The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths – Ruth Galloway #1

Did I ever mention my love for anthropology? Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t, but anthropology was my first love back in high school. I loved reading up on how archaeologists would dig up the remains of civilizations from long ago, how they discovered hominid skeletons, and the clues this gives us to our ancestry and evolution. Why didn’t I pursue that career field? Well… I definitely considered it. But after talking to some jaded anthropologists, I realized that I might not be ready for the uncertainty that comes with the job. However, I try my best to experience it vicariously through any works of fiction that involve anthropology or archaeology. This is one such novel!

Ruth Galloway is a university lecturer in archaeology at North Norfolk. She loves her cottage near the saltmarshes, with its solitude and its hidden history. But when a child’s bones are found near an ancient henge in this very location, DCI Harry Nelson turns to Ruth to date and identify them. He believes that they may be the bones of a young girl who went missing 10 years ago, and whose case he can’t forget, in part because of the creepy letters he receives every few years. While Ruth shows that the bones are those of a girl from the Iron Age – a period of time that occurred over 2000 years ago – this doesn’t seem to be the end of it. Soon, Ruth herself becomes a target. Now, it is up to Ruth and DCI Nelson to put an end to this nightmare – before the body count goes any higher!

I actually really enjoyed this novel. Maybe it’s because of my fascination for all things archaeology as well as my general love for crime fiction but I thought this book was really really good! I liked the way the story flowed and I liked how it followed a traditional (albeit cliche) story line. The main characters were stereotypical in that there was nothing out of the ordinary or unique about them … but I felt that it actually worked quite well for this story! I can see why some people may consider this novel to be simplistic and rudimentary but I found it to be refreshing, after all of the deep dark stories I usually read. Overall, I really enjoyed the story and I went through it in just a couple of hours! I can’t wait to get started on the rest of the series, and I would definitely recommend this novel for someone looking for a quick crime fiction novel with lots of anthropology references!

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