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The Crossing Places: A Ruth Galloway Mystery Hardcover – Apr 28 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart (April 28 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771035861
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771035869
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 2.5 x 22 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #168,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"[Ruth Galloway] is solitary and plump and smart and self-assured, and very, very likeable."
— Margaret Cannon, Globe and Mail

"Griffiths has wrought something of a miracle."
The Times (London)

"An effective and compelling archeological mystery in a unique setting, with engaging and unusual leads, and plenty of surprises"
— BookLoons

"I can't wait for the next in the Ruth Galloway series."
— Amy Myers, author of the Auguste Didier mysteries

"The Crossing Places is tense and fast-moving, with a well-drawn protagonist who looks good for a series."
London Free Press

About the Author

ELLY GRIFFITHS's Ruth Galloway novels are inspired by the work of her husband, who gave up a job in finance to train as an archaeologist, and by her aunt, who lives on the Norfolk coast and who filled her niece's head with the myths and legends of that area. She and her husband have two children and live near Brighton.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ted Feit TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 29 2010
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on May 12 2009
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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Format: Hardcover
Elly Griffith's stages her exhilarating first novel on the windswept Norfolk salt marches, a low sweeping bank of sand, gravel, mud and dunes and mudflats with a lonely, unrelenting view. It is here that forensic archaeologist and forensic expert Ruth Galloway lives and where she works to solve the mysterious disappearance of two young girls. Ruth is surprised to be bought into the investigation by Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson. At first brusque and unfriendly, Nelson informs Ruth that his team has found some bones near the bird sanctuary. They seem to be a child's they seem to be but they look old. Found near the bird sanctuary, the bones are brown and discolored but they look in good condition. When Ruth examines the site more closely, she finds a torque and Iron age necklace. Certainly the body is that of a young girl, between six and ten, pre-pubescent and perhaps part of a ritual killing.

Nelson is positive that the discovery is somehow linked to the disappearance of Lucy Downey, a girl who vanished ten years ago. Nelson had always been sure that Lucy was buried somewhere near the Saltmarsh, but now Ruth is convinced the bones are from some stone-age body. If she can prove a link between the body and the Henge then the whole area becomes significant. When Ruth is informed by Nelson that another child has gone, a girl by the name of Scarlett Henderson, a series of letters sent during the Lucy Downey case become critical. Soon there are more letters surfacing and looking to be from the same person who could quite possibly the murderer.
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By L. J. Roberts TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 4 2010
Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: They wait for the tide and set out at first light.

Archaeologist Ruth Galloway is a single, overweight woman who lives with her two cats on the edge of the Saltmarsh. DCI Harry Nelson asks for her help when human bones are found on a nearby beach. Nelson is haunted by the case of Lucy Downey, a young girl who disappeared ten years ago. A second child now disappears. Nelson believes the two cases are linked.

It is always a treat to start a book by an author I'd not previously read and discover it is a very enjoyable book.

The opening is particularly effective and creates a strong sense of place. In fact, it is the evocative quality of Ms. Griffiths' descriptions that entranced me and held me fast into the story. Add to that fascinating historical, geological, archeological and forensic information that enhances the story, but never overwhelms or slows it down.

The characters are only slightly less effective. I loved Ruth. She is definitely a character with whom I can identify. It is so refreshing not to have a young, slim, gorgeous protagonist. She is smart, strong and independent. A slight criticism would be that the author focused more than needed on Ruth's weight and being single. There's a point where you say, 'Okay, I've got it.'

Detective Nelson, on the other hand, seemed rather anachronistic in his view toward women and I was rather amazed at some of the things he didn't know, particularly with a British education. The other characters felt contrived.

I did guess the villain fairly early on, but there were enough twists and red herrings that I wasn't completely certain. There is an incident with one of Ruth's cats I felt was predictable and not really necessary to the plot.
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