Book Review of The Crossing Places (Ruth Galloway, Bk 1)

The Crossing Places (Ruth Galloway, Bk 1)
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I was given this book to review by Here is that review.

"The Crossing Places" is the debut novel by British author Elly Griffiths. The novel's storyline is based around a woman named Ruth Galloway, who is an archaeologist as well as a professor at the local University. She is then asked by local Detective Inspector Harry Nelson to look at some bones that were discovered.

We learn that the bones are from thousands of years ago and not of a missing girl named Lucy Downey like Harry Nelson had thought. You see, Harry has been investigating Lucy's case for ten years and wants to give the family closure and had believed the discovery of her body would do so.

From there on, Ruth becomes more involved in this investigation after another girl turns up missing. Harry Nelson begins to receive letters giving hints to her location, which occurred when Lucy went missing and allows Ruth to read letters and get her thoughts. Obviously I don't want to give too much info away, but I will tell that's just the beginning of this intriguing story.

I will admit though, the novel started off a bit slow, but I can understand why as the author really had to get us to understand the main character Ruth. You see, Ruth is your plain Jane character who believes she is overweight and not very pretty, yet she seems to have sorts of men interested in her, including four men involved in the main storyline.

We learn of her past failures in her relationships and given a glimpse into her boring life alone in the country and her unwillingness to go outside her comfort zone. You really do see the character grow throughout the novel.

I'm not a person who knows much about archaeology, but what I do appreciate is that we are given detailed information about it without it being too much, where it becomes boring. The details are also important to the novel's central storyline, so you should pay attention as you read.

Like I mentioned before the novel, for me at least did start slow, but after all the introductory details were taken care of and the investigation was the main focus, things really picked up. Ruth learns of things about her friends and their past that shock her. As things unravel, I found that I couldn't put the book down as I needed to find who was responsible for these heinous acts. The author also does a great job at providing several viable suspects making it difficult to guess the ending, which I appreciated because I read many mystery/thriller novels that make it easy to make those type of predictions.

As much as the Ruth Galloway character grew within this novel, there's still room for more growth and even more adventure, which I expect in the follow up novel "The Janus Stone".

My recommendation is that you do give this first time author a shot and make sure you do not give up on the book. You'll definitely enjoy it, especially if you are a fan of the "smart thriller".