Ohh, I quite enjoyed this one. The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths is first in the Ruth Galloway series.
While I do enjoy the forensic aspect of a crime investigation, I generally steer clear of a story centering around it. As for a story centering around archaeology, it never even entered my mind. A completely virgin territory for me.
The story seemed to be a bit slow going at certain points and the solving of the mystery itself was downright silly that you might be insulted. However, I did enjoy the tidbits about the Iron Age and such that popped in here and there. I think I enjoyed this more than the main story itself.
The characters were a bit flat. Ruth Galloway, the professional archaeologist and Harry Nelson, the detective are the main characters. As for the sub-characters around these people, I have no idea why they exist. How do I say this without giving anything away? The link, the interconnection and their existence itself was so flimsy. I did like the character Cathbad but he doesn’t seem real to me yet. I am hoping he blooms to life in the following books.
The story is not an intricately woven crime fiction, it is an absolute light read. If I were to compare it to one of the books I’ve read, I would compare it to the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger.
Goodreads Insert: 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.
THE CROSSING PLACES marks the beginning of a captivating new crime series featuring an irresistible heroine.