Book Review: The Crossing Places – Elly Griffiths

Title: The Crossing Places (A Ruth Galloway Mystery)
Author: Elly Griffiths
ISBN: 9780547229898
Pages: 320
Release Date: January 5, 2010
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: Mystery
Source: Library
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

Ruth Galloway is an archaeologist living in an area of England called Saltmarsh.  When the bones of a young girl are found, Ruth is called in by the police to identify them and see if they are historic remains, or the bones of young Lucy Downey who disappeared 10 years ago.  Though it seems simple enough, this one request drags Ruth into a a police case where she realizes she can’t trust anyone, even her oldest friends.

Review:

I wasn’t exactly sure how an archaeologist might fit into a murder mystery when I first picked up The Crossing Places, but I was eager to give it a try.  After all, I do love reading books about archaeology, and I can’t get enough of good mysteries.  Luckily, Griffiths is a talented author, and incorporated Ruth into this novel in a believable way.

Ruth’s role in the murder/kidnapping investigation was to decipher letters the police department had received about the kidnapping, presumably from the kidnapper himself (or herself).  These letters were littered with references to history and archaeology, and it was up to Ruth to determine what relevance they had, if any, to where Lucy might be, and whether she is dead or alive.  Ruth is insightful and quick, really showing how smart she is through her deductions.  She was a very appealing main character, both personally and professionally.

The mystery was very well done and keeps the reader guessing.  There are a lot of twists and turns, but none of them difficult to believe.  Additionally, the setting of the novel and the presence of archaeological ruins gives this novel a certain spooky atmosphere.  This isn’t a book I’d want to read at night during a storm.  It’s certainly enough to give you chills.

I enjoyed The Crossing Places and am thrilled to have an advance review copy of the sequel, The Janus Stone.  Griffiths did an excellent job developing both her main and secondary characters, and I’m eager to return to the Saltmarsh to visit with them again.  If you’re a mystery fan, definitely put this on your list – it’s worth every second you spend with it.

Comments

  1. I’ve seen a few other reviews of CROSSING PLACES around lately and I’m so glad. I read this book and THE JANUS STONE back in the spring and loved each of them. Glad to see the author getting some good notice!

  2. I’ve seen a few other reviews of CROSSING PLACES around lately and I’m so glad. I read this book and THE JANUS STONE back in the spring and loved each of them. Glad to see the author getting some good notice!

  3. This one sounds good. I hope to read it at some time. I read
    “The Janus Stone” earlier this year and loved it. I hope you do too.

  4. This one sounds good. I hope to read it at some time. I read
    “The Janus Stone” earlier this year and loved it. I hope you do too.

  5. I haven’t heard of this one but it does sound good, I do enjoy a good mystery.

  6. I haven’t heard of this one but it does sound good, I do enjoy a good mystery.

  7. A little spookiness in a mystery is a good thing in my opinion!

  8. A little spookiness in a mystery is a good thing in my opinion!

  9. I’ve heard good things about this one and have the second one for review too, so I’m glad to hear you liked it. I’m looking forward to it!

  10. I’ve heard good things about this one and have the second one for review too, so I’m glad to hear you liked it. I’m looking forward to it!

  11. This was a good mystery, wasn’t it? I really enjoyed it also. I’m lagging behind in my book reviews, so you’ve reminded me I should catch up. This is a book I love to recommend now too! Good review 🙂

  12. This was a good mystery, wasn’t it? I really enjoyed it also. I’m lagging behind in my book reviews, so you’ve reminded me I should catch up. This is a book I love to recommend now too! Good review 🙂

  13. Great review. I really loved this book.

  14. Great review. I really loved this book.

  15. An archeological mystery? I am beyond intrigued, and after reading your review, I am thinking that I must try this one! Thanks for spotlighting it, as I may never have heard of it elsewhere!

  16. An archeological mystery? I am beyond intrigued, and after reading your review, I am thinking that I must try this one! Thanks for spotlighting it, as I may never have heard of it elsewhere!

  17. I wholeheartedly agree! I LOVED THE CROSSING PLACES and I’m glad to have a little time to get to THE JANUS STONE before it releases!

  18. I wholeheartedly agree! I LOVED THE CROSSING PLACES and I’m glad to have a little time to get to THE JANUS STONE before it releases!

  19. Firestly, I’m really glad you commented on my blog, Swapna, as it means I have found yours too – I love it! We have similar taste in a lot of books it seems.

    I read this book about a month ago and loved it! I met the author, Elly Griffiths, at a crime ficton awards and she very kindly agreed to be interviewed on my blog. I have The Janus Stone at home waiting to be read too. Looking forward to hearing what you think of that one too.

  20. Firestly, I’m really glad you commented on my blog, Swapna, as it means I have found yours too – I love it! We have similar taste in a lot of books it seems.

    I read this book about a month ago and loved it! I met the author, Elly Griffiths, at a crime ficton awards and she very kindly agreed to be interviewed on my blog. I have The Janus Stone at home waiting to be read too. Looking forward to hearing what you think of that one too.

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