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.
First in a series of books featuring Ruth Galloway, a feisty forensic archeologist/teacher who lives on the edge of the marshlands near Norfolk, England. In ancient mythology, this marshland was sacred because it was a mixture of land and sea. At one time, it was a land mass connecting present day England and Scandinavia. Ancient people's considered it to be sacred, a connection between earth and the afterlife.
The book begins when a young child goes missing and DCI Harry Nelson fears a connection to a similar missing child from ten years ago. Then the police find child's bones in the marshlands and Nelson calls on Galloway to determine the age of these bones. Though these turn out to be ancient bones, Nelson and Galloway pair up to try and fine the two present day children because of letters Nelson has been receiving referring to ancient legends and tantalizing references to the first lost child.
Ancient mythology and present day terrors form an intriguing mystery that drives these two characters further and further into dangerous situations. A deft combination of forensic archeology and present day murder mystery makes this a most compelling read for historical and mystery fans alike.
I write romantic suspense with a little southern grit. I love romance & adventure w/a little mystery & suspense. I believe in happy endings.
The Crossing Places is full of twists and turns. The combination of archeology, mythology and detective work unwind this suspense and intertwine friends and foes until the truth is revealed!
I will definitely read more by Elly Griffiths! I recommend this book to anyone who loves a modern British mystery with a little history, mythology and maybe even a touch of magic.
Archaeology and crime detection, this book tries to comnine the best of both and does the job well enough to please this reader. The main characters are fun, I would have liked to have more archaeology spelled but obe can't have everything.
Archeology, excitement, mud
If you choose to read with an accent, you must master that accent! The Norwegians sounded like a mix between Russians and Indians. That ruined it quite a bit for me.
There is much emphasis on the main charachter's weight. It is stated that she is fat, has problems moving about and can't find ordinary clothes. But she's not even 80 kiloes. That's a bit hysterical, isn't it?
Maybe. I had high expectations for this story but the beginning put me off the main character until about halfway through the book. I am repulsed when a character starts out by whining and feeling self-pity before I've had a chance to decide whether I even care enough about this fictional person to keep reading or listening.However, I think Elly Griffiths did a good job of putting the mystery together and it wasn't obvious who the murderer was until very near the end, although he was one person I had suspected. (Makes you feel good when you guess right, doesn't it?)
The book opened with what I'd call an info dump as Ruth was feeling sorry for herself. I don't like whining; it might have been more acceptable if I'd met Ruth and knew a bit more about her before the info dump hit. As it was I just wanted to scream at my speaker, "Stop whining!"As for Harry Nelson, his character began as a trope -- the dumb cop. I actually felt more sympathy for this character because he was being stereotyped by the main character and the other characters in the book.
I though Jane McDowell did a good job of handling all the characters, even the men. It's difficult for men to speak women's roles and women to speak men's roles without sounding slightly ridiculous, but I think she did very well and managed to convey different voices without overacting. She was also consistent with delivery of the different character's voices.My only complaint is that in some places the volume changed dramatically -- one scene were Nelson shouts jarred so much I had to quickly turn down the volume on my speaker. That is something that should have been smoothed out by the sound engineer, but otherwise the sound was good.
This could possibly be a movie, as it has all the ingredients for a good TV mystery. There are a lot of things in the book that would make wonderful visuals, such as the Druid and the henge and the saltmarsh landscape. I don't know who I'd suggest for the roles.
My pet peeve was that I felt the author was speaking down to the reader too much by overexplaining basic archaeological terms such as Iron Age. Nelson the cop is used as the dummy so Ruth can explain all about the archaeology, thus setting the stage for another info dump. Now, I wouldn't necessarily expect Nelson to know about some of the finer burial practices of Iron Age peoples, which is after all Ruth's purview, but I expect most readers will have heard about the Iron Age and Stone Age and have an idea of which came first. Nelson, sadly, didn't have a clue. It's not that these things shouldn't have been explained for readers who aren't into archaeology, but I think it could have been handled a little better without making the other characters into dummies. Another peeve: Late in the book Ruth in in a spot to wonder if water conducts electricity. For me this takes away from her scientific background and makes me wonder about the holes in her education. Now if she had wondered whether salt water was a better conductor than fresh water, I think that would have showed both her worry and her scientific thinking at work.Spoiler Alert: the ending wasn't exactly predictable, but it was somewhat maudlin. I am a woman, yes, but I don't connect with stories that just want me to know how wonderful motherhood is and paint childless women as weirdos until they discover the "religion" of mommyhood. This will probably keep me from buying the next book unless someone convinces me that the characters grow in complexity in the next volume. I want to see Ruth solve another mystery, not just hear about her female issues.
Old Broad with Keyboard
A spooky adventure.
The moment that Ruth realized WHO the real bad guy was. The ending was a bit of a surprise too.
Yes. In fact, I almost did but had to finally give it up & go to bed at 4 in the morning!!!
I liked it. I liked it so much I bookmarked the entire series. It was surprisingly good. Lots of action. Lots of suspense. Nothing unrealistic & everything was quite shockingly believable.
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!
I enjoyed the characters, the story was interesting, it was well written and I'd love to see about 20 more in the series!
Absolutely nothing here to keep you from falling asleep! This was one of the most boring books I've listened to.... kept hoping SOMETHING would happen and it just never did. By about half way through, I could care less who did it and who did what to who. Without giving away too much of the 'story line' (if you even want to call it that), it seemed the author couldn't quite decide who to make the bad-guy..... so she spread it all around. Unlikable characters certainly didn't help things. To top it off, the narrator was awful - if she wants to give characters accents, she really needs to work on her abilities. I feel that I totally wasted a credit on this one.
"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