The Crossing Places is the first in a series featuring forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway. Ruth lives on a desolated saltmarsh on the Norfolk Coast in England. Most people wonder why she lives there, but Ruth worked on a dig in the saltmarsh where they found a henge (like Stonehenge but made of wood) and she fell in love with the place. Ruth encounters Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson when he comes to her office to ask for help. He wants her to look at some bones they found in the saltmarsh. Nelson is big, gruff and not particularly interested in archaeology. While he watches Ruth work on the bones, he is impressed with the care she takes. He feels that she treats it the way he might a crime scene. Unfortunately for him, the bones belong to an Iron Age girl, not the missing girl he was hoping to find. Ruth continues to think about the missing girl and look for a possible connection to the Iron Age bones. While he no longer needs her on the case, Nelson consults with Ruth. He feels a connection to her. The two have a chemistry that I fear will only manage to get them in trouble.
The Crossing Bones is a great start to the series. The atmosphere of the salt marsh is dark and brooding. The perfect place for a mystery. The archaeological aspect is fascinating. Ruth and Nelson make a great team despite some tension. They are both hardworking people who are a little disappointed with how their lives have turned out and yet they understand each other well. An element of suspense drives the pace and I could not put it down. The last hundred pages flew by in a flash.