The Crossing Places

The Crossing Places

A Ruth Galloway Mystery

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
18
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Houghton
The start of an exciting new crime series featuring quirky, tart-tongued archaeologist Ruth Galloway as she investigates a child's bones found on a nearby beach, thought to be the remains of a little girl who went missing ten years before.

When she’s not digging up bones or other ancient objects, quirky, tart-tongued archaeologist Ruth Galloway lives happily alone in a remote area called Saltmarsh near Norfolk, land that was sacred to its Iron Age inhabitants - not quite earth, not quite sea.

When a child’s bones are found on a desolate beach nearby, Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson calls Galloway for help. Nelson thinks he has found the remains of Lucy Downey, a little girl who went missing ten years ago. Since her disappearance he has been receiving bizarre letters about her, letters with references to ritual and sacrifice.
 
The bones actually turn out to be two thousand years old, but Ruth is soon drawn into the Lucy Downey case and into the mind of the letter writer, who seems to have both archaeological knowledge and eerie psychic powers. Then another child goes missing and the hunt is on to find her. As the letter writer moves closer and the windswept Norfolk landscape exerts its power, Ruth finds herself in completely new territory – and in serious danger.
 
THE CROSSING PLACES marks the beginning of a captivating new crime series featuring an irresistible heroine. 



Baker & Taylor
Assisting with the investigation of bones found near England's Saltmarsh region, archaeologist Ruth Galloway discovers that the remains are bizarrely linked to a case involving a disturbed anonymous letter-writer and a missing child.

Baker
& Taylor

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.
Summoned by Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson to help the investigation of bones found near England's Saltmarsh region, archaeologist Ruth Galloway discovers that the remains are bizarrely linked to a case involving a disturbed anonymous letter-writer and a missing child.

Publisher: Boston [Mass.] : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780547229898
0547229895
Branch Call Number: Mystery Gri
Characteristics: 303 p. : map ; 22 cm

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j
jkeaton
Jun 26, 2017

A good mystery overall, but a very slow and in some ways dreary start. The end becomes a thriller for a while, a real page turner, with lots of wrong clues to put you off the path.

l
LauraSteinert
Jun 22, 2017

I was not thrilled with this book, but as I finished it, I ordered the second in the series to see if the writer improved--and I am so glad I did. While Crossing Places gets bogged down in places (not a pun, sorry) with history and backstory, it all becomes important in the next book. I recommend reading this before you read The Janus Stone because there is so much foundation laid (again not intended to be a pun) in this book that you will regret missing in you skip ahead.

m
marynz
Dec 13, 2016

I love the self-deprecating humour of Ruth. Looking forward to reading the rest in the series.

j
jeannecrisp
Aug 29, 2016

Discovering a new series with a half dozen plus titles is better than a fancy wrapped package. What I enjoyed about this book, as well as the other 7 published to date, is that the writing is polished from the first page. I've read other series where you can watch the writer develop their skills from book to book. A discerning critic might notice Elly Griffiths growth as a writer as the series progresses, but to me she starts strong and stays strong. When they are not solving the crimes, the main characters grapple with realistic life issues that don't have obvious right and wrong choices. Now I have to add her to my "watch list" so I can await the next installment. In the meantime, I'm on the hunt for another series.

AL_ALYSONC Aug 06, 2016

Loved the setting, Ruth and the archaeology tidbits. Great 1st book in a series

e
egandalf
Feb 26, 2015

This book was very poorly written. The concept was good, however, the writing was extremely poor.

l
LT
May 11, 2013

The book is atmospheric and well-written. Interpersonal relationships are plausibly described, and the salt marshes of Norfolk provide an appropriately mysterious and desolate backdrop. // Some minor quibbles: It is intensely irritating when the heroine or one of her intimates remark on her "heavy-weight" status on every other page. (I calculate Ruth Galloway's weight at 175 pounds. Depending on her height and muscularity, she could be anywhere from reasonably fit to medically obese. Based on other descriptions in the book--i.e. "her surprisingly splendid body"--she is closer to shapely than amorphous.) // I agree with DeltaQueen that the secondary characters in the stories are stereotypical and under-developed. // In The Crossing Places, the police have, with Galloway's assistance, connected a current missing persons case to a cold case with similar circumstances. The police work related to the original crime sounds sloppy and aimless. Even if Griffiths' characters (and by implication, Griffiths) maintain otherwise, the inadequacy of the first investigation is obvious. This is the danger when one writes about amateur sleuths: how to convince the audience that the conveniently located novice is competent to uncover evidence that was missed by trained investigators, especially if those investigators have supposedly done a proper job. // Griffiths takes shameless advantage of a chain of coincidences to propel the course of action in her novel. It is difficult to suspend disbelief when she finally unveils the truth of the past and present crimes. The criminal mastermind is revealed, but his/her identity could have been interchangeable with that of two or three other characters. This is partly because the killer's motivation is never hinted at in advance or adequately explained after the fact. This is just like real life, perhaps, but frustrating in a mystery novel, where one expects something less dreary and inexplicable than senseless true-life crime.

4
4ntrvlr
Jul 15, 2012

Enjoyed this unconventional (overweight, older) heroine who through her expertise in bones gets drawn into a murder case. Good evocation of the north Norfolk coast. Will read more of these.

Gail123 Jul 06, 2012

A very good read , I enjoyed it and will continue to read this author.

l
ladyshallot
May 21, 2012

I'm not usually one for mystery, but this one was really quite good. Great read for a rainy day with a cup of hot tea.

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