Chalk Pit
by Griffiths, Elly

Summoned to investigate a set of human remains discovered in one of Norwich's chalk-mining tunnels, Ruth teams up with DCI Nelson to search for a missing homeless person whose demise may be tied to Ruth's case and a string of murders.

ELLY GRIFFITHS is the author of the Ruth Galloway and Magic Men mystery series. She is a recipient of the Mary Higgins Clark Award and lives in Brighton, England.

The ninth Ruth Galloway mystery (after The Woman in Blue, 2016) from Mary Higgins Clark Award winner Griffiths brings forensic archaeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway and DCI Harry Nelson together again in their customary atmospheric East Anglia setting. There is said to be an "Underground" in old Norwich, where the homeless dwell deep within abandoned chalk-mining tunnels beneath the streets. Ruth is asked to investigate some bones found in one of the tunnels, bones that show signs of possible cannibalism or ritualistic killing. Homeless people begin to disappear, and one of them is found stabbed outside the police station. Then a local young housewife goes missing, followed by one of Ruth's friends. It does not seem that her relationship with Nelson could get any more complicated, but there are a few surprises here for both the captivating (in spite of herself) Ruth and her man. Highly recommended for fans of articulate and gripping narratives with a hearty mix of police procedural, historical detail, and academia. Featuring one the best ensemble casts in crime fiction today. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

The discovery of some not-so-old bones opens up surprising possibilities of a mysterious underground world.Archaeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway is called in when several bones are found in one of the many underground chalk mine tunnels under the city of Norwich, England. The architect planning an underground restaurant is hoping they're ancient, but testing reveals not only that they're fairly recent, but that they'd been boiled and cut open, a sinister hint of cannibalism. Meantime, Ruth's one-time lover DCI Nelson, the father of her daughter, Kate, is asked by rough sleeper Eddie O'Toole to look into the disappearance of Barbara Murray, another rough sleeper who hasn't been seen in any of her usual haunts. When Eddie's found stabbed to death and soon after another homeless man is also found stabbed, Nelson begins to take the search for Barbara more seriously. Then a middle-class mother of four vanishes from her home, and the police go all out to find her. While all this is happe ning, Ruth and Nelson, who remains married, maintain a delicately balanced relationship. Nelson's wife allows him to spend time with Kate, but neither of his grown daughters knows of her existence. The missing housewife has one thing in common with the rough sleepers: they all spent time at a center run by an ex-con who's found religion and changed his ways. Wild rumors abound about the old chalk mine tunnels that run for miles under Norwich, and a statement that someone made about Barbara going underground lead the police to some hidden doors. Is it possible that a literally underground group could be responsible for the deaths? Like its predecessors (The Woman in Blue, 2016, etc.), Griffith's ninth is complex and character-driven, providing an excellent mystery whose very last sentence will leave you yearning for the next installment. Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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