Wednesday, February 3, 2010


When I first conceived of an archaeological crime novel set in Ireland (way back in the mid-Eighties), I couldn't really find anything that fit the ideas tumbling around in my head.  You'd imagine, wouldn't you -- and I certainly did -- that the very act of unearthing of human remains was a situation ripe for mayhem and skulduggery. 

Imagine my delight, then, in the recent discovery of a new series of archaeological crime novels by Elly Griffiths, set in the English coastal marshlands, full of Iron Age artifacts and holy places... Here's a short review!

by Elly Griffiths
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN 978-0-5472-2989-8
Against the eerie backdrop of the Saltmarsh—a dangerous, desolate stretch of coastline that’s not quite earth, not quite sea—forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway stirs up fears and passions among the living even as she unearths Iron Age remains.

Although she’ll admit to being a walking cliché—she’s an overweight, unmarried, cat-loving academic—Ruth Galloway actually defies such slender classification. She’s an uncommon, down-to-earth heroine whose acute insight, wry humor, and depth of feeling make her a thoroughly engaging companion on this spooky, sometimes harrowing ride.

Early on, Ruth is called to a site where the body of a young girl has turned up on the Saltmarsh; the police fear it might be a child who went missing ten years previously. That’s where ancient history begins to cross paths with a not-so-distant past, and Ruth must tread carefully on the shifting quicksand of the Saltmarsh, and fathom the depths of her own history to determine whom to trust—even among her closest circle of old friends.

Like her protagonist, author Elly Griffiths has a strong affinity for ‘the crossing places,’ the borderlands between realms, those liminal places in the human psyche that link past and present.
 And the good news is that there are three more books in the series!

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