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.
Griffiths's serviceable first mystery introduces archeologist Ruth Galloway, who leads a quiet life in a remote region of Norfolk, England, known as the Saltmarsh. When Det. Chief Insp. Harry Nelson asks for her expertise in identifying human remains found in the marsh, he's disappointed when Ruth determines they date to the Iron Age. Harry, who's been haunted for 10 years by the kidnapping of five-year-old Lucy Downey, hoped the bones could bring closure to the girl's family. Drawn into the investigation, Ruth delves deeper into Lucy's disappearance and studies the letters Harry has received over the years, presumably from the kidnapper. When another young girl goes missing, Ruth and Harry fear the cycle has begun again. With her brittle exterior and general distaste for human companionship, Ruth is a difficult heroine with whom to empathize, but the novel's archeological details and the unsettling denouement go far in making up for her prickly character.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A jolly good read
Superb intro to @ellygriffiths in a mystical adventure into a unbeknownst landscape and genuine heroine, Ruth 4/5*
The Crossing Places
I enjoyed this book immensely. It had excellent character fullness, a swift moving plot and a satisfactory, although not surprising, ending. The incidental information regarding Druidism, Archeology, etc gave the book a sense of authenticity and authority that is often missing in other books in this genre.