A Room Full of Bones: The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 4

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A Room Full of Bones: The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 4

A Room Full of Bones: The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 4

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An Australian theme and the issue of repatriation of aboriginal bones, a link to serpents and a curse. It's a sensitive issue and a very interesting one, and I heard about it for the first time during the last year of my BA. I'm not expecting her to get a degree in forensic sciences or anything, but at least get your facts straight and don't simplify things for the sake of a plot twist.

It is forbidden to copy anything for publication elsewhere without written permission from the copyright holder. At the same token the reader is plowed into another enticing mystery as a museums curator is found dead next to a coffin excavated from a medieval church. Meanwhile, there's a heated stoush brewing over the retention by the Smith family of several Australian Aboriginal skulls, other remains and artifacts, that are currently poorly cared for in the museum's basement. As the series progresses and readers learn more about the secondary characters who surround Ruth, the tension between the pairings of Shona and Phil, DS Dave Clough and field archaeologist, Trace and the more recent development of DS Judy Johnson and Cathbad come into their own and these elements become almost as critical to proceedings as the Nelson and Ruth connection.

Max, a fellow archaeologist who featured in book two, The Janus Stone, turns back up in Ruth’s life in A Room Full of Bones. Kate only just escaped being born on 31 October, which, when combined with having a Pagan godfather, might have been one augury too far. Also, there’s a surreal, dreamlike quality to part of the story as it touches on Aboriginal culture and beliefs. Griffith's novels occupy a world where modern science and new age mysticism coexist but her characters' flights of fancy are leavened by common sense and humanity' Sunday Times.

I suppose it may not make a difference to most readers, but having started a biological anthropology course just 3 months before reading this book I had enough knowledge to get infuriated at how superficial Griffith's presentation of forensic archaeology is. I bought this partially because it is based in Norfolk where I live and partially because reviews suggested that it was a gritty and gripping crime book.As her convictions are tested, Ruth and Nelson must discover how Aboriginal skulls, drug smuggling, and the mystery of “The Dreaming” hold the answers to these deaths, as well as the keys to their own survival. Lord Danforth Smith couldn't be more pleased to welcome his long deceased ancestor to his museum but it seems he is alone with these feelings for he has a growing number of those in opposition to this transference and more than this.

BUT, it doesn't dominate the storyline, and the solution was something I had never thought of, and really very clever. As he said these words the entire plot of The Crossing Places appeared, full formed, in my head and, walking towards me out of the mist, I saw Dr Ruth Galloway.

However I’m well aware that I’m just dipping into this ongoing saga at a random point, and readers who have been invested in it from the beginning may strongly disagree with my wish to murder one of the main characters. In all fairness if you are generally left of center and a bit PC then I'm sure that it would not annoy you and the generally reasonable crime drama would be readable with more enjoyment than I got. As her convictions are tested, Ruth and Nelson must discover how Aboriginal skulls, drug smuggling, and the mystery of “The Dreaming” hold the answer to these deaths, as well as the keys to their own survival. Now her feelings about Erik are rather more complicated, but that doesn’t stop his voice popping into her head at alarmingly regular intervals. As Ruth becomes further embroiled in the case, she must decide where her loyalties lie - a choice that her very survival depends on.

With Nelson keeping his distance, Ruth finds herself torn between being relieved, yet also missing their connection. Nothing wrong with that but it falls down on characterisation which has all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. In fact, when we weren’t reading about the crime/mystery from one of the Smiths, it was Judy who was investigating.I've gradually been working my way through this series (this is the 4th) and they have been good so far. Of course, disturbing the dead is an occupational hazard for archaeologists, but Ruth makes sure that no matter how long-dead the bones are, she always treats them with respect. Michele has figured out that Nelson is Kate’s father and has forbidden him from having any contact with Ruth or Kate, except professional. As an Australian reader, I found much of the archaeological content of A Room Full of Bones particularly fascinating, as the retention of indigenous human remains and other significant items within both Australian and international museum collections is an ongoing controversy.



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