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.
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.
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.
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 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.
"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!
"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
"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.
"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.
"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.
"The crossing places"
Thoroughly enjoyed this book, so much so I have now read all the books about Ruth galloway.
Surprisingly yes-I say surprisingly as there were parts of this book that were frustratingly slow-and dare I say boring.This was already my second listen,I had listened on my other account which I share with my son.
Jane McDowell is very quiet and easy to listen to,sometimes too quiet on new Kindle Fire though as the speakers on this device are rubbish.
At the end when the girl was found,it was a bit emotional-but do not want to give it away...spoilers and that!
The story is about a girl who has been missing for 10 years and the persistent detective who will not give up,when bones are found on the marsh a forensic archeologist is called in,who identifies the bones as being stone age,not those of the missing girl-then another girl goes missing......the whole book was pretty predictable,you could tell easily what was going to happen next and who did what,which took away the mystery but did not spoil the listening experience-I just put it down to an easy book in between longer ones with more oomph.
When I started this book I was first pleasantly surprised by Jane McDowell's pleasant narration-especially as I had chosen to listen at bedtime.Then I was pleased at the story grabbing my attention and settled down for a good listen....but unfortunately,the story had a few let downs that left me telling the "book" to "get on with it"...mainly due to the main character being somewhat over obsessed with her weight,being nearly 40 and still unmarried and childless.
This carried on frequently throughout the book and very quickly became annoying,I found myself rolling my eyes and wandering from the story-pretty sure I missed a few bits because of this.
A lot of this book is more about the lives of the main characters and their moods-the detective is a moody northerner....very well portrayed,(I lived in the north for a long time,so can vouch for this personally.However despite its downfalls and annoying traits,
I did enjoy this book-which mixes archeology and crime quite well and will no doubt listen again at a later date.
I have downloaded and started the second book in the series already...I would recommend it-but do not expect a rip roaring thriller to leave you breathless-it is more a gentle train ride to a local murder mystery night.
Learnt a lot from this book and the story line kept me enthralled. Liked the narrator.
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