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The Crossing Places (Ruth Galloway…

The Crossing Places (Ruth Galloway Mysteries) (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Elly Griffiths (Author)

Series: Ruth Galloway (1)

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1,8151517,307 (3.73)407
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.
Title:The Crossing Places (Ruth Galloway Mysteries)
Authors:Elly Griffiths (Author)
Info:Mariner Books (2010), Edition: First, 303 pages
Collections:Your library

Work Information

The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths (2009)

  1. 00
    Written in Bone: Hidden Stories in What We Leave Behind by Sue Black (sharolinarose)
    sharolinarose: The main character of this very enjoyable series is a forensic anthropologist.
  2. 00
    The Wine of Angels by Phil Rickman (ehines)

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» See also 407 mentions

English (144)  Swedish (3)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (151)
Showing 1-5 of 144 (next | show all)
this really picked up as it went along. i wasn't sure how i felt about it for the first third or so; her fat phobic comments made me uncomfortable, but also didn't feel too out of place in the character's head. i guess i just wasn't sure if it was the character saying those things or the author, and so i wasn't completely comfortable with it. as this went on, though, the pace increased and the writing seemed to get tighter and it all came together really nicely. i didn't even really mind that ruth and nelson slept together, because i think the trauma of finding a child's body really could lead to finding comfort with each other. and they handled it like a one-night stand after, not like it was a declaration or the start of a relationship. i am not excited, though, that she's pregnant. i also couldn't believe that she let her cat flint out ever again after her other cat was brutally murdered. no way would that cat door have not been locked up tight. still, this was a pretty good read and i found myself very into it by the end. the setting was spectacularly drawn and was a character in and of itself. i really enjoyed the archaeology bits and thought that and the mythology and history were all weaved in nicely. ( )
1 vote overlycriticalelisa | Nov 15, 2021 |
The "detective with a sidekick" trope had been with us since the beginning of the genre - just think of Sherlock Holmes. The role of the sidekick had changed through the years with some authors getting almost partnership level of relationship into their characters. In the last years, this had evolved into "policeman and an expert become partners" - usually the expert works in one of the forensic specialties (Iris Johansen's Eve Duncan is a forensic sculptor, Kathy Reichs's Temperance Brennan is a forensic anthropologist) or something adjacent to them (Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware is a psychologist) (to name a few) and are called for their specific expertise initially (and then again in subsequent novels).

This series follows that pattern almost exactly - when the police find some bones in the saltmarshes of Norfolk, they ask the forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway to assist with their dating. She is happy to assist even if they are not the bones the police hoped to have found. The fact that she reads the latest Rebus novel while dealing with a real life possible murder made me smile.

10 years earlier, a young girl disappeared. Lucy was never heard of since then and Harry Nelson, the DCI who investigated her disappearance had hoped that the bones will solve this mystery and provide closure for the poor girl parents. It was not to be - the bones ended up being tied to an archeological dig in the same vicinity but it introduced him to Ruth. So when another girl go missing, Nelson decides to use her knowledge - he had been getting some weird letters, seemingly connected to the missing girls, full of terms which fall into Ruth's domain.

A body and a dead cat later, it seems like the improvised partnership is working and Ruth's insight are useful. And the chase is on. Add some love and sex, a few additional archeologists, a somewhat weird local man who thinks he is a magician (or something), a bird watcher and the marshes themselves and the story starts taking shape. Setting the bulk of it in the early days of the year was probably intentional - the marshes and the rain become characters in the novel as much as the human (and feline) ones do.

Neither the final resolution, nor the killer came as much of a surprise. Griffiths does a marvelous job of throwing red herrings all over the place and making you wonder "what if" but if you had read enough books in the genre, you will probably figure out who the killer is as soon as he is introduced. Which does not make the book a bad one - it is just one of those cases where originality in who is to blame is hard to achieve and where anything else would simply not work at all. As for the final resolution - we start getting clues about it early on and it falls almost logically there - other options may have worked but that ending ties Nelson and Ruth in a way that allows for future installments easily (while keeping the book a standalone if needed).

It is a good start of a series - both the location and the main characters are interesting enough to make me want to read more and the premise of the partnership is different enough to allow for some exploration. I am not that enamored with the end of the personal story in this novel but we will see where that goes. ( )
1 vote AnnieMod | Aug 17, 2021 |
Really enjoyed this and the two protagonists. The true site with the inverted buried tree at Seahenge is creepy and so wonderful. ( )
  Je9 | Aug 10, 2021 |
Very well written and engaging with a bit of a heart stopping finale. ( )
  Stephen.Lawton | Aug 7, 2021 |
Why this series of books? Mae posted some snippets on her blog and I really like the characters and the descriptive writing style. https://maefood.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-janus-stone-by-elly-griffiths.html
  Jinjer | Jul 19, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 144 (next | show all)
A highly atmospheric mystery set in the desolate salt marshes of England’s Norfolk coast.

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elly Griffithsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Andersen, Kathrine HøjNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clark, JoeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Colombeau, HélèneTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dağ, ÖzlemTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Franci-Ekeler, ElsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardella, MassimoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Godenius, AnnaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Handels, TanjaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Homedes Beutnagel, JofreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kennedy, MarthaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klevisová, MichaelaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klinge, BenteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kovács, AngelaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuc, AgnieszkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lönnroth, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McDowell, JaneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moisan, ChristopherCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pade, LærkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Putkonen-Örn, KristaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Turvey, RaymondMapssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiberg, CarlaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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What the sand gets, the sand keeps forever.

Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
For Marge
First words
They wait for the tide and set out at first light.
Information from the Swedish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Ruth Galloway: Frågorna är viktigare än svaren
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

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bodies in salt marsh
religious sign posts
peat versus repeats

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