Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway is called in to investigate when builders, demolishing a large old house in Norwich to make way for a housing development, uncover the bones of a child beneath a doorway - minus the skull. Is it some ritual sacrifice or just plain straightforward murder? DCI Harry Nelson would like to find out - and fast.
©2010 Elly Griffiths (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
This is the only Audible title I have bought but been unable to listen to. The story is told in the 'historic present' - which means 'Ruth gets up and walks across the room; she opens the door and then something else happens...'. Perhaps this would be less noticeable if I were reading it on the page, but hearing it was just unbearably irritating. I think it is made worse by the story (at least the part I listened to) being rather banal - the usual use of the historic present is to build tension in specific contexts, telling the story as if it were happening in 'real time' whereas to have it used for everything including tea with her parents just grates and makes the whole thing seem ridiculous.
The story is quite good and interesting and follows on directly from the last one. It's fairly compelling and I listened to it very quickly.
The main character is interesting and the history is good.
The narrator has slightly changed her northern accent in this book and she has got it all wrong, if he comes from Blackpool he should have a Lancashire accent but the reader seems to be doing a really bad impression of a flat Yorkshire accent. I know this may seem pedantic but it's just really bad to listen to especially as he is a prominent character and when all the other accents are much better.
I did like it and I was emotionally involved
This book is dreadful. The characters are two dimensional and the villains straight out of Scooby Doo. The story arc rests on ridiculous and far fetched 'clues' and the denouement of the 'mystery', such as it is, bears down on you with the subtlety of a double decker bus. To add insult to injury the narrator is shockingly bad at accents and I was irritated by the lead detective from Blackpool having a Yorkshire accent. Unfortunately the female protagonist veers wildly from staunch independent feminist to helpless victim. I also couldn't get over a University lecturer in archaeology having nothing more than a rudimentary grasp of Roman gods.
Personal opinion but I think the reader of the later books, Jane Corbett, is better than Jane. She has problems with Norfolk accents and everyone sounds Irish, whether it mentions they are - or not! Really got on my nerves by the end.
Elly writes with a lovely sense of humour, and I do laugh at many things throughout the book.
I have enjoyed several Elly Griffiths "Ruth Galloway" books, although I am only now reading them in order! But I do worry at how dangerous an archaeologist's job is, as Ruth has suffered more than once at the hand of the "perpetrator" and I would be wary of being friends with her! But I like the "spooky" bits and they are an enjoyable listen. Yes, it may be in the present tense, but I like that, and it you only took 5 minutes to listen to the sample, then you would know how it is written, and choose accordingly.
An avid Audible listener for the past two years, it fits in superbly with my busy lifestyle. Love crime and historical novels most.
This story had me guessing right up until the end with quite a few twists and turns along the way. I really enjoyed the first of book of this series "Crossing Places" but this is better again. The characters are developing nicely with good resonance between Ruth and the other main protagonists. I found myself listening until 4.30am one morning because I just had to find out what was happening next. I will be buying the third book in the series and I am looking forward to seeing where Ruth's private life develops too!
I haven't read these books in order but it doesn't seem to matter. This was a good story and the interaction between characters was fascinating. The narrator read well but some of the accents were a bit off and she doesn't read male voices very well. It seemed a bit odd to have a number of Irish accents in Norfolk, but it didn't spoil the story. The ending was over dramatic but I enjoyed the book.
S C Law
History, present and intrigue
I don't know of another author with quite the same characters. I suppose Kathy Reichs but that is only because of the reference to bones.
Yes, I have heard Jane McDowell before and I find her voice easy to listen to with good narration, accents are realistic. I am able to distinguish between the characters and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Yes it was and I almost had it on continuously until I'd finished it
Already have her next book, just pacing myself with another style and author before I start my next marathon read.
"Return to Salt Marsh & Mysterious Archeology"
I just love the way Griffiths brought the characters back from book one in the series as old friends. They are people that have been changed by their experiences together in the previous book. Often I find in a series that the main characters are too static as personalities. Not so with this author. Even better, this book continues to develop these interesting, flawed but fascinating people without missing a beat. This installment picks up just months after book one finished. Probably best to start with book one if you are new to the series. The books do build on one another and it is assumed that the reader already knows much detail that is not reviewed. A good thing-- as I dislike a great deal of recap in a series.
The mystery and backstory were as well thought out, engaging and as spooky as they were in book one. It was also funny in spots! I really enjoyed this listen and loved how the whole tale played out. Creepiness, brooding wild sea coast, archeology and history all perfectly intertwine to make a really enjoyable listen. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. Really good and recommended if you enjoy a good mystery.
"My favorite of the series."
I've listened to all of this series but not in order. Now I await each new episode.
It's easy listening, there's always a mystery, Ruth Galloway is a very independent woman, and there are complicated interactions in a rural setting.
The narration is well done.
"I'm a big fan"
Well written, story is excellent, characters realistic. Hoping for many more in the series
Although it was obvious from very early on in the book who the "culprit" was in this book, it was extremely interesting to see how the author brought it to the attention of the characters in the book. She developed it exceptionally well, fitting the responses and thoughts of her characters around it. It is very well written and a joy to read or listen to! I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good murder mystery.
"Very nice narration, but..."
I found the narration to be exquisite, just like the first book in this series. Unfortunately, this book revolves more around the danger to the main character, Ruth, and not any active crime. I found the struggles between the heroes and villains to be a bit contrived since the point of real conflict was several decades old. Will still get the third book, and the first one is a real gem!
"plot and character entrancing"
the plot and locale kept my interest. Loved Ruth's character as she came across as real though somewhat flawed. Her relationships are complicated but she always manages to stay true to herself. She continually struggles with the values and ideologies of Catholicism, and "born again Christian" as these enter her relationships with family and friends. I feel like I'm learning something about science but never bored with detail.
So many memorable moements, learning about the sex of her baby, sharing it with Nelson, and the final boat scenes. Though I worried about the blows to her head...not just for her sake but for the unborn baby.
Mostly Jane's voice was appropriate for the characters, except I felt Nelson was harsher than necessary. Sometimes made it uncomfortable to listen seemingly "overdone" as I didn't feel his character really was as coarse as Jane made him out to be.
I could have listened to this at one sitting as the story line was compelling. But I also looked forward to taking a break and think about the plot and especially Ruth Galloway who seemed so genuine. She would make a good and trusting friend mainly because she lacked pretention.
I love Elly Griffiths' writing and intend to read all the books she puts out. So happy to have found her. I love the mixing of religion, archaeology, friendship and suspense.
"Now one of my favorite authors!"
Elly Griffiths should be making it to the New York Times best selling list with this series. The characters are engaging, plot twists terrific, and relationship dynamics compelling.
"Read do not listen to this book."
The narrator is just awful. The loud speaking as if in the back ground is beyond annoying and she has absolutely no variation in the characters voices or personalities with exception of the parents who end up sounding like children. Her timing is so off I wonder how in the world she got this job. I read the first book in the series and loved it. I was over joyed to see this in audible. I have never disliked a narrator as much as I do this one. I can't stress enough what a waste of my credit this was. I do listen to audible all the time and this is the first audible book I simply can not finish. I purchased this because other reviews said how good it was. I don't know how it is even remotely possible for anyone to say that unless they love listening to young children with high pitched voices on a play ground.
If nothing else I hope this review will save someone else money or a credit.
Not in audible. Read the book instead.
"I loved this."
In the second novel, you learn more about the characters and their relationships. Since I find this bunch intriguing, that's all to the good. I regret the improbable number of near death experiences the protagonist endures, but I find both the story and the characters so unusual and likeable, that I can overlook that trumpery issue with barely a blink.
"Good book and mystery!"
Great book. Lots of spins and turns. Stayed a mystery til the end! The reader does a nice job with all the voices.
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