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The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
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The Crossing Places (2009)

by Elly Griffiths

Other authors: Raymond Turvey

Series: Ruth Galloway (1)

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7897311,647 (3.72)192

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Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
Ruth Galloway is a forensic anthropologist, so when some bones are found on a remote beachfront she seems the logical person to call. Although the bones turn out not to be those of a 10-year old missing girl it does get Ruth involved with the case and, with Henry Nelson the detective investigating it.

The plotline itself is not the most original, but I found Ruth’s wit, and the characters in the book fun. I understand this is the first book in a series and also the first book for Ms. Griffiths. I enjoyed it enough to want to read, at least, the second … if only to find out what happens between Ruth and Henry.
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  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
I’m so glad I finally took time to read this mystery. I must have downloaded it to kindle over a year ago, thinking I’d read it on vacation, but then no vacations and I really wanted to start this series at the beginning. The author came highly recommended, and rightly so she is a skilled storyteller. Book one of the Ruth Galloway series snagged me like a bog in the salt marshes in England where it is set, and pulled me in from the first chapter.

When a body is uncovered in the salt marshes on the Henge—a sacred ritual and burial site; Detective Nelson needs a specialist in bones, and Doctor Ruth Galloway fits the bill. She is a forensic Archeologist who has studied the site years before, and she can tell him if the skeleton is ancient or if these are the remains of a young girl he has been searching for, for many years. This story will keep you guessing. More than once I thought I’d figured it out only to be taken down another murky path. The relationships between quirky, bizarre and sometimes creepy characters, in an intriguing location, round out The Crossing Places. I need to get the next book and see if it too is worthy of a 5 star rating. ( )
  PamelaBarrett | Jun 3, 2015 |
This was a real page-turner and a very gripping reading. It is set in Norfolk near King's Lynn. Two young girls went missing ten years apart. DCI Harry Nelson from the Norfolk Police is looking into these cases and got help from the archaeologist Ruth Galloway because some bones were found in the salt moor land. Ten years ealier there were some achaeological diggings due to a henge. Ruth is helping Harry to solve the puzzle. During the search both were caught up with their past and Ruth didn't know whom she could trust and who was the real evil one.

This is the first book of Ruth Galloway's series and I'll read all the others, too. ( )
  Ameise1 | May 17, 2015 |
This was an easy and fast read which I mostly enjoyed a lot. Initially the main character is a bit annoying but luckily once the plot gets going, she gets less so. Although the murderer was blatantly obvious as soon as they appeared, I enjoyed the journey of getting there. I won't seek it out but I'd pick up the sequel if I saw it. ( )
  infjsarah | May 10, 2015 |
The Crossing Places opens on an archaelogical dig where the protagonist, Dr Ruth Galloway, discovers a body – but it is an Iron Age body preserved in the peat of the saltmarsh. Not all the bodies in this book are so old.

The mixture of sand, sea, marsh, wind, lost tribes and lost voices is a compelling one. Ms Griffiths’ first book successfully combines a dry academic subject with the more painful aspects of policing to produce a crime drama swept up in the sometimes glorious, sometimes desolate skies of Norfolk. In Ruth we find a reasonable, intelligent and lonesome soul, concerned about her age, weight and purpose, meeting a policeman concerned with the ghosts of cases past and present. She becomes his expert witness – the bones expert – but they find they work well as a team, since neither can let sleeping dogs lie.

There are likable and dislikable characters, old hippies and born-again Christians. There are forlorn lovers and distraught parents. There are samples and mixtures of literature designed to lead one astray. The whole is an excellent piece of misdirection and evocative description that tends towards the gothic in its eerie delivery. When I had to put it down, I couldn’t wait to pick it up again. I’m looking forward to the next one.
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  Jemima_Pett | Nov 11, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
A highly atmospheric mystery set in the desolate salt marshes of England’s Norfolk coast.
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elly Griffithsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Turvey, Raymondsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
What the sand gets, the sand keeps forever.

Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
Dedication
For Marge
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They wait for the tide and set out at first light.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
When she's not digging up bones or other ancient objects, quirky, tart-tongued archaeologist Ruth Galloway lives happily alone with her cats in a remote area of England called the Saltmarsh, land that was sacred to its Iron Age inhabitants — not quite earth, not quite sea. When a child's bones are found on a desolate beach nearby, Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson calls Galloway for help. Nelson thinks he has found the remains of Lucy Downey, a little girl who went missing ten years ago. Since her disappearance, he has been receiving bizarre letters about her, letters with references to ritual and sacrifice, some even including quotes from the Bible and Shakespeare.

The bones turn out to be two thousand years old, but Ruth is soon drawn into the Lucy Downey case and into the mind of the letter writer, who seems to have both archaeological knowledge and eerie psychic powers. Then another child goes missing, and the hunt is on to find her. As the letter writer moves closer and the windswept Norfolk landscape exerts its power, Ruth finds herself in completely new territory — and in serious danger.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0547229895, Hardcover)

Product Description
When she's not digging up bones or other ancient objects, quirky, tart-tongued archaeologist Ruth Galloway lives happily alone in a remote area called Saltmarsh near Norfolk, land that was sacred to its Iron Age inhabitants--not quite earth, not quite sea.

When a child's bones are found on a desolate beach nearby, Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson calls Galloway for help. Nelson thinks he has found the remains of Lucy Downey, a little girl who went missing ten years ago. Since her disappearance he has been receiving bizarre letters about her, letters with references to ritual and sacrifice. The bones actually turn out to be two thousand years old, but Ruth is soon drawn into the Lucy Downey case and into the mind of the letter writer, who seems to have both archaeological knowledge and eerie psychic powers. Then another child goes missing and the hunt is on to find her. As the letter writer moves closer and the windswept Norfolk landscape exerts its power, Ruth finds herself in completely new territory--and in serious danger.

The Crossing Places marks the beginning of a captivating new crime series featuring an irresistible heroine.


Amazon Exclusive Essay: "A Bridge to the Afterlife" by Elly Griffiths, Author of The Crossing Places

The Crossing Places is set on desolate marshland in Norfolk. It is thought that prehistoric people saw marshland as sacred. Because it is neither land nor sea but a mixture of both, they saw it as a kind of bridge to the afterlife--neither land nor sea, neither life nor death. This is why they often buried treasure, or even bodies, at the edge of marshland. There have been several discoveries of so-called bog bodies, prehistoric bodies preserved in peaty marshland soil. The most famous of these is probably Tollund Man, discovered in Denmark in 1950. Tollund Man, who dates from the Iron Age, was hanged before being thrown into a peat bog. Was he a sacrifice to the gods, an offering in return for safe passage across the treacherous ground? No one really knows.

Norfolk is on the east coast of England. Less than ten thousand years ago, this land would have been part of the European landmass, now Scandinavia. It's no wonder, then, that Norse belief was strong in the area. My story is fictional but there have been many real-life archaeological discoveries on the Norfolk coast. At Holme-next-the-Sea, a wooden henge was discovered, believed to date from the Bronze Age. At the center of the henge circle was a tree, planted upside down. Was this Yggdrasil, the world tree of Norse legend? The tree on which Odin was sacrificed for the good of mankind? Again, no one knows. As Ruth, the forensic archaeologist in my book, says, "the questions are more important than the answers."

(Photo © Jerry Bauer)



(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:07 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

When a child's bones are found near an ancient henge in the wild saltmarshes of Norfolk's north coast, Ruth Galloway, a university lecturer in forensic archaeology, is asked to date them by DCI Harry Nelson who thinks they may be the bones of a child called Lucy who has been missing for ten years.… (more)

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