The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
Elly Griffiths is the pen name of Domenica De Rosa. The author was born in London and has previously written three novels set in Italy. She decided to have a change of venue with The Crossing Places, which is set in the Norfolk marshes of England. Ruth Galloway, the main character, is a forensic archaeologist who is drawn into an investigation of bones found in the marshes. Her relationship with Det. Chief Inspector Harry Nelson, will keep readers interested as will Ruth’s own personality. This mystery has a suspenseful plot with strong main characters and a reasonably complex storyline that combines events from the present and the distant past. The location is very important and lends an air of mystery and moodiness beautifully described by the author. Despite a few comments on the tidy way some of the events are resolved, most of the book group readers were interested in reading the next book in the series to discover what happens to Ruth.
Read the second in the Ruth Galloway mystery series, The Janus Stone.
‘Her lead character is engagingly awkward enough to be perversely appealing … on this evidence Griffiths has wrought something of a miracle’ The Times. ‘It’s always a pleasure when an author’s second book lives up to the promise of the first, and this is certainly true of the second in Griffiths’s series… There’s a satisfying meaty plot – family secrets, insanity and ancient mythology, both pagan and Roman – but it’s Griffiths’s dryly humorous writing and the appeal of her two main characters that make these books such a treat … More please.’ Guardian. ‘…it is topically terrifying enough but far more so when it is combined with pagan rites … bone-chilling stuff’ Times.
Elly Griffith’s website is http://www.ellygriffiths.co.uk/
Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
This extraordinary book has been called engaging, compassionate, deftly plotted, absorbing. It is the story of Chinese sisters Pearl and May, who flee China as the Japanese attack Shanghai in the 1930s. Arriving in Los Angeles Chinatown after many trials and tribulations they try to settle into new lives as the wives of Chinese immigrants. Although this is essentially the story of two sisters, it is so much more, it raises questions about home, racial and cultural identity, the role of women in society, women’s strengths and choices, love and the disruption of war. This is a great book for discussion. Lisa See is the author of the bestsellers Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Peony in Love. Her website is http://www.lisasee.com/shanghaigirls/