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The House at Sea's End

Written by: Elly Griffiths
Narrated by: Jane McDowell
Series: Ruth Galloway, Book 3
Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
4 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A team of archaeologists, investigating coastal erosion on the north Norfolk coast, unearth six bodies buried at the foot of a cliff. How long have they been there? What could have happened to them? Forensics expert Ruth Galloway and DCI Nelson are drawn together again to unravel the past. Tests reveal that the bodies have lain, preserved in the sand, for sixty years. The mystery of their deaths stretches back to the Second World War, a time when Great Britain was threatened by invasion. But someone wants the truth of the past to stay buried, and will go to any lengths to keep it that way... even murder.

©2011 Elly Griffiths (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • SH
  • 2015-01-02

A Shaky Series Installment

Not sure what to think about this third book in Elly Griffiths' spooky mystery series set in wild coastal Norfolk. I loved the first two books and I save these titles in my library as treats to be enjoyed and looked forward to. I should have known something was up when several other reviewers queried--and I quote here--if Griffiths wasn't going barmy? I confess I had to look up the exact meaning of the term barmy. It may be apt.

The book was convoluted and rambling and at times beyond comprehension as it was so outside of what I would consider normal personal and even police behavior. In a way it was like listening to a family member--still half asleep retelling a long mixed up dream they had just had and wanted you to sort out for them. Some things just don't make any sense.

In addition, there are four or maybe even five major errors in the storyline. I can't elaborate here as I hate plot spoilers--but someone--author or an editor should have picked up these problems. I have read other reviews that found errors that I missed and I am not counting those in my list. This gives me further pause.

In the end the story works itself to a neat close but these characters are becoming not just flawed but frankly unlikable. On the whole the book was just too sloppy and careless for my taste. Proceed with caution is my best advice on this one.

34 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • CL
  • 2013-09-01

I love this series!

Would you consider the audio edition of The House at Sea's End to be better than the print version?

I don't understand the reasoning behind the several negative reviews of this book - I'm typically swayed in my purchase choices by user reviews but having enjoyed the other installments of this series so much, decided to ignore them and go for it anyway....I'm so glad I did! I enjoyed this book just as much as the others! It's a great listen!

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Paula
  • 2016-05-09

Just Okay -- Not Much More

In addition to some serious plot issues, another major criticism of this book is the narration. While some sections were narrated excellently and eloquently, it seemed to me that way too much emphasis was put on the first word(s) (usually a name) in every succeeding paragraph. These words/names were simply shouted and as such, broke into the pace and flow of the story. As for the story itself, there were just too many gaps for my liking -- I don't want to list them because it might spoil the story for others -- but things just didn't hang together and needed a good bit of backgrounding by the author. As a result, it was difficult to develop any empathy for the characters and in the end, it just didn't matter who survived and who didn't. Story 3 stars; narration 2!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Robert J. Day
  • 2014-11-02

Accuracy

Would you consider the audio edition of The House at Sea's End to be better than the print version?

In the books the detectives are reviewing a list of books in chapter 16. the hounds of the Baskerville (sp) as written by " Sherlock Holmes" It was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

What did you like best about this story?

The story and English characters.

What does Jane McDowell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The dialogue and English characters. It is like listening to the radio of my youth.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not extreme just comfortable.

Any additional comments?

I write this review to note the accuracy of that one instance and wonder if it was an author's mistake or the narrator's mistake.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Laurie
  • 2018-08-08

Perhaps I missed the clues

I appreciate the author providing clues to the murderer throughout the book. It gives me a chance to try to figure out the reason for the crime and the person who committed it. I don’t remember any such clues. Perhaps I just missed them.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • joanne
  • 2018-06-26

Disappointed

I read a previous review that likened this novel to a dream, where the story line chops & changes with inexplicable gaps. Unfortunately I have to agree.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the previous two novels, and while there is some further character development in this 3rd instalment,the plot is very haphazard & difficult to follow. I will continue with the 4th novel & hope Elly Griffiths has her mojo back.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • annette
  • 2018-02-27

Third one’s unlucky

I’ve really enjoyed the first two Ruth Galloway books. This one, less. The wheels fell off the bus about 3/4 way in, when it seemed like a game of Russian roulette- ‘anyone and everyone might be the criminal!!’ And our constantly sensible Dr. Galloway lost her mind in unbelievable emotion which wasn’t assisted by the narration - squealing through an anxious bit - to the point of distraction. I had to turn it off until I found my courage back (and wanted to continue the story). Really disappointing. I’ll stop with the series now.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer Shaw
  • 2017-02-23

not the best but still enjoyable

last time I checked hound of the Baskerville's was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle...not Sherlock Holmes as stated in the story several times. how can you make such a blaring mistake?

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • S. Davis
  • 2015-03-17

Great book.

I really enjoyed this book. Great storyline and lots of action. I am looking forward to reading the remainder of the books in this series.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Sires
  • 2011-07-03

4 Star Narration, Story Not Up to Par

Jane McDowell who did the excellent narration of the two prior books in this series again does a great job with this third in the series. No complaints about the production.

Ruth's determination to raise her daughter without assistance from the father however is daft. Ruth discovers the problems with dealing with the practicality of child rearing as a single mother while the father clearly wishes to be involved both personally and financially with his daughter. Due to the determination that the relationship must be kept secret things get more and more confused.

Meanwhile in addition to the usual cast of characters, a friend of Ruth's from a prior stint in Bosnia shows up. A woman whose son, husband and parents were killed in the conflict there. Then there are people whose parents and grandparents were involved with WWII and a secret that it seems someone is willing to go to extremes to protect.

Ruth really doesn't have any serious problems with being a single mother as her friends rally around to provide assistance and support. Meanwhile bodies pile up but Ruth doesn't have that much detecting to do. I'm not sure where the author is going with this series, but I am not looking forward to forensic anthropology with a toddler. Unfortunately, at the end of the book I felt that things in the personal story arc were unresolved and I'm not sure I'm really interested in the resolution. Let's have some more archaeology please..

14 people found this helpful