Quercus | February 2017 | 384 pgs
The Chalk Pit is the ninth installment of Elly Griffiths' Dr Ruth Galloway mystery and though I jumped into this book without any idea of the characterisations or the writing style, I found myself enjoying this book featuring the main protagonist and DCI Harry Nelson working together during their investigations.
When some human bones are found buried beneath the grounds of an old chalk-mining tunnel in Norwich during an excavation for a new development project, Ruth thinks they are probably medieval although she is skeptical about their translucence appearance; a sign that they were boiled soon after death.
On the other end, DCI Nelson and his team are following up on a case of a missing homeless woman named Barbara after a few fellow homeless people reported not seeing her for weeks. There are some rumours about underground societies, ritual activities and even cannibalism but Ruth remains objective. Then two homeless people were found murdered and two more women were reported missing that make Ruth and the police think that there are something more than meet the eye surrounding the underground tunnels and they may have to dig deeper to unravel the mystery.
Despite my limited knowledge of the cast of characters, I found myself absorbed in this book quickly and it didn't take me too much time to get to know more about the characters and I loved it that way considering I was new to this series and on top of it I read it out of order. Ruth and Nelson are two very engaging characters with their past history and their complicated relationship (Nelson has two grown up children with his wife and another younger daughter with Ruth. Nelson stay married to his wife and his relationship with Ruth is considered more like friends. However, something happened along the way which I think might alter these characters' perspective and I'm very curious to see where this would take them in the future books.)
Another thing worth mentioning is the insight of the homeless people while reading this book. The author has covered several aspects about their circumstances and experiences which I couldn't help but to feel for them and while some were poor and not highly educated, a few had actually led a normal life until some situations pushed them off the edge.
All in all this was an intriguing read. Most of all, the dynamic between Ruth and Nelson kept me engaged throughout the book. I'll be sure to check out the other books of this series.
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