The Crossing Places

The Crossing Places

Book - 2010
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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.

From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 2010, c2009
ISBN: 9780771035852
Branch Call Number: M GRI
Characteristics: 302 p. ;,22 cm


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Feb 14, 2018

Finally, an author that takes the time to complete the story! I enjoyed the pace of the book, and the feeling that I couldn't put it down near the end. I am so tired of books that leave you hanging at the end, expecting that there should be a sequel, but in many cases there isn't one. This book does have a sequel, but you don't have to read it to have some of the loose ends tied up at the end of THIS story. I found the characters to be very believable, as they all had flaws.

Dec 21, 2017

Just enough archaeological detail to keep you interested. Enjoyed the author's design of the relationships of the characters. Story line moves easily and is easy to believe it could happen. Being a Christian however, the main character, Ruth, is a little disappointing in her statements about Christians. But I could see that as a non-believer, she would act and feel the way she does in the story.

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.

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.

Dec 13, 2016

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

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

Feb 26, 2015

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

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.

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.

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