Like many Amazon customers, I’m forever getting suggestions of books to read, similar to ones I’ve previously bought. I usually ignore them, occasionally I have purchased, but quite often they are a bit disappointing. However when i saw a series about an archaeologist who is a bones expert and is called on by the police to examine remains which have been found, that ticked several boxes. I was still cautious, some things promise much and then are a let down.
The Dr Ruth Galloway mysteries by Elly Griffiths are set in Norfolk along the coast, an area I have known since my childhood, so the setting immediately engaged me, and when I began to read and the lonely beaches and the isolated landscape was so vividly described I carried on with enthusiasm. To make the story even better, a sea henge was all part of the intrigue, and I was reminded of a Time Team special episode which showed the excavation of a sea henge, and the discovery of a mighty tree buried upside down in the sand. A couple of years after the TCV programme I visited cousins in Kings Lynne and we went to the museum and saw the actual tree!! I was very excited!
Back to the book, which is called Crossing Places, this is what the blurb on Elly Griffiths site says:
Dr Ruth Galloway is called in when a child’s bones are discovered near the site of a pre-historic 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…
It’s a most intriguing story with enough clues to make the ending believable (in the context of the novel, of course) but not so many that the solution was obvious too soon (not that it was obvious!) I enjoyed it so much that I am now a third of the way through the next novel in the series, called The Jason Stone. I’m pleased to see that there are ten books in the series altogether – crime and archaeology and Norfolk, what could be better!!
The only slight quibble I have is that the books are written in the present tense. I find it really irritating and a barrier to enjoying what I’m reading – so it shows how much I am enjoying the books that I have overcome my prejudice against it!