The Crossing Places
Dr. Ruth Galloway Mystery #1
Originally published: 2009
This edition published: 2016
Quercus, pbk (format B), 314p.
A child's bones are discovered near the site of a pre-historic henge on the north Norfolk coast, and the police ask local forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway to date them. Are these the remains of a local girl who disappeared ten years ago?
DCI Harry Nelson refuses to give up the hunt for this missing child. Ever since she vanished, someone has been sending him bizarre anonymous notes about ritual sacrifice, quoting Shakespeare and the Bible. He knows Ruth's instinct and experience can help him finally put this case to rest.
Then a second child goes missing, and Ruth finds herself in danger from a killer who knows she's getting closer to the truth...
After finishing Amy Snow, I really needed something with a bit of an edge to it. Luckily The Crossing Places also arrived in the mail and it was perfect to lift me out of the slight book funk I found myself in.
Dr. Ruth Galloway was such a refreshing character to follow. At almost 40, Ruth is single, overweight, intelligent, unconcerned about her appearance (to a certain extent), and is more into her work than relationships - oh, and she has cats! I really connected with her, and found her to be a refreshing main character. DCI Harry Nelson was exactly what you would expect of a book copper. He's rugged, authoritative, and determined to catch the murderer. I wasn't sure what to think of their one night stand (he's married with 2 almost adult daughters), and yet, they both treat the matter like it was one of those things, and let's move on. Unlike Harry's wife (of the lovely hair, trim figure and outgoing nature), Ruth seems to attract his attention regardless of her rather unconventional appearance (by today's standards). So although I usually don't like books with cheaters in it, I did enjoy seeing a non-typical protagonist attracting the attention of the stern DCI. There are a few other flaky secondary characters that orbit Ruth and Nelson, and I'm hoping they come back in future books as they were a great contrast for these two intelligent, driven professionals.
Of the mystery itself, I was rather intrigued as I do love a good mystery, and if it involves archaeology - even better! I won't rave on about the archaeology, but it plays a large part of the plot line - especially those letters that DCI has been receiving. I twigged to one person, then discarded them. However I was right, but the red herrings placed along the way did a good job of distracting me.
Will definitely be picking up the next books - in fact, I let my fingers do the walking and impulse bought the next two books in the series because Ruth's revelations at the end of The Crossing Places made it too irresistible to pass up.
That was my first impression of The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths. Let me know below what you thought of the book, or please recommend a similar series ;-D
Until next time,