Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths

Title: The Crossing Places
Author: Elly Griffiths
ISBN: 9780547229898, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009
Genre: Amateur Sleuth, #1 Ruth Galloway mystery
Rating: A

First Line: They wait for the tide and set out at first light.

Archaeologist Ruth Galloway loves her life out on the Saltmarsh in England. It's land that was sacred to its Iron Age inhabitants; a land that's not quite earth, not quite sea.

Blackpool native Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson has a Northerner's eye for land and hasn't a clue what anyone would see in this desolate place. All he does know is that he's been getting bizarre letters referring to Lucy Downey, a young girl who's been missing for over ten years. When he finds remains out on the Saltmarsh, he calls in Ruth to tell him the facts.

The facts are that the remains are two thousand years old, but Ruth finds herself drawn into the Downey case. She reads the letters and finds the archaeological knowledge of the writer intriguing. Then another child goes missing, and Ruth finds herself in very real danger.

The Norfolk landscape of The Crossing Places seemed like a character in this book, and it's a place of which I'd like to know more. It certainly lent atmosphere and a sense of stubbornness to the plot. The characters of Ruth Galloway and Harry Nelson were layered and interesting and a pleasure to read. Although I have to admit that the murderer in this case was as clear to me as the freckled stub nose on my face, the landscape and the characters are so interesting that I can forgive that one failing. I want to read more about Ruth as soon as I possibly can!

[Source: Amazon Vine Program.]


  1. Cathy - This sounns so, so intriguing! I really enjoy mysteries with a connection to the past, and the murder mysteries I've read featuring archeologists are especially interesting to me. Ok, so this one goes on my TBR list...

  2. Well, as far as I can see there is absolutely nothing to do but put this on my list.


  3. I think this one sounds quite interesting. Looking forward to it. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I've really come to love novels where the landscape itself is a character. I'll have to add this to my list!

  5. I love your review, it really makes me want to go out right now and grab this book.

  6. Margot K-- I always gravitate toward archaeological mysteries.

    Dorte-- LOL! I have to admit that while I'm reading new blog posts, I've got windows open to Paperback Swap and Book Depository so it's easy for me to add new books.

    Kay-- You're welcome!

    Belle-- Landscape as character appeals to me more and more, too. I'm not quite sure why, but I'm not about to fight it.

    Hazra-- Good! We book bloggers are all enablers!

  7. So glad to hear you liked this one. I saw it at the bookstore a few weeks ago and added it to my list. Now I need to see if my library has it! I'm in the middle of two mysteries right now but they don't feel quite satisfying so I'd love to get my hands on a good one.

  8. This sounds great and I love the cover!

  9. Iliana-- I just had to DNF a mystery that I just wasn't in the mood for.

    Stacy-- It's even better than the cover!

  10. Wordlily-- It is. I can't wait to get my hands on the second in the series!


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