Dr Ruth Galloway is called in when a child’s bones are discovered near the site of a prehistoric henge on the north Norfolk salt marshes. Are they the remains of a local girl who disappeared ten years earlier – or are the bones much older?
DCI Harry Nelson refuses to give up the hunt for the missing girl. Since she vanished, someone has been sending him bizarre anonymous notes about ritual sacrifice, quoting Shakespeare and the Bible. He knows that Ruth’s expertise and experience could help him finally to put this case to rest.
But when a second child goes missing, Ruth finds herself in danger from a killer who knows she’s getting ever closer to the truth…
I always enjoy a murder mystery set in a bleak landscape so I knew this first volume of a long series set in the Fens would suit me. And yet there are plenty of characters involved in the story who might be the murderer. We share the confusion and investigations of DI Harry Nelson and archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway, but we are also witness to a greater conspiracy about one of the victims. Ruth is such an empathetic character, clever and warm yet she has human weaknesses. Nelson takes longer to get to know but he is a person you can trust.
The tragedy of missing children is dealt with sympathetically and the story of ancient ritual burial and an historic henge is really interesting. Like all good fictional heroines, Ruth is too trusting and careless about her own safety but this adds to the suspense of the novel.
As the plot progressed I thought I had guessed who the murderer was but maybe not, as another individual stepped forward. It really didn’t matter as there was a thrilling conclusion with a satisfactory solution. I sometimes object to plots written in the present tense but in this case I stopped noticing as I became involved with Ruth’s predicament. I am looking forward to reading more books in this series and maybe one day it will be televised?
The Crossing Places on Amazon UK
Read all about Elly Griffiths on her website www.ellygriffiths.co.uk