10 August 2010

Review: THE CROSSING PLACES, Elly Griffiths

Published by Quercus 2009
ISBN 978-1-84724-726-1
303 pages

Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway lives on the flats of Saltmarsh near where the sky meets the sea. It is an isolated place, a tidal place where the sea moves in at speed of horses. It also has a well documented henge circle that had been excavated a decade before. When a walker discovers some bones near this ancient site in the marshes Ruth is asked by the police to date them. DCI Harry Nelson is hoping the bones will turn out to be those of Lucy Downey, missing for 10 years. But the bones are ancient, not Lucy's at all. And then another little girl goes missing....

THE CROSSING PLACES is a blend of police procedural and archaeology, and in it we have the beginnings a new detective duo. Both Ruth Galloway and Harry Nelson are interesting and quite well developed characters. They are attracted to each other, but both come with baggage, and yet they work well together. It seems to me that Ruth is the deductive, thinking one, while Harry is the police muscle and action.

Despite the fact that it is a debut novel THE CROSSING PLACES is an enthralling read, and I liked this duo enough to want to read more. Here is your chance to get in on the ground floor of a new detective series that has the feel that it is going places.

My rating: 4.6

THE CROSSING PLACES was shortlisted this year for the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel for the year, which is how it came to my attention. The fact that it was shortlisted speaks volumes.

Elly Griffith's website

See other reviews at Petrona and Reactions to Reading.
Mark Thwaites interviews Elly Griffiths.

The Ruth Galloway series
1. The Crossing Places (2009)
2. The Janus Stone (2010)
3. The House at Sea's End (2011)


Anonymous said...

Kerrie - Thanks for this fine review. I like it when the protagonist isn't cut straight from stereotypical "sleuth cloth," and I think that's one of the appeals of Ruth Galloway.

Dorte H said...

This book is one of the best crime debuts I have read this year. I really like the mix of police procedural and archaeology.

Bernadette said...

Ruth is a great character isn't she. I have the second book sitting on the TBR shelves and have been saving it up for a future reading slump.

BooksPlease said...

I enjoyed this one too - here's my review.

I've been looking out for the next two.

Mark said...

Hi Kerrie,

Nice review!

My name is Mark Thwaite and I run the blog of Elly's publisher, Quercus...

I've just posted an interview with Elly up on our site here: http://www.quercusbooks.co.uk/blog/interview-elly-griffiths/

Hope you like it!

very best


Kerrie said...

Thanks for dropping by Mark - I've added a link to the interview into my post

Anonymous said...


this review was included at the 50th Book Review Blog Cranival at:

Bonijo said...

kerry i am so glad i foud you your site has everything a reader could want. i am a kindle reader, actually an addicted reader. i have lately read a lot on Kindle. It was given to me for Chanukah this past Dec. I have read approx 30 books on it. I am going to order this one because of your review. I just love your site . Thank you so much for all the effort you have put into it for us to enjoy !!!


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