The Crossing Places by Elly  Griffiths
(Quercus, 2009)

The Crossing Places

by Elly Griffiths

Overlooking the North Sea, under Norfolk’s vast skies, the salt marshes are among the wildest and most remote landscapes in England.

When a child’s bones are discovered near the site of an ancient wood henge in the marshes, the police ask Dr Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist, to help date them. The bones turn out to be two thousand years old, and not, as feared, those of a local girl who disappeared ten years ago.

But Ruth’s discovery won’t make DCI Harry Nelson give up the hunt for the missing girl. Ever since she vanished, he has been sent bizarre anonymous notes referring to ritual sacrifice and quoting Shakespeare and The Bible.

Then a second child goes missing, and Nelson receives another letter. Now Ruth finds herself in danger from a killer who knows she’s getting closer to the truth.


  • Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year Award (Shortlisted)
  • Mary Higgins Clark Edgar Crime Novel of the Year Award (Shortlisted)


This is a promising series with clever plots and beguiling characters. ”
- The Times
Ruth Galloway, expert in Roman remains, is a special creation. She isn’t a sexless zombie in a starched white coat; she really, messily, female…I closed the book wanting to know more about [her] as well as feeling the satisfaction that a really intelligent murder story can give. ”
- The Independent
Forensic archaeology has become a fashionable sub-section of crime fiction. Elly Griffiths has produced a particularly good variation on this theme... this is a cleverly plotted and extremely interesting first crime novel, highly recommended ”
- Literary Review
Archaeology and crime often walk hand in hand in crime fiction, and seem a natural fit as they have in common both bones and quests for the truth. I’ve never before, however, read a crime novel in which the two blend as successfully as in The Crossing Places… Elly Griffiths’ characterization is as good as her writing, and I can’t wait for the next in the series ”
- The Irish Times
Forensic archeologist and academic Ruth Galloway is a captivating amateur sleuth - an inspired creation. I identified with her insecurities and struggles, and cheered her on. The Saltmarsh where Ruth lives in isolation conjures a background of intense menace propelling this gripping story to a surprising and terrifying ending. This is a book rich in plot, character and setting and heralds an exciting new voice on the crime scene. ”
- Louise Penny, author of The Murder Stone
An enthralling page-turner that delights in complex characters. ”
- Kirkus