The Crossing Places

The Crossing Places

Book - 2009
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Random House, Inc.
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. He thinks they may be the bones of a child called Lucy who has been missing for ten years. It’s a cold case he has never been able to forget, in part because he’s been getting creepy letters about Lucy ever since her disappearance from someone who quotes the Bible and Shakespeare and includes references to ritual and sacrifice. When Ruth proves that the bones are those of an Iron Age girl who died over two thousand years ago, she supposes that this is the end of the story. She’s wrong: it’s just the beginning of a nightmare.

The Crossing Places is a gripping story about how the past, even the distant past, can have a deadly hold on the present. It marks the beginning of a stunning new mystery series, and the debut of an intelligent, salty-tongued sleuth who is all the more likeable for being vulnerable in ways she’s the last to recognize.

Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, c2009
ISBN: 9780771035852
Branch Call Number: GRI
Characteristics: 303 p. --


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While I enjoyed the mystery and look forward to reading more of the series, I find the character portrayal of Ruth to be problematic. Is age 40 really when you become a frumpy, solitary, spinster cat lady if you are unmarried, have a successful career, and enjoy living alone? I'm not sure that harping on a woman's weight, clothing choices (40 is too old for jeans?), and marital status stands the test of time in 2019.

Apr 22, 2019

Well written. Rather melancholy mood throughout, not my preference, 3 1/2 stars.

ArapahoeKati Jan 29, 2019

You'll be sucked in by Ruth Galloway, an archaeologist turned reluctant crime-solver. Perfect if you like atmospheric settings, smart characters, history and books set in Great Britain. First in the series.

Jan 24, 2019

A little slow starting out, but not bad. There was a BIG unexpected twist at the end that made me want to read the second book in the series.

Aug 16, 2018

Elly Griffiths seems to have a good series on her hands. This mystery novel is set in Norfolk along the coast where her detective lives. Griffiths has just a limited number of characters in the story and one of them most likely is the child abductor and murderer. It becomes evident about 3/4 the way through who that might be, but, of course, not to the main characters - the archaeologist and the police detective. A good read combining police work with Iron Age myths and bones all the while the sounds of the sea and the danger of sink holes in mudflats lurk around the story. Probably a good beach read. I look forward to taking out the next book in this series.

Jun 29, 2018

Crossing Places is the FIRST in the series by Griffiths;
there are a total of 12 books in the series thru yr 2020

excellent series; I like the settings, the descriptions, the characters in the plots.

11th title in series is title Stone Circle coming out in 2019, then another new title in yr 2020

Fast reading: fascinating settings, in mostly countrysides of the United Kingdom;
Refreshing characters who are very human, not pressed out of some kind of mold.
Strong writing; Ruth Galloway is an archaeological academic expert of bones of the dead, found, dug up, buried, unearthed.

JCLCherylMY May 05, 2018

First book in the Ruth Galloway Mystery series. Highly recommend.

SnoIsleLib_MarieB May 02, 2018

Ruth Galloway, a single archaeologist living on a lonely salt marsh, becomes involved in an police investigation in this compelling first in a series featuring great plots and well-developed characters.

Feb 14, 2018

Finally, an author that takes the time to complete the story! I enjoyed the pace of the book, and the feeling that I couldn't put it down near the end. I am so tired of books that leave you hanging at the end, expecting that there should be a sequel, but in many cases there isn't one. This book does have a sequel, but you don't have to read it to have some of the loose ends tied up at the end of THIS story. I found the characters to be very believable, as they all had flaws.

Dec 21, 2017

Just enough archaeological detail to keep you interested. Enjoyed the author's design of the relationships of the characters. Story line moves easily and is easy to believe it could happen. Being a Christian however, the main character, Ruth, is a little disappointing in her statements about Christians. But I could see that as a non-believer, she would act and feel the way she does in the story.

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