There's something dark lurking in the tunnels under Norwich. When freshly buried bones are discovered, the police call on forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway to investigate a mysterious homicide.
Winner of the 2016 CWA Dagger in the Library.
Boiled human bones have been found in Norwich's web of underground tunnels. When Dr Ruth Galloway discovers they were recently buried, DCI Nelson has a murder enquiry on his hands. The boiling might have been just a medieval curiosity - now it suggests a much more sinister purpose.
Meanwhile, DS Judy Johnson is investigating the disappearance of a local rough sleeper. The only trace of her is the rumour that she's gone 'underground'. This might be a figure of speech, but with the discovery of the bones and the rumours both Ruth and the police have heard that the network of old chalk-mining tunnels under Norwich is home to a vast community of rough sleepers, the clues point in only one direction.
Local academic Martin Kellerman knows all about the tunnels and their history - but can his assertions of cannibalism and ritual killing possibly be true? As the weather gets hotter, tensions rise. A local woman goes missing, and the police are under attack. Ruth and Nelson must unravel the dark secrets of The Underground and discover just what gruesome secrets lurk at its heart - before it claims another victim.
©2017 Elly Griffiths (P)2017 Quercus Editions Limited
I was much looking forward to a new Ruth Galloway tale and this one didn't disappointment. The tale was a tiny bit far fetched and the ending straggled on a bit but but this was still a highly enjoyable listen. Brought to life as always remarkably well by Jane McDowell our favourite characters are all there with Judy playing a significant role in this investigation. I do hope that Elly Griffiths continues with this series and the endlessly intriguing relationship between Ruth and Nelson. I am fascinated that the author can have created such a splendid series as this and missed the mark so soundly with the Stephens and Mephisto books which I have found terribly disappointing.
In the last Ruth Galloway book I felt the series was moving from archaeology centred to more of a crime novel, and The Chalk Pit seems to bear this out. I really enjoyed it, as it combines an interesting (if far fetched in places) novel with a real development of the differing characters. I know there are tunnels under many ancient cities, not to mention underground railways, but underground societies? Certainly gets the imagination going... Not to mention making me feel ashamed of the way I've often ignored rough sleepers and not considered their world.
The whole Nelson / Michelle / Ruth triangle gets more convoluted - no spoilers - and has the potential for a real car crash of a scenario in the next book. Giving Nelson a female boss certainly adds a twist, and the women are to the fore with Judy very much taking the lead. Poor Tania is unlikely to match her for years, if ever. Dave, well he's Dave, unreconstructed carnivore caveman, but you have to love him, well I do anyway. Cathbad seems to have settled for a househusband role but I hope we get to see more of the passionate Druid in later books.
Ruth has a lot to cope with emotionally, some good, some hard, so she's agonising less about her weight this time around - but some aspects of her behaviour don't change. She still manages to totally ignore a blatant clue when Kate hits her over the head with it in the middle of the night.
I know some people regretted the change (back) of narrators, but not me. Jane McDowell has done a great job from the 1st Ruth Galloway book, and I find all her characters believable, especially her version of Harry.
Overall? A cracker. This series is far from running out of steam, and I hope it continues.
Waited eagerly for this volume and it didn't disappoint. Ruth,Nelson,Clough and other familiar characters continue to develop and are 3 dimensional. An interesting newcomer, in the shape of Nelson ' s new boss also promises to be more than the cardboard cutout, fast track, eye on the prize, ballsy female in a "man's" world, than she first appears - at least I hope so. Can't wait to see what develops next in the Nelson household as they may find themselves welcoming more new additions to the family than they bargained for. The intriguing Cathbad took more of a back seat this time round - let's hope his mystical powers are being re - charged and we'll see more of him on the next outing. I hope it's not too long before I'm back in Norfolk with Ruth and the gang.
Love books - audible been a god send with a new puppy - something to listen to in the early hours!
I do hope this isn't the last of the Ruth Galloway books. Really enjoyed the whole story.
Of the narration: some of the phrasing jars occasionally but still enjoyable.
Plots getting increasingly far fetched and the author's carelessness about history becoming more obvious. Why write about archaeology if you have only a dim grasp of the past?
St Paul as a ex-Roman soldier? A church dedicated to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, ridiculously sited in 15th century Norfolk - a miracle indeed - and continuing under that name into Anglican times!
Given the new age, pagan company Ruth Galloway keeps, and her eccentric choice to live with her cat in a desolate, isolated cottage in the neck end of nowhere, it's a wonder she's not been condemned as a witch, since everyone she knows falls into peril sooner or later.
The narrator's attempts at non-English accents are pitiful, as is the author's understanding of how people talk and live outside London.
However, it's acceptable bedtime listening, if you let it roll past; not a time for literature or challenge, as you doze off.
This is the first elly Griffiths novel I have listened to, I have read all the others in the Ruth Galloway series, but enjoyed this very much. The story was interesting and it had the background stories of the characters ticking along and intertwining with the plot. Jane McDowell narrated it well, I will look out for others by her and would recommend this book and the others in series, either as audio or traditional form.
Good detective story but 'personal' lives of characters let it down.
Enjoy the archeology and detective work but getting tired of the stupidity of the characters behavior in their personal lives.
Will probably just read the synopsis of the next one :(
The narrator brings the story to life very well. The author has a good grasp of her subject and the Norfolk way. Would recommend to read.
I simply loved the idea of tunnels in the chalk. Very mysterious. And the love story behind the thriller was haunting and realistic. . Elly Griffiths hasn't "done it again" . She has excelled herself with this story.
Nothing that I can think of offhand because for me, this book stands on its own as a unique and exciting thriller.
She's really good and so are her various accents (including the South African as I am South African). No confusion as to who is talkiing. Very good.
Yes, the very end. Brilliant!!!
Am checking other Elly Griffiths books. Have heard and read 3 so far. I am now a confirmed fan-for-life.
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