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)2009 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
I work to keep my reviews free of plot spoilers. I hate reviews that tell you the whole story. That said, I do love reading reviews!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
I'd never read Elly Griffiths before but I loved the characters and the story. Just when I thought I knew who it was, she fooled me.
I've since bought all of the other books in the series and now am unhappy because I have to wait for the next one!
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.
Not a writer, a writer wannabe, editor, lit maj, or pretend literary critic. Just an avid reader/listener. My ratings are opinion only.
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.
"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!
"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.
"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.
At first it looked as if this book was another 'let's give a single woman a man, because single women are unhappy and lonely', but no, it's worse! This book is 'let's give a single woman a child, because all men are cheaters'. I am offended on behalf of men who are faithful to their wives/partners/girlfriends and single women who are having fulfilled and happy lives.
Is it truly so hard to write about a heroine who is having some body issues, relationship issues, and family issues without giving her a man and/or a baby and voilà! everything is fine? Surely these issues can be worked through several books without "fixing" the heroine with a baby.
"Rivetting! Great story, 1st class narrator!"
Likeable & believable characters, fascinating plot. The perpetrator could have been any one of four, and I didn't guess which one til the end. It was full of twists and surprises, without gratuitous swearing or gore.
She was mesmerising! Her narration, along with a good plot, meant I couldn't put it down, and unlike some audiobooks, my mind did not wander onto other things.
I could easily envision this as a made-for-TV Sunday evening thriller that everybody would sleep through. A bit by-the-numbers in plot and writing.
I would recommend this to a friend, because it's a refreshing change from your standard 'detective inspector' or 'PI' angle.
I don't do spoilers...silly question!
She's not top league, but is a good steady female reader, without any annoying flaws or impediments. She's even a dab hand at dry wit!
Actually, there were some emotional moments...but, again, no spoilers!
I wish Audible would dispense with this silly question and answers process for writing reviews. Make it an option, so that if we want to write freely, we can.
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