A team of archaeologists, investigating coastal erosion on the north Norfolk coast, unearth six bodies buried at the foot of a cliff. How long have they been there? What could have happened to them? Forensics expert Ruth Galloway and DCI Nelson are drawn together again to unravel the past. Tests reveal that the bodies have lain, preserved in the sand, for sixty years. The mystery of their deaths stretches back to the Second World War, a time when Great Britain was threatened by invasion. But someone wants the truth of the past to stay buried, and will go to any lengths to keep it that way... even murder.
©2011 Elly Griffiths (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
A day without listening is a day with wasted time
Not sure what to think about this third book in Elly Griffiths' spooky mystery series set in wild coastal Norfolk. I loved the first two books and I save these titles in my library as treats to be enjoyed and looked forward to. I should have known something was up when several other reviewers queried--and I quote here--if Griffiths wasn't going barmy? I confess I had to look up the exact meaning of the term barmy. It may be apt.
The book was convoluted and rambling and at times beyond comprehension as it was so outside of what I would consider normal personal and even police behavior. In a way it was like listening to a family member--still half asleep retelling a long mixed up dream they had just had and wanted you to sort out for them. Some things just don't make any sense.
In addition, there are four or maybe even five major errors in the storyline. I can't elaborate here as I hate plot spoilers--but someone--author or an editor should have picked up these problems. I have read other reviews that found errors that I missed and I am not counting those in my list. This gives me further pause.
In the end the story works itself to a neat close but these characters are becoming not just flawed but frankly unlikable. On the whole the book was just too sloppy and careless for my taste. Proceed with caution is my best advice on this one.
In the books the detectives are reviewing a list of books in chapter 16. the hounds of the Baskerville (sp) as written by " Sherlock Holmes" It was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
The story and English characters.
The dialogue and English characters. It is like listening to the radio of my youth.
Not extreme just comfortable.
I write this review to note the accuracy of that one instance and wonder if it was an author's mistake or the narrator's mistake.
I like mysteries (particularly British ones, historical fiction and nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy.
Jane McDowell who did the excellent narration of the two prior books in this series again does a great job with this third in the series. No complaints about the production.
Ruth's determination to raise her daughter without assistance from the father however is daft. Ruth discovers the problems with dealing with the practicality of child rearing as a single mother while the father clearly wishes to be involved both personally and financially with his daughter. Due to the determination that the relationship must be kept secret things get more and more confused.
Meanwhile in addition to the usual cast of characters, a friend of Ruth's from a prior stint in Bosnia shows up. A woman whose son, husband and parents were killed in the conflict there. Then there are people whose parents and grandparents were involved with WWII and a secret that it seems someone is willing to go to extremes to protect.
Ruth really doesn't have any serious problems with being a single mother as her friends rally around to provide assistance and support. Meanwhile bodies pile up but Ruth doesn't have that much detecting to do. I'm not sure where the author is going with this series, but I am not looking forward to forensic anthropology with a toddler. Unfortunately, at the end of the book I felt that things in the personal story arc were unresolved and I'm not sure I'm really interested in the resolution. Let's have some more archaeology please..
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 character development that made me want to continue the series was a real turn off in this book. I don't believe we all have to fatally flawed to be interesting. Every character doesn't have to be a caricature.
Harry and Ruth are turning into a regular little soap opera. I don't know if I'll read the last installment. Lord knows I'm not a writer so take my criticisms as what they are, an average reader with little tase for melodrama.
Griffiths flawed characters are interesting and ring true. The stories are engaging - enough mystery to satisfy - but the best part is the story of the ongoing characters.
Caroline E Langdon
I don't understand the reasoning behind the several negative reviews of this book - I'm typically swayed in my purchase choices by user reviews but having enjoyed the other installments of this series so much, decided to ignore them and go for it anyway....I'm so glad I did! I enjoyed this book just as much as the others! It's a great listen!
I would happily listen to another story by the same author.
It had enough twists and turns to keep me interested
Narrator did a good job with the array of accents and otherwise did not outshine the story - which is the point.
This was a comfort book. Nice every day tale of small British towns and the mud found underneath the surface.
I had read other novels in this series, so already had my own idea of the characters. The narrator matched well to my ideas, and I enjoyed listening to this one.
The narrator's pace is good, and I particularly liked the voices she gave to Nelson and to Ruth, the two main characters. She does accents well. Nelson's flat, Norfolk accent was consistent and interesting.
I recommend this series of books and this narrator.
This was my introduction to Ruth Galloway: I didn't realise this was the 3rd book in the series (1. Crossing Places 2. Janus Stone). However, that didn't matter because the story and characterization are complete: you don't need to have read the first two books to enjoy this one.
I liked the narrative pace, which allowed the complex psychology of the different characters time to unfold. I was also kept guessing about the identity of the murderer. I particularly liked the descriptions of the bleak Norfolk landscape.
Jane McDowell reads well, although her Norfolk accent lapses into a kind of generic Archers-countryfolk accent at times.
"Same old ......"
I was disappointed by this book, having enjoyed previous titles in this series. I just got a bit fed up hearing that Ruth Galloway was overweight, unattractive and obviously had no self esteem. It seemed unnecessary, and detracted from the story.
I was also a LITTLE startled to discover that 'The Hounds of the Baskervilles' was WRITTEN by Sherlock Holmes!!! no doubt a slip of the pen, but someone should have picked that up. . and it was mentioned more than once.
The story wasn't particularly interesting or exciting, I felt it was a bit of a waste of time.
Loved this book as it reminded me of the Norfolk coast and it seemed to have a lot of the locale where we lived in the book. Very good story and well read. I became immersed so deeply it was difficult to take breaks as I just wanted to continue on and on.
If you love a good murder mystery and are in or have lived/holidayed in Norfolk I'm sure you will love this book!
Great story and narration. Can't wait for the next one. Enjoyed all the characters and the plot lines ver much
"Good listen despite raggle taggle ending"
I am enjoying this series - not because of the plots but because of the engaging cast of characters; the relationship between Ruth and Nelson; and the wonderful saltmarsh setting.
This third book did not disappoint on any of these fronts - and the Jane McDowell narration remains very good indeed - her voices sound just as I imagine they should. Where the plots relate primarily to incidents in the past (understandably because of the archaeological slant), they do however lack any tension. It could have been different with this story, but the opportunity was missed and the ending rather fragmented. I still listened at every available opportunity and will continue with the series - but feel with strengthened and tightened storylines this series could be even better.
"A Decent Addition to the Series"
A continuing relationship with the characters developed in the earlier books.
The most interesting aspect of the book was to realise that it connected with and built on other books, stories and movies about the same events.
"disappointment in a good series"
I enjoyed Elly Griffiths' other books, the Janus Stone and the Crossing Places, but this was disappointing.
There is unnecessary repetitive background from book one used as a shortcut to establishing characters, and a crowded, poorly structured plot.
Don't start with this one, but don't miss the others either.
this was an ok read. didnt really like, or identify with the main characters, which makes a difference, i think. story concept was a good twist and turn but not a perennial favourite for me
I've listened to all this author's other stories in this series and they're a fair example of the modern crime cosy, though this one is inferior to the previous two. The male policeman plays second fiddle to the flawed but likeable female detective archaeologist. The solutions to the crimes are 'dug up' from the less distant past in this third instalment, which sees Ruth become a working mother, trying and failing to 'have it all'. Probably more directed at a female audience. Narrated beautifully. Three stars as the plot is a little far fetched and the pace could be faster.
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