Her social life is minimal, but she is content. Her two cats keep her company, and there are some nights out with her friend Shona. Her colleagues/friends from early days on digs and at university include mentor Erik Anderssen, and an ex-lover Peter. In her late thirties, she considers herself to be dumpy, but relatively attractive; her outward appearance does not concern her much, as her work is her primary focus.
But Ruth’s life is about to take a dramatic turn as she is swept up in a police investigation headed by DCI Harry Nelson, whose crew has discovered the bones of a child in the marsh. The detective believes the remains might belong to a small girl, Lucy Downey, who went missing ten years before. However, the discovery turns out to be an older burial from the Iron Age.
Bizarre letters with allusions to ritual sacrifices, as well as archeological, Biblical, and Shakespearean references, lead the hunt in a different direction…and then another girl goes missing.
The Crossing Places was a fascinating story that intrigued me mostly because of the characters involved and watching how they processed events and followed clues. Even their everyday lives and routines were fascinating as these ordinary moments added layers to the characters. Other characters were added to the canvas as the story continued, and by the suspenseful end, when catching a murderer became central to the story, I was ticking them off, one by one, as I couldn’t decide which, if any, of Ruth’s associates might be somehow involved. Not knowing who she could trust.
This first book in the series hooked me on the central characters, and by the final pages, I was eager for more as some hints at upcoming events had me checking out Book Two. 4.5 stars.