Ms Galloway is a forensic archaeologist in the fictional Saltmarsh outside Norfolk. When the police find some human bones, DCI Harry Nelson contacts her to find out whether they are of archaeological interest or could be the remains of a little girl who went missing ten years ago.
Ruth Galloway is an intelligent and independent woman who enjoys her solitude in the marsh area together with her two cats. Even though the body is clearly an Iron Age girl, her curiosity is aroused when the police show a growing interest in her domain, however, but she doesn´t quite know what to make of the gruff Inspector Nelson.
As if the old case was not enough, another little girl disappears, and the police receive several mysterious letters which may or may not be written by the kidnapper. These letters taunt the police and hint at a burial place in the Saltmarsh, leading them to believe that there could be a connection between the modern-time crimes and the Iron Age customs of sacrificing human beings.
Though the police are helped by coincidence, this is an impressive crime debut indeed! It is hard to find anything else to criticize apart from the fact that the whole book is written in the present tense. The engaging characters and the excellent setting helped me forget this small minus, and I strongly recommend the book!
Elly Griffiths is the pen name of Domenica de Rosa who has written four (non-crime) novels set in Italy. The book was a gift from Maxine. See her review – and be tempted!