I was pretty excited this month when a new book arrived in the post from Quercus. With a dark and eerie cover suggestive of an underlying threat, I was immediately intrigued. Likewise, the author quote on the front from none other than Val McDermid, a master of crime/mystery, may also have helped, marking this as one of her ‘favourite series’. Admittedly I had never really heard a lot about Elly Griffiths or her Ruth Galloway Mystery series, but I was more than happy to delve into The Chalk Pit, the ninth novel in this series.
As always, The Chalk Pit follows the character of Ruth Galloway. When bones are discovered in the tunnels beneath the city, archaeologist Ruth is the first to investigate. Realising that the bones are likely to be less than five years old, and have also been boiled, there are fears that a terrible crime has been committed. Meanwhile, DCI Harry Nelson is attempting to trace the cause of the disappearance of a homeless woman, following rumours from the streets that she may have gone ‘underground’. Whilst the theories seem pretty unfounded, the pressure is massively increased when another person sleeping on the streets is found murdered, quickly followed by the disappearance of a second woman. With things quickly escalating, the possibility of the Underground must be faced, and the truth discovered before more victims can be claimed.