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The House at Sea's End: ' [ THE HOUSE AT SEA'S END: ' ] By Griffiths, Elly ( Author )Nov-20-2012 Paperback [Paperback]

Elly Griffiths
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Third Novel in Ruth Galloway Series May 8 2014
By Alison S. Coad TOP 50 REVIEWER
Six skeletons are discovered buried on a remote beach at the beginning of <b><u><i>The House at Sea's End</i></u></b>, the third novel in Elly Griffiths' series about forensic archeologist Ruth Galloway and Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson. The skeletons seem to be about 70 years old, suggesting that they might have been buried during World War II, at a site where during that conflict there were constant rumours about a pending German invasion. Could the bodies be connected to the war? And if so, who might be still alive to explain them? As several elderly men who might have the answers die, ostensibly of old age, it is up to Ruth and Nelson to ferret out the truth before it is buried forever.... I'm not particularly fond of stories related to the Second World War - war-time tales just don't interest me - but the historical context for this story is important, and Griffiths handles the material well. More time is spent on the relationships of the principal characters, and we get a fuller understanding of one of Ruth's earlier jobs which had been hinted at in the previous books: her work as an archeologist in Bosnia after the civil war in the 1990s, uncovering mass graves along with an international team. I found myself more interested in that story than in the mystery of the skeletons, but overall I enjoyed both. Not quite as much fun as the previous novel in the series, but still well worth reading; recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Too good! July 17 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Smart characters in tough situations, lovely writing, great story. Elly Griffiths is superb. Her books are set in a part of England that isn't covered a lot in other detective stories. Her main character is now grappling with motherhood and the treatment is great - it's not all rainbows and delight, but the fierce love and protectiveness surprise our otherwise rational/intellectual heroine. There's a good balance between the characters' personal lives as they develop over the course of the books (try to read them in order), and the specific mystery story at the heart of each book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not as Good as The First Two Aug. 4 2012
By Nicola Mansfield HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

I enjoy this series but have to say this third book was not up to par with the first two books. The book's focus was on a case from the past which wasn't entirely all that exciting. The police investigation leads to witnesses and people involved turning up dead and the police believe they have a killer on their hands who doesn't want the truth of the past to become known. This case is a little more interesting but the two are inseparably intertwined.

While the murder investigations are going on "Sea's End" mainly seems to concern itself with the private lives of the two main characters Ruth and Harry, plus those of some minor characters within the police department as well. I enjoy mystery series that contain a continuous story throughout with the main characters but this time the personal relationships overshadowed the mystery theme and I didn't really come upon any surprise twists. One thing I did appreciate was the further development of Cathbad's character who has been proven to much more human in this entry, rather than the eccentric buffoon he's been up to this point.

Another point I was puzzled with was the over emphasis on Catholicism. Almost every character either was or had something to say about being a lapsed Catholic, anti-Catholic, or just shamed of their Catholicism. Of course, Harry's struggle with his Catholic upbringing and faith has been discussed in the series before. But this was so prevalent, with so many characters, I actually thought it was going to be a plot point in the solution of the case, but ended up realizing it was just the author's personal bias showing through. A decent enough mystery, it held my attention and I read it quickly but not as good as the first two Galloway mysteries. Hopefully the latest one gets back on track.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great character driven series Jan. 13 2012
By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
I was captured by Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway series from the first book, The Crossing Places and the second - The Janus Stone.

So I settled in to read the third - The House at Sea's End - knowing before turning a page that I would enjoy it.

Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway is ready to return to work from maternity leave. When a local research team discovers a skeleton during an erosion study in Norfolk, Ruth is called in. When they delve further into the little cave where the body seems to have been hidden, five more skeletons are discovered - all with their hands tied behind their backs. Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson is then called in. Further investigation reveals a wartime link that someone doesn't want uncovered.

I have so enjoyed the character of Ruth. I think it's because she isn't a 'cookie-cutter' protagonist. She is a new, single mother at forty, she is overweight, messy, and doesn't overly worry about what people think. But she is highly intelligent, empathetic and tolerant. Griffiths has not endowed her with super sleuth abilities, rather she comes off as an actual person - unabashedly and happily herself. Her only worry is if she'll be a good mom.

Griffiths' plots are also very intelligent. I was able to solve the clues leading to one piece of the puzzle ahead of the characters, but it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book at all. I always enjoy the setting in the books - the Norfolk area, while seemingly bleak is beautiful in Ruth's eyes. I used the map in the frontispiece to place where the action was happening. While I enjoy the mystery in Griffiths' books, it is the characters I come back for.

The father of Ruth's baby is DCI Harry Nelson, married father of two.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  201 reviews
61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great mystery novel by Elly Griffiths Feb. 4 2011
By William D. Curnutt - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have been very pleased with Elly Griffiths series regarding Archeologist Ruth Galloway. I so enjoyed the first two books that I pre-ordered this third book. I was not disappointed.

Griffiths has a wonderful way of developing her characters, holding their character traits through each book and actually building on each trait to make the characters even more inviting and personable as the series moves on.

The mystery itself this time is the find of six skeletal remains along a cliff side at Broughton. These six bodies are discovered by a team that is mapping the coastland and mapping the erosion that is happening. While they are working they find the six bodies which have been exposed because of the failure of part of the cliff and the erosion of the salt water waves against the cliffs.

It is obvious that the six bodies were meant to never be found, but that hasn't happened. Ruth Galloway and Chief Inspector Nelson will team up again to try and solve this mystery.

It is soon realized that the murders are fairly recent since all deaths happened as result of gun shot wounds and five of them appear to be execution style. Who are these murdered men? Who killed them? And why did they kill them?

Ruth is able to determine through carbon tests that the bodies are approximately 50 to 70 years old and that each man has German roots, to the same region in Germany.

As the story unfolds this was a small platoon of German soldiers who were trying to infiltrate England but were discovered by the Home Guard of Broughton Sea. But why were the men executed? That is still the pressing story.

As Galloway and Nelson dig into the story they discover two of the men of the Home Guard are still alive, but not for long. Each of the men dies within the same week. When Nelson has one body exhumed and autopsied it is determined the man was murdered.

Further a German Historian shows up and says he knows who the six men were and why they were there. But, he also is murdered. So, who is now murdering people and trying to keep this story a secret? What are they trying to hide? Or who are they trying to protect?

All the while we are also dealing with Ruth's new life with a young baby, Kate. How will she work and yet raise a child as a single parent.

All of these things plus more are woven together in a story that will keep your attention. I love the way that Elly Griffiths pulls things together. Ties in history as well as archeology and police work. She does a wonderful amount of research and it shows in the depth and realism of her stories. There is also enough tension to keep you on your toes and frankly, you will never guess who the murderer is until the end of the book.

It's fantastic. Enjoy!
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome new book from Elly Griffiths March 4 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I can't say much more about the book that the 3 previous reviewers wrote

The book keeps your attention from the first to last page. I read it in one night, couldn't put
it down.

As far as I know this is still only avail in UK, that's where I ordered from and had my book in 2 weeks, was surprised
how fast it got to the states!

If you have not read any of Elly's books, start with the first one, The Crossing Places as this is a series and books are a continuation.

Elly is a great writer. These are not a traditional cozy but are not thrillers either. I'd call them a modern mystery with some suspense in parts of book - just enough to where you don't want to set the book down for 5 minutes.

Looking forward to the next one - I hope there will be many more to come in this series

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much of a good thing Jan. 25 2012
By KnC Books - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
In the third book of her "Ruth Galloway" mystery series, "The House at Sea's End", author Elly Griffith presents us with a complex set of characters: half a dozen buried corpses, three new murder victims, and a host of potential suspects -- all being trailed by a team of law enforcers assisted by a score of secondary characters. It's enough to make your head spin:

"Nelson gets Judy to fax through the list of titles (Ruth is almost the last person in the world still to have a fax machine). Ruth reads through the names while Nelson plays peek-a-boo with Kate. Ruth wishes Clough could see him."

... three sentences reference five characters, two of whom aren't even in the room.

I enjoy character-driven fiction, and I appreciate that even fictional characters have friends, but sometimes less is more. As DCI Harry Nelson says, "Don't make things too complicated." I realize that I read an ARC (prone to typos), but at least one minor character changes names in the story, and it wasn't a plot device. Too many details can play heck with continuity. Locations and timelines in many cases were confusing or even contradictory.

I am a fan of the classic English mystery; Griffith has the setting, the characters, and the crime down pat, there is just too much and the story's readability suffers. "The House at Sea's End" sets the stage, but gets lost in the scenery changes.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Strength To Strength Feb. 8 2011
By annie - Published on
I'm hooked on this series. I dislike reviews that outline the plot so completely that reading the book becomes superfluous so, suffices to say: The plot is interesting and believable, the setting is atmospheric and finely honed, and the characters are "flesh and blood" rather than cookie-cutter people. Ruth Galloway is a realistic and likeable main character; a strong, intelligent woman who knows and accepts her flaws. If you're new to the series, start with "The Crossing Places" and go forward. You'll soon be hooked as well and eagerly awaiting the next installment.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Feelings June 30 2013
By Mystery Buff - Published on
I would really like to give The House at Seas End two and a half stars. It was hard deciding between two and three. I have read Elly Griffiths' two previous novels. I enjoy the setting and the forensic archeology aspects of the books and Griffiths is good at plot development and excellent in her descriptions and setting the scene. She is a good writer.

That said, this book really bothered me. Her good writing was still there in places, but by the time I was part way through the book I was irritatingly tired of the baby Kate and Ruth's angst about her and her continual bantering about what a horrible mother she was. If I could count the pages I bet there was more in the book on that subject than there was of actual plot. The plot was interesting, but every time it seemed to get going back we went to that darn baby. This had nothing to do with the plot. Eventually I got so tired of Kate and Ruth and poor DCI Nelson that I skipped large sections of the book. It says something that skipping those sections did not create any problem in my following the plot. They were all pretty much throw away. Take most of them out, put in more plot, and it would have been a good book. WARNING plot spoiler. When she actually went to bed with Nelson again I was totally incensed. How stupid can you get?

With so little development of the plot there wasn't much time to figure out who the killer was and when it was finally revealed this added to my frustration with the book. It came totally out of left field. There were no plot elements that led to it. It was just there. Kind of like Griffiths said all right, I have written enough about Kate and Ruth and Harry and their sufferings, ooops I guess I haven't included enough about the murders to figure out who did it so I will just throw in this guy and a big action scene.

Nothing is more exciting than finding a new series and looking forward to the next installment. Nothing disappoints more than having the author let you down. Elly Griffiths let me down. When I started writing this review I was going to give The House at Seas End three stars. Now that I think about it any book that frustrated and upset me as much as it did does not deserve three stars. Sorry Elly, I don't think I will be coming back to learn more about baby Kate and poor Ruth and Harry. She'll just have to grow up on her own, without my involvement.
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