From the back of the paperback edition:
Forensic archeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway is in her late thirties. She lives happily alone with her two cats in a bleak, remote area near Norfolk, land that was sacred to its Iron Age inhabitants—not quite earth, not quite sea. But her routine days of digging up bones and other ancient objects are harshly upended when a child’s bones are found on a desolate beach. Detective Chief Inspector Nelson calls Galloway for help, believing they are the remains of Lucy Downey, a little girl who went missing a decade ago and whose abductor continues to taunt him with bizarre letters containing references to ritual sacrifice, Shakespeare, and the Bible.I have come late to this series. But there is one positive to this... I have several more books to read. If the series continues to be as good as many reviewers say, then I have much to look forward to.
I thought this would be an easy review to write and I wanted it to be short and sweet. The story was compelling, both Ruth's personal story and the mystery. My interest in the book never waned. Yet the resolution of the mystery and Ruth's story was disappointing to me, and I was not sure if I would like future books in the series. This surprised me because I have read numerous reviews of this book and later ones in the series that are extremely positive. So of course I will have to continue reading the series and give at least one more book a try. This will be easy because my husband has the first three books.
This series garners praise for the setting and the characters. Some reviewers liked both these elements in the first book but admitted that the mystery itself was less satisfying. In this book, I did like the development of the two main characters, Ruth and Nelson, and their interactions, but the secondary characters did not do much for me at this point. This is a debut novel, so I should not expect perfection. I did find Ruth's character to be believable and realistic; she isn't perfect and she is not young and strikingly beautiful. She is way more intrepid than me in her work life and her sleuthing, but that is true of almost all female mystery protagonists.
I do not enjoy stories told in third person present tense, but that was a small distraction. As far as how many more books I read in the series, it seems that it comes down to whether they can maintain my interest based on character interactions and story and whether the mystery elements either improve or prove to be less important to me.
Other reviews or overviews are here: Confessions of a Mystery Novelist, crimepieces, Petrona, Reactions to Reading, View from the Blue House
Publisher: Mariner Books, 2010 (orig. pub. 2009)
Length: 303 pages
Format: trade paperback
Series: Ruth Galloway
Setting: Norfolk, UK
Source: Borrowed from my husband