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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.
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Customer Reviews

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By Sara on 05-19-14

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!

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86 of 89 people found this review helpful


By Gail N. on 11-14-14

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.

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48 of 52 people found this review helpful

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By Adrian on 06-05-11

Crime and archaeology - what's not to like?!

This is the first of Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway novels I've read, and I'm very, very impressed! As a fan of Phil Rickman, and other pagan/paranormal storytellers, I loved the unusual location of the events - which is beautifully evoked. The plot is complex, but makes sense, and Ruth is a fully rounded, 'real' character - as is DCI Nelson. Although you might guess what happened, and who did it about half way through (the sudden arrival of chapters told from a different point of view is a sort of clue!), it's well worth sticking with the journey. There are already two more Ruth books (The Janus Stone - available from Audible - and The House at Sea's End - hopefully soon available!), and I look forward to reading/listening to both of them - and the others which I'm sure will come in the future!

The reading is well done - some good use of regional accents to deliniate the characters, and perfectly paced- recommended!

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19 of 19 people found this review helpful


By K. Gibson on 01-13-11

enjoyable crime hokum.

I personally enjoy history/religious/pagan based books I am a great fan of Phil Rickman's Merrily books. Being a science teacher I enjoyed the forensic bits. The forensic archeologist Ruth is a well rounded character who you quickly get to like. The story moves quickly along and although you guess whodonit about half way along it is enjoyable to see how it pans out and who becomes a suspect and the various twists and turns.

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25 of 26 people found this review helpful

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By LP on 05-17-15

great characters great story

I hadn't heard of Elly Griffiths but Im glad I have now. Ive listened to all her stories with Ruth the Archaeologist. Id recommend them to anyone who enjoys history and a respect of difference in how people manage their lives. With a healthy dollop of mystery and who dun nit makes these books a treat. Start with this one and follow the development of the characters.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By emmoff on 05-28-15

Great setting, disappointing story

Great setting, but the story was one dimensional with a very obvious solution. Not many fleshed out characters either. Quite disappointing.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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