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The Crossing Places [Paperback]

Elly Griffiths
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dig That! Jan. 29 2010
By Ted Feit TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This debut novel in a new series pairs an archeologist and a detective inspector on the bleak coast of North Norfolk, where life has gone on since before the Bronze and Iron Ages. Ruth Galloway lectures at a local university and is an expert on ancient bones. Chief Inspector Nelson, who is haunted by a 10-year-old case in which a young girl disappeared with no trace found, asks Ruth to look at some buried bones which have been uncovered at an old burial site. The bones turn out to be 2,000 years old, eliminating the possibility that they belonged to the more recent victim.

But that is the beginning of a beautiful friendship, as Ruth becomes more and more involved with Nelson and the investigation. Especially when another young girl is abducted. Tension increases as Ruth finds herself in dangerous positions and is threatened by the apparent murderer.

The descriptions of the coast and marshland are terrifyingly vivid, especially during storms. Ruth is made exceedingly human as she contemplates her obesity and lack of a love life. Both her life and the environment are bleak, but hardly without hope. The seeds of future installments are laid in this book, and leave us with something to look forward to. Recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Riviting Read March 2 2014
By Heather Pearson TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
The murder of a child, whether it happened yesterday, or two thousand years ago, makes for riveting reading. In this case, Forensic archeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway is called in by the police to investigate a set of children's bones that has been found near the coast. This draws her into a case that DCI Harry Nelson has been pursuing for the past ten years.

Given her connection to the area, it is not surprising that Ruth can't stop wondering and then searching for the truth. She's not a perfect woman, she's made mistakes, is admittedly a bit over weight and fears becoming one of those lonely women who collect a houseful of cats. For me, it makes her a compelling character who I want to know more about. I could hardly put this book down. I felt comfortable with Ruth and her life. I could easily sit down and have tea with her, and then a glass of wine later in the day. Likewise, Harry Nelson is an easy to like character. He knows his limitations and is willing to call in a specialist when needed and then readily accepts her expertise.

The coastal setting of the story is very foreign to me as I live more than a thousand miles inland, but author Elly Griffiths made it come alive. I could imagine the fogs and the heavy mist, and practically smell the salt in the air. She created two very realistic characters in Ruth and Harry that I want to learn more about. Fortunately, their stories continue in the series, and book six, The Outcast Dead is due out March 11, 2014.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I hope this turns into a series.... May 12 2009
By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
The Crossing Places is set on the Norfolk Coast in England, near a salt marsh - a marshy area between solid land and the ocean. This particular salt marsh has many secrets.

Forensic Archaeology Professor Ruth Galloway loves the marsh and it's isolation. She participated in a dig on the marsh ten years ago that uncovered an ancient henge. She has chosen to make her home on the lonesome wetland.

When DCI Harry Nelson is called in to investigate what looks to be child's bones discovered in the marsh, he asks Ruth for help, given her expertise. When the bones are proven to be over 200o years old, Harry is disappointed. He was hoping they were the remains of a child named Lucy, who disappeared over ten years ago. No trace of her was ever found and the case has haunted Harry ever since. But when another child is taken, it seem the marsh may hold even more secrets.

Griffith's language and descriptions capture perfectly the barren beauty of the marsh. (It made me want to visit this area) Ruth herself is an wonderful character. She isn't a cookie cutter mystery heroine. She is highly intelligent, but unsure of herself in social situations. She worries about her weight, but at the same time doesn't give a damn. She lives by herself with her cats. Ruth interests Harry -

"Like all forceful people (he calls it forceful rather than bullying), he prefers people who stand up to him, but in his job that doesn't happen ofter. People either despise him or kowtow to him. Ruth had done neither. She had looked him in the face, coolly, as an equal. He thinks he's never met anyone, any woman quite as sure of themselves as Ruth Galloway. "

The interpersonal relationship between Ruth and Harry provides an intriguing subplot.
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