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Publisher's Summary

When she's not digging up bones or other ancient objects, Ruth Galloway lectures at the University of North Norfolk. She lives happily alone in a remote place called Saltmarsh overlooking the North Sea and, for company; she has her cats Flint and Sparky, and Radio 4. When a child's bones are found in the marshes near an ancient site that Ruth worked on ten years earlier, Ruth is asked to date them.

The bones turn out to be two thousand years old, and DCI Harry Nelson, who called on Ruth for help, is disappointed. He'd hoped they would be the bones of a child called Lucy who's been missing for ten years; he's been getting letters about her ever since. Then a second girl goes missing and Nelson receives more letters.

Soon it becomes clear that Ruth is in grave danger from a killer who knows that her expert knowledge is being used to help the police with their enquiries.

©2009 Elly Griffiths (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Crossing Places

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very entertaining

I enjoyed the writing about archaeology. It was very interesting.
I will be following the whole series as I find the characters and story line fascinating

5 people found this helpful

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  • FB
  • 2019-12-12

Really enjoyed it

The story, the narrative and characters were intriguing and just the right amount of suspense for me. I read one of the later books in the series first so I’m looking forward to seeing how things came to be, in the in between books

2 people found this helpful

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  • DM
  • 2021-03-09

a nicely paced mystery

not overly exciting but it kept my interest. archeological information was fun to learn. didnt quite get me as invested as other mysteries that I love but just enough to make me feel for the characters and so overall i did enjoy the book.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved this book!!

Perhaps my favourite mystery/ thriller ever! On a par with The Vera and Shetland series by Ann Cleeves.
Dr. Ruth Galloway is a marvellous heroine- intelligent, independent and quite normal. She has a job she loves and friends.
The narrator did an excellent job too. She has a pleasant and clear voice.
Can’t wait to read all the books in this series.

1 person found this helpful

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The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths

read by Jane McDowell. A fine reader thank you
.

This is the first book I have read by Elly Griffith. it was so good I could not stop reading. A mystery full of Drama and intrigue. I look forward to the next book.

1 person found this helpful

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So much to love

I love that Ruth Galloway is a self sufficient, intelligent, fat, beautiful and flawed main character.
I love the voice of the narrator, Jane McDowell, it adds to the sense of the eerie landscape.
There are other things I love but will not write here because they’re massive spoilers.
#audible1

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Average Mystery. Terrible Reader.

There is little that's innovative in this story. Ruth Galloway is an interesting character - a University Professor/Archeologist and forensic expert - but she's decidedly frumpy. She's essentially an insecure, overweight, feminist/atheist cat lady. The author creates a "heroine-in-jeopardy" plotline, but it feels moderately contrived: I just didn't find myself caring what happened to this relatively boring character (who shows glimmers of promise). Elly Griffiths writes well enough - injecting interesting characters, a sombre atmospheric setting, and clever plot twists - but the villain was predictable, there are some glaring plot holes, and nothing in this story grabbed me. Overall, it's a sufficiently interesting story with a promising protagonist.

The weakest aspect of the audiobook is the disinterested narration from Jane McDowell. She would be quite effective reading a small number of characters in a Victorian Ghost story. Her general tone is subdued and monotone but her dialogue is adequate. For this book she's all wrong. Her pacing is plodding (I had to speed up the recording to 1.10X to make it palatable), and her attempts at Irish and Scandinavian accents are legitimately laughable.

I won't be continuing in the series, but if you find the protagonist interesting, you could reasonably decide to. Perhaps other installments deliver better on the promise (and McDowell does a better job). There is enough entertainment in this book to merit giving it a try to see if Ruth Galloway mysteries are for you. They're just not for me. (Note: I bought this as a 'Daily Deal' offering and am happy with spending the $3.75). This first in the series is worthy of 5.5 stars out of 10.

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bonne histoire

le sang Sainte-Foy creux comme ça avec d'Argis très dans une pièce sans isolation les conditions parfois entre les différentes scènes sont fait de façon monocorde alors on a de la misère à savoir qu'on a changé 200 on a changé de personnage mais j'ai beaucoup aimé

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A very good story

This is a nice, tight and well developed story. The characters are believable and the resolution of the mystery satisfying. Nicely narrated by Jane McDowell.

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Good story; difficult narration

The story was interesting enough to allow me to listen to the end but the narrator was not engaging. Her voice was flat and attempts at accents were brutal. Quite distracting. I suggest reading this one yourself.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sara
  • 2014-05-19

An atmospheric creepy mystery set in Saltmarsh

This engaging story is well written and totally captures the hauntingly lonely sea side life the main character has chosen for herself. She is a forensic archeologist working in the field, lecture hall and with the police as a solver of crime. Her work focuses on working out mysteries from the past and present. The story is heavy on nature, mythology, archeology and spookiness in general. I really enjoyed the narration and way the book unfolded. It held my interest-- as any good page turner should. As the first book in a series it bodes well for readers who enjoy crime stories with a dash of odd characters and brooding nature thrown in. But be aware--it is creepy!

105 people found this helpful

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  • Melinda
  • 2011-10-30

Loved this book!

I've never been a fan of mysteries, but I loves the author's use of details to provide me with a great picture of the characters and places. LOVED IT. Am now reading the Janus Stone and enjoying it just as much.

48 people found this helpful

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  • Lia
  • 2020-09-07

Entertaining

You might call this book a whodunit, a species of fiction that I tend to shun because I find the circumstances that cast doubt on the innocence of several characters to be contrived and ultimately boring. However, author Elly Griffiths managed to keep me interested to the end despite the contrivances. Her protagonist, Ruth Galloway, is not a detective but a forensic anthropologist who teaches at a provincial university in Norfolk on England’s east coast. Galloway and the other characters in the novel are well developed, the author makes artful use of the myths and legends of the locale, and the story is suspenseful. She writes well, too.
An eccentric investigator

Ruth Galloway is an eccentric woman nearing the age of forty. She lives alone in a cottage on the edge of a coastal marsh with two cats for which she has an unnatural attachment. Her claim to fame in professional circles was the discovery a decade previously of an Iron Age “henge” (think Stonehenge) on the border of the marsh.

When the local police come across the bones of a young child buried near the marsh, Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson turns to Galloway in hopes she can determine whether the bones are old or those of the missing girl in a current high-profile case. She confirms that the bones are indeed of ancient origin, and the police continue to involve her in their ongoing investigation after more bones are found. It soon develops that Galloway’s own professional colleagues are among the suspects in the girl’s disappearance. Naturally, Galloway and Nelson team up to identify the culprit, but there are many twists and turns along the way.
About Elly Griffiths

The Crossing Places, published in 2009, was the first in Elly Griffiths‘ series of Ruth Galloway Mysteries. The character was inspired by the author’s husband, who left a job in the city to study archaeology. Griffiths is clearly prolific, as there are now eight books in the series. She has also written two detective novels in a second series — all in the past six years.

Jane McDowell was excellent with the delivery of the story

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Karen S. Garvin
  • 2015-03-01

Not creepy, but maudlin

Would you try another book from Elly Griffiths and/or Jane McDowell?

Maybe. I had high expectations for this story but the beginning put me off the main character until about halfway through the book. I am repulsed when a character starts out by whining and feeling self-pity before I've had a chance to decide whether I even care enough about this fictional person to keep reading or listening.However, I think Elly Griffiths did a good job of putting the mystery together and it wasn't obvious who the murderer was until very near the end, although he was one person I had suspected. (Makes you feel good when you guess right, doesn't it?)

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The book opened with what I'd call an info dump as Ruth was feeling sorry for herself. I don't like whining; it might have been more acceptable if I'd met Ruth and knew a bit more about her before the info dump hit. As it was I just wanted to scream at my speaker, "Stop whining!"As for Harry Nelson, his character began as a trope -- the dumb cop. I actually felt more sympathy for this character because he was being stereotyped by the main character and the other characters in the book.

Which character – as performed by Jane McDowell – was your favorite?

I though Jane McDowell did a good job of handling all the characters, even the men. It's difficult for men to speak women's roles and women to speak men's roles without sounding slightly ridiculous, but I think she did very well and managed to convey different voices without overacting. She was also consistent with delivery of the different character's voices.My only complaint is that in some places the volume changed dramatically -- one scene were Nelson shouts jarred so much I had to quickly turn down the volume on my speaker. That is something that should have been smoothed out by the sound engineer, but otherwise the sound was good.

Could you see The Crossing Places being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

This could possibly be a movie, as it has all the ingredients for a good TV mystery. There are a lot of things in the book that would make wonderful visuals, such as the Druid and the henge and the saltmarsh landscape. I don't know who I'd suggest for the roles.

Any additional comments?

My pet peeve was that I felt the author was speaking down to the reader too much by overexplaining basic archaeological terms such as Iron Age. Nelson the cop is used as the dummy so Ruth can explain all about the archaeology, thus setting the stage for another info dump. Now, I wouldn't necessarily expect Nelson to know about some of the finer burial practices of Iron Age peoples, which is after all Ruth's purview, but I expect most readers will have heard about the Iron Age and Stone Age and have an idea of which came first. Nelson, sadly, didn't have a clue. It's not that these things shouldn't have been explained for readers who aren't into archaeology, but I think it could have been handled a little better without making the other characters into dummies. Another peeve: Late in the book Ruth in in a spot to wonder if water conducts electricity. For me this takes away from her scientific background and makes me wonder about the holes in her education. Now if she had wondered whether salt water was a better conductor than fresh water, I think that would have showed both her worry and her scientific thinking at work.Spoiler Alert: the ending wasn't exactly predictable, but it was somewhat maudlin. I am a woman, yes, but I don't connect with stories that just want me to know how wonderful motherhood is and paint childless women as weirdos until they discover the "religion" of mommyhood. This will probably keep me from buying the next book unless someone convinces me that the characters grow in complexity in the next volume. I want to see Ruth solve another mystery, not just hear about her female issues.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Diana Denny
  • 2012-05-07

Interesting Protagonist

Would you consider the audio edition of The Crossing Places to be better than the print version?

Yes. Narrator Jane McDowell was pitch perfect in capturing Ruth's voice.

Any additional comments?

Story a bit slow paced at first, but was an interesting view into the life of independent archaeology prof, Ruth Galloway. Is she contented or lonely? I still can't decide. Different worlds to explore here: archaeology and the desolate salt marshs Ruth calls home.

27 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Gail N.
  • 2014-11-14

Entertaining but with some reservations

The book holds together pretty well and provides a few heart pounding moments. Suspects abound and the author keeps you somewhat guessing. But the heroine does whine a bit, especially about being fat. Some of the action seems very contrived and the hopeful ending is completely unbelievable. To be believable, the story should have taken place over a few months instead of over 10 years. The worst part is the narrator's attempt at a male Norwegian accent. Because of these problems, I hesitate to recommend the book.

59 people found this helpful

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  • Donna
  • 2016-03-25

A good one

Archaeology and crime detection, this book tries to comnine the best of both and does the job well enough to please this reader. The main characters are fun, I would have liked to have more archaeology spelled but obe can't have everything.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Diane Challenor
  • 2013-01-16

Excellent mystery

I really enjoyed the plot and found the characters believable. The backdrop of the Norfolk salt marshes created a wonderful damp wind blown atmosphere and in my mind's eye I could see it's beauty and feel it. The narration by Jane McDowell was just right for me. An excellent mystery.

35 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2012-09-21

A decent new series

The story was good, the narration fair, overall I enjoyed the listen.

Not action packed or full of witty dialog, just a decent story line with relatable characters and good imagary.

23 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • tucsonanne
  • 2012-11-29

Great story; flawed narration

This is the first time I have listened to this author and this reader. It was an engrossing story, a wonderful sense of place, and great characters. And with one exception, the narrator was as good as the story. That exception was the dreadful Scandinavian accent that was totally unnecessary for the character: the descriptions of him were more than sufficient for you to see him as the Viking hippy character he was. But even with that jarring note, I loved this book.

32 people found this helpful

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  • Sally Whittingham
  • 2020-10-15

The Crossing Places


I finished this book within a day. It is a real page-turner, moves at a good pace whilst at the same gradually building a picture of the various key characters. The landscape is beautifully evoked in language which is often pure poetry. I really enjoyed Jane McDowell's easy narration which is very unintrusive. I can't wait now to download the next book in the series.