The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
Published by Quercus
2nd June 2016
Dr Ruth Galloway is called in when a child's bones are discovered near the site of a pre-historic henge on the north Norfolk salt marshes. Are they the remains of a local girl who disappeared ten years earlier - or are the bones much older?
DCI Harry Nelson refuses to give up the hunt for the missing girl. Since she vanished, someone has been sending him bizarre anonymous notes about ritual sacrifice, quoting Shakespeare and the Bible. He knows that Ruth's expertise and experience could help him finally to put this case to rest.
But when a second child goes missing, Ruth finds herself in danger from a killer who knows she's getting ever closer to the truth...
This is my second Elly Griffiths read but my first of the Ruth Galloway books. I will admit now, that on the reading of just this first novel, I have subsequently purchased the next 7 books in the series to pour through so that should instantly say how much I enjoyed this book, be prepared for a mass update of reviews on here!
I love a good crime novel and a good ending too and this had everything for me. I loved the setting of Norfolk and maybe this worked well for me as I have never been there but the images of the fens and the desolate landscape was really detailed for me and I liked that. Ruth is my age, of not tiny proportions and single - again I felt as a character this was wholly realistic and I liked that in her; she is an independent woman that is constantly being questioned as to whom she is dating, or why she doesn't yet have children and are her cats her substitute babies?!
Ruth is an archaeologist and upon the discovery of a body in the Fens, is called by DCI Harry Nelson to identify the bones. DCI Nelson has his own cross to bear, he was in charge of a missing child case a decade ago and the body has never been recovered. Could these bones be hers by any chance?
Unfortunately for Nelson the answer is no, and he has to put his past case behind him when another child disappears. He maintains links to Ruth though as her bone expertise and local area knowledge are of benefit to him, plus there is also an air of 'je ne sais quoi' about Ruth which intrigues him.
Each character is well constructed and believable and whilst there aren't many in the story itself, I didn't guess 'whodunnit' until I was almost at the end of the book. There is also a continuity in the book, which I won't give away here, to make the reader want to pick up the next book to follow.
If you are a lover of crime fiction and haven't discovered the Ruth Galloway series, go do so. I don't think you will be disappointed.
Miss Chapter x