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The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths
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The Chalk Pit

by Elly Griffiths

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Ruth Galloway (9)

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9th in the series. Love the stories and the evolving relationships, but the resolution of the mystery is becoming more tenuous with each entry. In the Chalk Pit Ruth and DCI Nelson investigate the maze of old mining tunnels below Norwich to find a homeless woman and the reason homeless men are being murdered. ( )
  pennykaplan | Jan 9, 2019 |
Ruth Galloway is a forensic archaeologist who teaches in the University of North Norfolk, England, and occasionally assists the police with their inquiries. In "The Chalk Pit," DCI Harry Nelson, DS Judy Johnson, and DS Doug Clough investigate the killing of homeless men and the disappearance of Barbara Murray, who "sleeps rough" and is mentally ill. In addition, Ruth excavates human bones found at a construction site and sends them to be tested. Do they date back to medieval times or were they buried more recently?

This ninth book in the Ruth Galloway mystery series has its strengths and weaknesses. Ruth is an admirable, albeit flawed, character. She is dedicated scientist, kind-hearted, a devoted mother to her six-year-old daughter, Kate, and always up for a challenge. However, she is self-conscious about her appearance--she could afford to lose some weight--sensitive about her status as a single mum (she longs to be with the father of her child, although he is unavailable), and can be stubborn. The novel moves along at a brisk pace as the detectives follow various leads and track down witnesses. DCI Nelson, who may be "lacking in charm sometimes, but matchless in an emergency," clashes with his overbearing and unreasonable female boss, broods over personal matters that have no easy solution, and confers with Kate when he is in a bind.

The plot is far-fetched, and the identity of the villain does not ring true, but "The Chalk Pit" is still an entertaining and amusing diversion. We are treated to geographical tidbits about London, especially its underground caverns, and get to know a bit more about Ruth's parents and siblings. The author focuses on the harsh and dangerous existence of those who have no family, job, or fixed address; may be addicted to drugs or alcohol; and are generally shunned by society. "It's so thin, the line between respectability and chaos." For good measure, Griffiths throws in a final twist that will likely complicate Nelson's life immeasurably. Ruth is an expert at keeping a stiff upper lip. She will need all of her inner strength and resilience to face the future with equanimity. ( )
  booklover915 | Oct 9, 2018 |
This is quite superior to the previous [The Woman in Blue], nicely paced and connected just a bit more to archaeology. But Griffiths throws quite a curve at the end of the book regarding the relationships between Nelson and his wife, on the one hand, and Ruth, on the other. There's always the next book. ( )
  ffortsa | Jul 25, 2018 |
Description
When Ruth is called in to investigate a set of human remains found in an old chalk-mining tunnel, 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. As Ruth, Nelson, and the rest of their team investigate, 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.

This was a good blend of a mystery and the personal lives of the characters. The story was interesting with disappearing women, homeless men being killed, and rumors of underground societies. There were interesting interactions between the characters with some surprising things happening between them. The ending was very disappointing as it was sketchy and glossed over, leaving more questions than answers. I would still read more from this author as I did enjoy the characters and the plot. ( )
  gaylebutz | Jun 21, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Griffiths, Ellyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kennedy, MarthaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McDowell, JaneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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3.20 a.m., 3 June 2015
He shouldn't really be driving; they all know that.
"Today our acronym is COAST."
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Book description
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. Amazon
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Summoned to investigate a set of human remains discovered in one of Norwich's chalk-mining tunnels, Ruth teams up with DCI Nelson to search for a missing homeless person whose demise may be tied to Ruth's case and a string of murders.

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