Saturday, February 1, 2014
Intelligent mystery set in England
Dr. Ruth Galloway is an archeologist who is asked by Det. Inspector Harry Nelson, to examine some human bones found in a saltmarsh. He hopes he has discovered the bones of a child who went missing ten years ago, it would at least solve the mystery.
The saltmarsh setting is not far from Ruth's home. She lives there with her two cats and has only two neighbors on a lonely road. One of her neighbors is there only on weekends and the other is a reclusive bird warden.
Ruth agrees to help Harry and discovers that the bones are ancient. Further study shows that they are over two thousand years old and must have been from some ritual at the time.
Ruth is overweight and doesn't mind living alone. She spends much of her time, preparing for her lessons at the university where she teaches. Unexpectedly involved in researching the bones, she becomes friends with Harry.
Harry is tormented with the case of the missing girl. He even gets letters taunting him about his inability to find the girl's body. These letters have literary and archaeological references. Then, another little girl goes missing and Ruth agrees to help again.
The author portrays Ruth well and we see her compassion for the families of the missing children. She has a small number of friends who were at an archaeological dig ten years ago and the reader is led to wonder if any of these friends could have had a hand in their abductions.
I enjoyed learning about Ruth and Harry and their development as characters. It was interesting that she was described as being overweight and yet, in the concluding scenes, her weight was an important part of the story's suspense.