers, I loved the unusual location of the events - which is beautifully evoked. The plot is complex, but makes sense, and Ruth is a fully rounded, 'real' character - as is DCI Nelson. Although you might guess what happened, and who did it about half way through (the sudden arrival of chapters told from a different point of view is a sort of clue!), it's well worth sticking with the journey. There are already two more Ruth books (The Janus Stone - available from Audible - and The House at Sea's End - hopefully soon available!), and I look forward to reading/listening to both of them - and the others which I'm sure will come in the future!
The reading is well done - some good use of regional accents to deliniate the characters, and perfectly paced- recommended!
"Archeological based who dun it"
I can't quite make up my mind whether I have read this book a while ago (perhaps from the library as it's certainly not on my bookshelves) - the story did just seem a tad familiar. That would certainly explain why I spotted the bad guy quite early on. Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed this listen, it was exceptionally well read and I very much liked the Nelson and Ruth characters and relationship - something just a little bit different. Indeed I would agree with other reviewers that all of the characters were sound - as an aging hippy myself (albeit not an academically knowledgeable one) Eric and the guy with the purple cape were spot on. I believe this is the first in a series and I'm just going to look for the next one.
"Couldn't stop listening"
What a great find this author has been, a totally fresh storyline
Very well written and the story unfolds and draws you in - lost most of yesterday, listening to this book, and now firmly on to the second book in the series.
Both Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson and forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway come across as being real people - almost the UK equivalent to Booth & Brennan, but without the gadgets and squints, and not wanting to spoil the storyline, an bot going to go into details.
I would have no problem recommending this to those of us who like a crime novel
"Gripped by the story"
This is the first time I have come across this author and her forensic archeologist. It was a gripping story of people and the special landscape of the salt marsh near Kings Lynn. Brilliantly read too by Jane McDowell. I shall definitely look for more stories in this series.
I found the main character very easy to identify with, and was immersed in the story right from the beginning. All the other characters were colourful and interesting as well, and the unraveling of the mystery was paced so that I didn't have a chance to get bored along the way. The skillful narration brought all the places, characters and events very vividly before my mind's eye, and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.
This is a well balanced book. Unlike the standard, hysterical central character battling relationship breakdown and drink issues which supposedly make them interesting whilst they also have to solve the case, Ruth is believable, realistic and likeable. She does still drink too much and have relationship issues but it is not overdone.
The plot and atmosphere move along nicely. If you read a lot of crime fiction you may guess the murderer which is a shame but it is still far better than the vast majority of the books available in this genre. Just the right number of characters and plot twists to make it interesting without it becoming a headache to follow. Cant stand other books where the author makes whole village potential suspects to keep you guessing, that is just lazy. So in summary - recommended.
I was gripped right from the first chapter - and this lasted till the last chapter. I stayed awake well past midnight listening because I couldn't leave it alone I've now bought the 2nd book!
"I Dig This Book"
This was a real punt: an author I had not heard of, and a review which put me off a little. It was certainly a worthwhile gamble in the end. Griffiths paints a vivid picture of the Norfolk coast and populates it with likeable andinteresting characters.
I am looking forward to the next to books, both already on my wishlist. If you like your crime thrillers with well-written and well-researched settings then give this a whirl.
"promising first in series"
The setting and the characters I liked.
I disliked the repeated references to the main character being fat, single and a cat owner. Must have been in every chapter. Why?
Yes. Reviews suggest the books get better. I like the setting and the theme so will consider them promising. I hope later novels will have less obvious outcomes.
Accents. Disliked generic northern and the Norfolk accent sounded more like generic west country.
For its potential. The plot was predictable very early.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.