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The Crossing Places | [Elly Griffiths]

The Crossing Places

When she's not digging up bones or other ancient objects, Ruth Galloway lectures at the University of North Norfolk. She lives happily alone in a remote place called Saltmarsh overlooking the North Sea and, for company; she has her cats Flint and Sparky, and Radio 4. When a child's bones are found in the marshes near an ancient site that Ruth worked on ten years earlier, Ruth is asked to date them.
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Publisher's Summary

When she's not digging up bones or other ancient objects, Ruth Galloway lectures at the University of North Norfolk. She lives happily alone in a remote place called Saltmarsh overlooking the North Sea and, for company; she has her cats Flint and Sparky, and Radio 4. When a child's bones are found in the marshes near an ancient site that Ruth worked on ten years earlier, Ruth is asked to date them.

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (263 )
5 star
 (81)
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 (117)
3 star
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2 star
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4.0 (200 )
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Story
4.1 (205 )
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (7)
Performance
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  •  
    Sara USA 05-19-14
    Sara USA 05-19-14 Member Since 2008

    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!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    859
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    Story
    "An atmospheric creepy mystery set in Saltmarsh"

    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!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda FORT BRAGG, NC, United States 10-30-11
    Melinda FORT BRAGG, NC, United States 10-30-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Loved this 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.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Challenor Australia 01-16-13
    Diane Challenor Australia 01-16-13 Member Since 2010

    Blogger of accidental discoveries through books

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent mystery"

    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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana Denny 05-07-12
    Diana Denny 05-07-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    1
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    Story
    "Interesting Protagonist"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Crossing Places to be better than the print version?

    Yes. Narrator Jane McDowell was pitch perfect in capturing Ruth's voice.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth encino, CA, United States 05-24-12
    Elizabeth encino, CA, United States 05-24-12 Member Since 2010

    Hi, I am a voracious reader with a wide range of tastes.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "First Time and Hooked"
    What made the experience of listening to The Crossing Places the most enjoyable?

    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.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Well I did guess who the bad guy was half way through, but was kept enthralled by the plot all the same.


    Any additional comments?

    I am going to buy the second book now.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    hfrances California usa 09-06-13
    hfrances California usa 09-06-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Creepy pagan goings-on on the Norfolk mud flats"
    If you could sum up The Crossing Places in three words, what would they be?

    Creepy. Suspenseful. Atmospheric.


    What other book might you compare The Crossing Places to and why?

    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.


    Have you listened to any of Jane McDowell’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes I did - I gasped out loud at the ending.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Zion, IL, United States 06-24-13
    Amazon Customer Zion, IL, United States 06-24-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great First in a Series"

    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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Ward Tucson, AZ United States 11-29-12
    Anne Ward Tucson, AZ United States 11-29-12 Member Since 2006

    books and music

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story; flawed narration"

    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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mara West Newton, MA, United States 11-26-10
    Mara West Newton, MA, United States 11-26-10 Member Since 2005
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    "Best ever"

    This is an excellent mystery, with character, plot and atmospherics. Well worth the listening.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer East Hartford, CT, United States 09-21-12
    Amazon Customer East Hartford, CT, United States 09-21-12 Member Since 2010

    Not a writer, a writer wannabe, editor, lit maj, or pretend literary critic. Just an avid reader/listener. My ratings are opinion only.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A decent new series"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 19 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • K. Gibson
    Portsmouth, Hampshire United Kingdom
    1/13/11
    Overall
    "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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Adrian
    Silsden, United Kingdom
    6/5/11
    Overall
    "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!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • MR
    Nottingham, United Kingdom
    1/10/12
    Overall
    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Lotus
    PERTH, United Kingdom
    2/17/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Rogayah
    Reading, United Kingdom
    6/23/12
    Overall
    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Heli
    Oulu, Finland
    11/12/11
    Overall
    "Gripping"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ave
    Stockholm, Sweden
    2/13/12
    Overall
    "Seriously?"

    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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Jane
    Shetland, United Kingdom
    6/29/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Rivetting! Great story, 1st class narrator!"
    What did you like most about The Crossing Places?

    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.


    What does Jane McDowell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rik
    Saffron Walden, United Kingdom
    6/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    ""Okay""
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Simon
    Woking, United Kingdom
    5/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting story!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this to a friend, because it's a refreshing change from your standard 'detective inspector' or 'PI' angle.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Crossing Places?

    I don't do spoilers...silly question!


    What about Jane McDowell’s performance did you like?

    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!


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Actually, there were some emotional moments...but, again, no spoilers!


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 15 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

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