Synopses & Reviews
When shes not digging up bones or other ancient objects, quirky, tart-tongued archaeologist Ruth Galloway lives happily alone in a remote area called Saltmarsh near Norfolk, land that was sacred to its Iron Age inhabitants - not quite earth, not quite sea.
When a childs bones are found on a desolate beach nearby, Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson calls Galloway for help. Nelson thinks he has found the remains of Lucy Downey, a little girl who went missing ten years ago. Since her disappearance he has been receiving bizarre letters about her, letters with references to ritual and sacrifice. The bones actually turn out to be two thousand years old, but Ruth is soon drawn into the Lucy Downey case and into the mind of the letter writer, who seems to have both archaeological knowledge and eerie psychic powers. Then another child goes missing and the hunt is on to find her. As the letter writer moves closer and the windswept Norfolk landscape exerts its power, Ruth finds herself in completely new territory and in serious danger. THE CROSSING PLACES marks the beginning of a captivating new crime series featuring an irresistible heroine.
"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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.
When she's not on the job, quirky archaeologist Ruth Galloway lives in obscurity. But when a child's bones are found on a desolate beach nearby, Galloway is called into action. This is the beginning of a captivating new crime series featuring an irresistible heroine.
The start of an exciting new crime series featuring quirky, tart-tongued archaeologist Ruth Galloway as she investigates a child's bones found on a nearby beach, thought to be the remains of a little girl who went missing ten years before.
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“Ruth Galloway is a captivating amateur sleuth—an inspired creation.”
-Louise Penny, winner of the Anthony and Agatha awards
From THE CROSSING PLACES
When the hole is almost free from water, Ruths heart starts to beat faster. Carefully she scoops out another beakerful of water and only then reaches into the mud and exposes something that is pressed flat against the dark soil.
‘Well? Nelson is leaning eagerly over her shoulder.
‘Its a body, says Ruth hesitantly, ‘but…
Slowly she reaches for her towel. She mustnt rush things. She has seen entire excavations ruined because of one moments carelessness. So, with Nelson grinding his teeth beside her, she gently lifts away the sodden soil. A hand, slightly clenched, wearing a bracelet of what looks like grass, lies exposed in the trench.
Forensic archeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway is in her late thirties. She lives happily alone with her two cats in a bleak, remote area near Norfolk, land that was sacred to its Iron Age inhabitants—not quite earth, not quite sea. But her routine days of digging up bones and other ancient objects are harshly upended when a childs bones are found on a desolate beach. Detective Chief Inspector Nelson calls Galloway for help, believing they are the remains of Lucy Downey, a little girl who went missing a decade ago and whose abductor continues to taunt him with bizarre letters containing references to ritual sacrifice, Shakespeare, and the Bible. Then a second girl goes missing and Nelson receives a new letter—exactly like the ones about Lucy. Is it the same killer? Or a copycat murderer, linked in some way to the site near Ruths remote home?
About the Author
Its been only a few months since archaeologist Ruth Galloway found herself entangled in a missing persons case, barely escaping with her life. But when construction workers demolishing a large old house in Norwich uncover the bones of a child beneath a doorwayminus its skullRuth is once again called upon to investigate. Is it a Roman-era ritual sacrifice, or is the killer closer at hand?
When carbon dating proves the childs bones predate the home and relate to a time when the house was privately owned, Ruth is drawn ever more deeply into the case. But as spring turns into summer it becomes clear that someone is trying very hard to put her off the trail by frightening her, and her unborn child, half to death.
The Janus Stoneis a riveting follow-up to the acclaimed The Crossing Places."Ruth's second appearance (The Crossing Places,2009) is an enthralling page-turner that delights in complex characters." --Kirkus, STARRED reviewThis is the second in her Ruth Galloway crime series.