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Publisher's Summary

In the ninth Ruth Galloway mystery, Ruth and Nelson investigate a string of murders and disappearances deep within the abandoned tunnels hidden far beneath the streets of Norwich.

Norwich is riddled with old chalk-mining tunnels, but no one's sure exactly how many. When Ruth is called in to investigate a set of human remains found in one of them, she notices the bones are almost translucent - a sign they were boiled soon after death. Once more she finds herself at the helm of a murder investigation.

Meanwhile, DCI Nelson is hunting for a missing homeless woman, Barbara, who he hears has gone "underground". Could she have disappeared into the labyrinth? And if so, is she connected to the body Ruth found?

As Ruth, Nelson, and the rest of their team investigate the tunnels, they hear rumors of secret societies, cannibalism, and ritual killings. When a dead body is found with a map that appears to be of The Underground, they realize their quest to find the killer has only just begun - and that there may be more bodies underfoot.

©2017 Elly Griffiths (P)2017 Quercus Editions Limited

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    187
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    96
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    35
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    10
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    2

Performance

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    80
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    16
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    3
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Story

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Soap opera, too little detection

A glut of characters all of whom seem to have high drama in their personal lives. Occasionally a missing person mystery will come up but nobody seems to be anxious to do any detection just discuss it! Tried to hold on but could not keep track of the players!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Light on detection

Any additional comments?

Increasingly this series tends to focus on rather banal family dramas among its central characters. As with the other books in the series, spending time with its characters was quite pleasant, but this storyline was particularly notable for how comparatively little detection actually went on. Mysteries were presented, but solving them seemed to be fairly haphazard, and the main protagonist had more of an accidental (and incidental) relationship to the crimes than in previous books. Sufficiently enjoyable for fans of the series, but this would not be a good one to start with for those new to it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Suspend disbelief

Not her best in my opinion. The characters seem to be rushed around with little feel for motivation, especially the murderer. Not much archeological or anthropological material.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

It just ended. And I'm in tears. The good kind.

The series stays as strong as it has been. Looking forward to the next book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Read/Performance

Loved this book on several levels- the continued character development as well as the story line. Great set up for the next Dr. Ruth Galloway novel.
Jane McDowell is the perfect narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love the Ruth Downie Series!

What made the experience of listening to The Chalk Pit the most enjoyable?

I have been following the series since the beginning and I what I have found most enjoyable is learning what is happening in the lives of the characters. Elly Griffith's has a magical way of developing her characters. I want to know what is going to happen next, and just when I think everything is going to go like I want things to go, I get another surprise. Well done EG!

What other book might you compare The Chalk Pit to and why?

I would compare this book and the others in the Ruth Galloway series to the books in the Louise Penny Inspector Gamache series. Both of these authors get their readers invested in the lives of their characters. Both authors produce amazing books that touch on historical events and both authors are quite amazing.

What about Jane McDowell’s performance did you like?

Jane McDowell really makes the story come to life. She has been the narrator from the beginning, so listening is like settling in with old friends and glimpsing the next stages of their lives.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Seriously, Michelle?

Any additional comments?

Can't wait for the next one...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Horrible!

With such a promising plot line, to so totally muck it up annoyed me greatly. There were too many indistinct people running around. I could never figure out who was whom. Was there an actual team working or a bunch of disparate characters talking, talking, talking? There was no suspense. Of course you wonder who the killer is, but that is curiosity.

I can tell by other reviewers that being familiar with the prior books apparently puts people in perspective. Coming in cold, I never warmed up to anyone, including the narrator whose reading I would describe as "droning on".

I never had a sense of what the surroundings were. I didn't care about the people. The narrator's reading was boring. Spend your money or your credit on Angela Marsons's books. You will know what character differentiation sounds like in a well-written story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • Colebrook, NH, United States
  • 05-13-18

A Good Story

Interesting unique story about the underground’s in London. The only thing is I would have liked is Clair as the reader. Also disliked the tinny sound of the phone calls. Very annoying. Haven’t heard that before.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Saul was not a Roman soldier.

Roman soldier Saul has a vision of God on the road to Damascus and changes his name to
Paul.—Saul was not a Roman soldier. Was the author thinking of Marcion?

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

More of a soap opera than a mystery. Lousy plot.

This is my first read in the Ruth Galloway series. Although this is #9, I don't think that I suffered enormously not having read the earlier books, since the author fills in the backstory in the course of the course of the telling. I understand why some readers are attracted to this series and become attached to the characters, but I don't care for romance novels at all and, in a mystery having romance, for me, the mystery comes first. It is clearly secondary here, and, in fact, the crime plays a minor role for much of this book. The villains and their motivation for a series of murders and disappearances, when finally revealed, is preposterous. The plot also involves little archaeology.

It isn't that the author is not a good writer; on the whole, her prose is good. The narrator also does a reasonable job. Nevertheless, I won't be reading any others in this series. Just not my type.