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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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929919,394 (3.74)207

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English (86)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  All languages (91)
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
A mystery and a thriller. The east coast of England in a small college town becomes the host to abduction and murder. Dr Ruth Galloway forensic archeologist is the expert that the police come to for identifying the bones discovered in the marsh. Before the book is finished there will be a variety of twists and turns that will keep you turning the pages. ( )
  Bettesbooks | Jun 6, 2016 |
I enjoyed Elly Griffiths', The Crossing Places, first of a series featuring forensic archeologist, Dr. Ruth Galloway. I'd say the novel was more than a cozy mystery, but not intolerably graphic. It's easy to read and I went full steam ahead. I felt the pacing was just right for me

There's some very descriptive writing regarding the landscape of the Saltmarsh setting and its isolation.

The author writes in the present tense which was initially jarring but I got used to it.

There is good information on the Bronze and Iron Age, Norse mythology and archeology, which I enjoyed learning about.

There is reasonably good character development for a first book of a series. I felt our protagonist, Ruth, was quite realistically written and forgave her few uncharacteristic actions and behaviours.

The plot was slightly predictable and I did pick out the killer before the actual reveal.

The Crossing Places shows a lot of promise and I will be searching out the next book in the series. ( )
  Zumbanista | Jun 6, 2016 |
Book Description Forensic archeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway is in her late thirties. She lives happily alone with her two cats in a bleak, remote area near Norfolk, land that was sacred to its Iron Age inhabitants—not quite earth, not quite sea. But her routine days of digging up bones and other ancient objects are harshly upended when a child’s bones are found on a desolate beach. Detective Chief Inspector Nelson calls Galloway for help, believing they are the remains of Lucy Downey, a little girl who went missing a decade ago and whose abductor continues to taunt him with bizarre letters containing references to ritual sacrifice, Shakespeare, and the Bible. Then a second girl goes missing and Nelson receives a new letter—exactly like the ones about Lucy. Is it the same killer? Or a copycat murderer, linked in some way to the site near Ruth’s remote home?

My Review This was a re-read which I hardly ever do. But the 2nd time around was as good as the first. In fact, I look forward to re-reading the series again. All the characters are well-developed and interesting plots throughout the whole series. Highly recommend reading the series in order as the books build one upon the other. ( )
  EadieB | Jun 1, 2016 |
From Amazon:

Forensic archaeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway is in her late thirties. She lives happily alone with her two cats in a bleak, remote area near Norfolk, land that was sacred to its Iron Age inhabitants—not quite earth, not quite sea. But her routine days of digging up bones and other ancient objects are harshly upended when a child’s bones are found on a desolate beach. Detective Chief Inspector Nelson calls Galloway for help, believing they are the remains of Lucy Downey, a little girl who went missing a decade ago and whose abductor continues to taunt him with bizarre letters containing references to ritual sacrifice, Shakespeare, and the Bible. Then a second girl goes missing and Nelson receives a new letter—exactly like the ones about Lucy. Is it the same killer? Or a copycat murderer, linked in some way to the site near Ruth’s remote home?

My Thoughts:

The Crossing Places is steeped in history, myth, and even a bit of madness... all pulled firmly into a modern setting. Ruth Galloway is an abrasive, outspoken loner, who meets her match in DCI Harry Nelson. This unexpected involvement in the forensic aspect of the case could put her life in danger. Those she thought she knew are not what or who they seem to be. The main character, Ruth, was a pleasant break from the usual self confident professional woman portrayed by most of the books of this genre. Our heroine is a competent academic who is more comfortable with cats than police inspectors and who, every morning must deal with her own self image before she can face the challenges of the day. There are some nice twists here, and I admit I was hooked almost from the beginning. 4.5 stars for a stellar first novel. ( )
1 vote Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
The Crossing Places - Griffiths
audio performance by Jane McDowell
3 stars

Ruth Galloway is a senior lecturer in archeology at the University of North Norfolk. She lives in a remote cottage overlooking the salt marshes and the North Sea. Naturally, when the local police uncover what may be ancient bones, she is called in as a consultant. This was a decent mystery with a fair amount of suspense. The setting was wonderful and I enjoyed the archeological background. I had no trouble guessing the identity of the evil doers, but there was still a certain amount of suspense involved in the final reveal.

In addition to the usual need to suspend disbelief in the amount of involvement the ‘amatuer’ detective is allowed, there were several other things that annoyed me. Ruth Galloway is a successful, single, professional woman. Why is it also necessary to depict her as neurotic and insecure in her personal life? And there were also the disparaging remarks and depictions of ‘twitchers’. Seriously, there is nothing mentally unbalanced about an interest in bird watching.

Overall, this was not a bad beginning for a mystery series. It wasn’t anything exceptional, but I might listen to the next one just to see what happens to the characters.

( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 86 (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
First words
They wait for the tide and set out at first light.
Quotations
Information from the Swedish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Ruth Galloway: Frågorna är viktigare än svaren
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the Swedish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

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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.
Haiku summary
bodies in salt marsh
religious sign posts
peat versus repeats
(hardboiled)

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 6 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)

» see all 3 descriptions

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