Sunday, May 8, 2016

Short Review: The Crossing Places

The Crossing Places

by Elly Griffiths
Book 1 of Ruth Galloway Mystery series

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  2.0 Stars

When she’s 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 child’s 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.

My main issue with this book, I think, was the third person, present tense narration. It somehow made the story and its characters seem a lot more impersonal and harder to relate with. I like the idea of relating archaeology with a modern crime mystery, because aside from being a sleuthing reader, you also learn a few interesting things about history and culture. As I'd already mentioned in a status update, the only parts of the book that actually caught my attention were when we were investigating the little girls' kidnappings and when Ruth explained about some archaeology facts. Outside of that, the more personal sides of the characters seemed... well, tedious, and I found myself being hard-pressed to really care.

So this book wasn't terrible, but I just didn't really care for it much. It was written well despite the present tense usage, but it just wasn't for me.

This review was originally posted at Goodreads in May 2013.

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