25. Pearl Ruled: [THE CROSSING PLACES] by [[ELLY GRIFFITHS]]Rating: 1.875* of five (p126)The Book Description: When she’s not digging up bones or other ancient objects, quirky, tart-tongued archaeologist Ruth Galloway lives happily alone in a remote area called Saltmarsh near Norfolk, land that was sacred to its Iron Age inhabitants - not quite earth, not quite sea.When a child’s bones are found on a desolate beach nearby, Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson calls Galloway for help. Nelson thinks he has found the remains of Lucy Downey, a little girl who went missing ten years ago. Since her disappearance he has been receiving bizarre letters about her, letters with references to ritual and sacrifice.The bones actually turn out to be two thousand years old, but Ruth is soon drawn into the Lucy Downey case and into the mind of the letter writer, who seems to have both archaeological knowledge and eerie psychic powers. Then another child goes missing and the hunt is on to find her.As the letter writer moves closer and the windswept Norfolk landscape exerts its power, Ruth finds herself in completely new territory – and in serious danger.THE CROSSING PLACES marks the beginning of a captivating new crime series featuring an irresistible heroine. My Review: Hell, damn and BLAST!! I love the idea for this series. I am a fiend for archaeological settings in novels. I am a fan of tart-tongued women. (Look at my friends list and tell me that's exaggerated.) And I am always down for another series, since that makes the spaces between discoveries of books fuller and more bearable.But it's just not good. When he has gone, Ruth sits on the sofa, at the opposite end to the place where there is a faint bloodstain on the faded chintz. She looks at the remains of her meal with Shona and wonders, dully, how long ago it was that they sat at this table talking about men. (p126, US hardcover edition)And that is where my patience snapped. The rest of that paragraph floated past me like poop down the john. A huge sucking sound was heard, the bowl of my mind filled up with clear water, and there was no more interest to be found by me in this book. This writing is what, politely (yes, I do know what the word means), I would characterize as “serviceable.” But laddies and gentlewomen, I am over 50 and the days ahead number fewer than the days behind. What am I doing mucking about with “serviceable” when so much that's GOOD awaits discovery?So no more Mr. Nice Guy. You don't cut the mustard, writer dear, you're on the scrapheap of history.