Read The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths Online


Boiled human bones have been found in Norwich's web of underground tunnels. When Dr Ruth Galloway discovers they are recent - the boiling not the medieval curiosity she thought - DCI Nelson has a murder enquiry on his hands.Meanwhile, DS Judy Johnson is investigating the disappearance of a local rough sleeper. The only trace of her is the rumour that she's gone 'undergrounBoiled human bones have been found in Norwich's web of underground tunnels. When Dr Ruth Galloway discovers they are recent - the boiling not the medieval curiosity she thought - DCI Nelson has a murder enquiry on his hands.Meanwhile, DS Judy Johnson is investigating the disappearance of a local rough sleeper. The only trace of her is the rumour that she's gone 'underground'. This might be a figure of speech, but with the discovery of the bones and the rumours both Ruth and the police have heard of a vast network of old chalk-mining tunnels under King's Lynn, home to a vast community of rough sleepers, the clues point in only one direction. Local academic Martin Kellerman knows all about the tunnels and their history - but can his assertions of cannibalism and ritual killing possibly be true?As the weather gets hotter, tensions rise. A local woman goes missing and the police are under attack. Ruth and Nelson must unravel the dark secrets of The Underground and discover just what gruesome secrets lurk at its heart - before it claims another victim....

Title : The Chalk Pit
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781784296605
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Chalk Pit Reviews

  • Paromjit
    2019-03-24 21:10

    It is a great pleasure to return to the forensic archeologist Ruth Galloway series with the ninth in the series. It begins with Ruth entering an underground chalk tunnel in Norwich where bones have been discovered. They turn out to be boiled and speak of a recent death. Grace Miller reports seeing a Jesus like figure whilst in a car where the student occupants are all under the influence of drink and drugs. This occurs at night when a hole appears in a road. Aftershave Eddie, a homeless man, tells DCI Harry Nelson of Barbara, part of the homeless community, who has gone missing.Eddie is found stabbed and murdered in front of the police station, which galvanises Nelson's team to up their efforts in finding Barbara. The gentle Bilbo is murdered in a similar manner to Eddie. The investigation suggests that a community of homeless people live in the disused and dangerous chalk tunnels of Lynn and Norwich and there are rumours of an underground society. Two local women disappear and there are whispers that they might be being held underground. One is Sam, a housewife with four children, the other is DS David Clough's partner, Cassandra, with whom he has a child. Ruth and Nelson race to find the women and a murderer. Ruth rushes to Eltham on hearing her mum has suffered a stroke. It's great to be with a group of characters you feel you know so well after so many years. They all have a shared history and connections. The Ruth and Nelson saga continues with new developments. It feels good to catch up with their lives. This has been such an enjoyable read and I recommend it to others. This can be read as a standalone, and at the end of the book there is a synopsis of some of the main characters that can help. Many thanks to Quercus for an ARC.

  • Diane S ☔
    2019-04-19 00:23

    4.5 One of my top five series, a series that I wait impatiently for the next offering. Adore the mix of archeology, police procedural and the personal lives of these oh, so interesting characters. The pace is always swift, and the plot intriguing.In this one though she outdid herself, as she tackles the homeless, the danger, lack of awareness and sympathy they endure daily. Well I guess in the UK they are called rough sleepers, here in the U.S we call them homeless, or if one is being politically correct, housing challenged. I have never before, though there may be some out there, read a book that made these unfortunate people so, sympathetic, so real, individuals with past lives and talents. Treating them with respect and care, making us take notice. It is these kind of details that make this such a great series.She applies the same talent to her characters, they are flawed but real. Dealing with many of the same things we deal with daily. In this book, I came to appreciate Judy, her quest to do right by those forgotten by most of society. As for Ruth, an incident that looks promising come to an abrupt and startling halt. Or does it? Well that's the cliffhanger for the next book, form which I will now wait impatiently. ARC from publisher.

  • Malia
    2019-04-17 00:13

    Oh, I'm so disappointed that I finished already! I had planned to make The Chalk Pit last, but a few sunny days on the terrace had me turning the final page far too quickly. Now another year's wait to hear from my friends Ruth, Nelson and the rest again:-(The Chalk Pit centers around the death and disappearance of homeless people in the area around King's Lynn. Ruth, who discovers a number of bones underground is, as ever, drawn into the mystery, which puts her in frequent (though not unwanted) contact with Nelson. Their relationship is still complicated, and while Ruth is happy he is a father to Kate, she is disappointed that he is still with his wife. All the while, she isn't completely sure how she would integrate a man into her life with her daughter, even if it is the child's father. The personal parts of the Ruth Galloway mysteries are definitely my favorite, and I could read these books regardless of whether or not there is a mystery. I feel as if I know the characters, and I certainly wish I did! Griffiths has developed them so well and in a way that seems natural and very real. I suspect she has written part of herself into Ruth (much as I have with my own leading lady) and I believe we would get along rather well, if we ever met:-)Though my first love is for the characters in this series, the plot is by no means a disappointment. This story, in particular, very much appealed to me, and I thought the way the author writes about the homeless characters is so thoughtful and compassionate, and makes you think how little it can take for someone to lose everything, especially if they do not have a support network to help them back up. I suspected who the murderer was, but couldn't guess why, so the ending was quite satisfying. Though the ending to the personal story is anything but! I don't want to give details away, however, Griffiths drops a single statement which could have rather interesting consequences for the future of a number of characters. CANNOT wait for the next book!If you haven't read The Chalk Pit or the whole series yet, I envy you the pleasure!Find more reviews and bookish fun at

  • Brenda
    2019-04-16 21:36

    From the very first Ruth Galloway book, The Crossing Places, I've been enchanted with this series. The settings are interesting, from a salt marsh to a World War II airfield to an old children’s home. The author uses local history to enrich her mysteries. As I’ve read through this series, the characters have become old friends.This book takes place in Norwich and features two things: the underground chalk tunnels and rough sleepers (homeless people). Ruth is called in to evaluate some bones found in one of the tunnels. Disappearances of women and murders of rough sleepers are investigated by Nelson, Judy, and Clough under the supervision of an unwelcome new supervisor.I love being privy to Nelson’s snarky inner thoughts. His relationships with Ruth and Michelle are seemingly possibly maybe on the verge of changing. The portentous final sentence echoed my thoughts. I thought the inclusion, at the very end, of the obituary written by Judy for one of the rough sleepers was a nice touch.

  • Susan Johnson
    2019-03-19 18:29

    I don't do well underground. I don't like the feeling it gives me. Californians don't really dig unless it's for gold. We don't even have many basements in the state. Norwich England is different. There is a tunnel system under the city that goes almost everywhere. It's been abandoned but it's there and a developer decides he wants to build a restaurant in one of them. As they develop the site, bones are found. Ruth Galloway is called in to investigate and discovers the bones are relatively new and have been boiled. That's a sign of cannibalism and people become worried about what's going on in those tunnels. Then two homeless men are murdered and three women are abducted off the street and the police have their hands full. They discover there is a Brotherhood and secret societies using the tunnels and search is on for the missing women and the murderer. All of the 9 Ruth Galloway books can be read as stand alones but they are so much richer if you know the characters and their relationships. This one ties up the story of Tim, a policeman who left the force in mysterious circumstances, the romance of Cloughie and Cassandra, Ruth's major life event and what Nelson's wife, Michelle, is up to now. I like her less and less every book. I was really more interested in what was happening with the characters than the actual mystery. Maybe this interesting story will inspire you to go back and read them all. They are all worthwhile.I love this series and the Ruth Galloway character. It's not often you find such an intelligent and independent protagonist. I admire her and love the characters surrounding her. I can't recommend it more highly.

  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    2019-03-19 18:08

    The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths is book nine in the Ruth Galloway series and I'm wondering if this series had done it's best for me and it's time to move on. It's a bit of a sad thought since I found the first books quite good, but this book and the one before has just not worked out so well for me.The story in this book was not that bad, at first, for the first 40-50% of the book was it interesting to read about the murdered tramps and the missing women, but then the story started to drag and I found myself more and more annoyed with the characters in the book and their ignorance and intolerance. And, it hit me that I just don't like anyone except Cathbad and he was hardly in the story this time. There are so many times during the book's story that I find myself frustrated with the lack of religious understanding or plain ignorance. I don't even like Ruth Galloway especially much.Then we have the ending that fell flat and was utterly boring. It is just not fun when you spend a day reading a book, and it feels like you have wasted the time. The archeology aspect was what drove me to start reading this book, but not even it feels interesting anymore. Now, I'm not even sure if it's worth reading future books and as I said before it's a bit sad when a series you have enjoyed just doesn't work anymore...I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

  • Richard
    2019-04-05 23:24

    This is a book that was a joy to read for me. It helps that I am a committed fan of the author and her two crime series; but this novel is special for me as it places the realities of being homeless and a rough sleeper at the heart of the plot. I know of no better example where this subject has been treated with compassion and understanding while being fundamental to the storyline.It is also opportune that I am also concurrently reading Beneath the Killing Fields: Exploring the Subterranean Landscapes of the Western Front by Matthew Leonard. In his book, he talks about WWI being the first major conflict that took the fight underground using tunnels to mine the enemy’s trenches but also to seek shelter from the barrage and killing above. Indeed, he mentions in passing that historically we've associated the burial of bodies under the earth. Yet, the irony on the western front was that men lay unburied, broken and dead in no man's land, while the living took shelter underground.Elly Griffith's new book in her excellent Ruth Galloway series, The Chalk Pit has its inspiration in the tunnels under Norwich. As a forensic archaeologist, she is call to a system of tunnels near under the City when bones are discovered.The theme thereafter in underground and Elly plays it for all its worth. This is one of the reasons reading her books is so much fun. The subject is treated seriously but she can't help references to the Jam's hit going underground and even has a character wearing a logo top with a lyric by Velvet Underground.The story is initially about a homeless women who goes missing. Rather than spelling out that such a person was less valued or part of an underclass she lets the story reveal the facts. Firstly, it is some time before anyone realises she is missing (it seems such people drift in and out as part of their itinerant ways). Then it becomes difficult tracing next of kin or finding other hostel uses to speak to the police. When a further couple of incidents occur in relation to 2 male rough sleepers it seems no-one knows their real names or will miss then either. But they were friends of the missing woman and one thought she was 'going underground'.Contrast this to what happens when further women disappear and the police response becomes more rapid and completely ranked up, with widespread publicity and deployment of resources.Nothing is said but in passing it speaks of the differences perhaps society places on people's lives.As I've stated, the author doesn't make a big play of this, it just happens in the telling of the story. However, in so doing she speaks again about a separate class of homeless individuals that would rather seek refuge in caves and tunnels, out of sight, rather than more structured living and the process of hostel into council accommodation, rarely of their choosing or close to people they know and understand.I loved the fact that 'Charlie' trusted Cloughie because the detective had real conversations with him and treated him as a person. This is spot on, and is not to the credit of most of us.There is little stereotyping of characters and real development of the relationships we are aware of already 8 books in. It is so clever that Katie, Ruth's daughter is brought into this story as she is into drama and plays a young Alice in an adaptation of a Lewis Carroll classic but updated as "Alice's adventures underground".A cracking mystery and police procedural that has at its heart the relationship between Ruth a single parent with Kate and DCI Harry Nelson (Kate's father). There is much to commend it and is neatly brought up to date with an informative epilogue. The characters' pen portrait were inspired and could be read without spoiling the story first by anyone new to Elly Griffiths. (Where have you been? She won the 2016 CWA Dagger in the Library). This is a wonderful writer at the height of her undoubted skill and powers. Val McDermid is a fan, she stops just short of calling this series a guilty pleasure. The best thing for me in the whole book was the care to write an Obituary for one of the homeless who lost their life in this fictional account. To me it shows that this subject was brought into focus by the author's research. When she describes the pauper funeral for the homeless man attended by just a few police officers involved in the case, it reminded me of a time in my first job at an unemployment benefit office. Those signing as NFA. No fixed abode, would have to sign in person to collect their giros one morning each week. The office smelt rank as so many unwashed bodies lined up for their money; but we became a constant in their lives. I was one of three who attended a funeral when one man sadly passed away. That was the 70's and thankfully much has changed in society since. However, rough sleeping remains an issue and this book in part raises that again like all good fiction can. The word used of them by Elly here is diffident, well said. A great read; this book is out later in February, please take time to read it. For our word, should be and can be difference, you and I can make that happen.

  • Pat
    2019-04-10 19:08

    4.5 starsI'm trying to save 5 stars for classic books but I must say in the world of Ruth Galloway this is a 5 star classic.All the characters make an appearance. Dr. Ruth Galloway is called in to look at some bones discovered while excavating for a new restaurant. Ruth is sure the bones will prove to be medieval. Meanwhile, Harry Nelson and his team begin investigating the disappearance of a homeless woman (rough sleeper in British) reported by another rough sleeper Eddie. The community of rough sleepers look out for each other and Eddie sleeps outside the police station so he is friendly with Nelson who takes Eddie's concerns seriously. Soon, other women start to disappear, and they are not rough sleepers, turning the case into a serious crime investigation.Excellent addition to the Ruth Galloway series. Highly recommend.

  • Lynn
    2019-04-04 19:08

    This is my favorite crime fiction series. It is one series that when it comes out, I purchase. I do not want to wait for a library book. So much has been said already in other reviews about the plot, that I just want to say what I like about this series so much.It is the characters. I feel that I have grown to know them through the books. I want to catch up with their lives and see what it happening. I like every one of the repeating characters. Ruth is a special protagonist. She is intelligent and does the best she can raising her daughter Kate as a single parent. As readers, we are watching Kate grow up. It made me smile when she wanted to show off her petticoats. She is a bright lively child who is loved so much by Kate and Harry Nelson.As a reader, I want to know how the Ruth, Nelson and Michelle relationship is going to be resolved. We learned more about Judy Johnson and what a caring person she can be. Clough showed his deep love for Cassandra. This book featured chalk pits, rough sleepers (homeless people), disappearances and several murders. The clues all seem to lead back to going underground. Another reason I like this series so much is each plot is fresh and different from the last book. I feel the books should be read in order to appreciate the character development. They can be read as standalone books but I think the reader is missing out by doing this,I did feel the solution to the mystery was somewhat unbelievable. I gave it five stars because I relished the read. It was so comfortable being back with the characters. I finished the book after 1:00 A.M. last night. I just had to find out how it was going to end. Now, I have to wait probably a year for the next book. Love this series!

  • Kevin
    2019-03-29 02:36

    I've enjoyed this series since "The Crossing Places" one of the most brilliant in the series. In my mind the highlights of this book revolved more around the characters and their relationships than the actual mystery.Ruth Galloway, a forensic anthropologist, is pulled in on a dig where she finds the boiled bones of someone who was fairly recently deceased. The police are called in to continue the dig. In the meantime one of the towns rough sleepers tells a trusted policeman that another homeless person is missing. He ends up murdered and the police try to find the murderer as well as the missing woman. I would recommend you start this series with "The Crossing Places" and read them in order as much of the action takes place in the relationships. Excellent writing, unforgettable characters that you will truly care for and storylines that are hard to beat!

  • Sam (Clues and Reviews)
    2019-04-19 19:23

    The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths is ninth in the Ruth Galloway mystery series, I had no idea what to think when I went into this book. I had not read any of the previous novels and, truthfully, had never even heard of this series! I was a little bit worried it would be the same old police procedural style novel and I was ready to throw it into my DNF pile when this story completely sucked me. Ruth Galloway, a forensic archeologist, is called to investigate a set of human remains found in an old chalk mining tunnels that runs underneath the city of Norwich. Meanwhile, DCI Nelson and his team are hunting for a missing woman. Could the two cases be connected? As Ruth investigates, she begins to discover signs of cannibalism on the remains and when rumors of secret societies and ritual killings begin swimming, they realize that their quest to find the killer has just begun….and he is just getting started. I found myself, initially, very distracted by the narrative technique Griffiths’ chose to use in The Chalk Pit. The plot is told in third person present tense. I don’t know if it was because I am so used to reading first person narratives or third person past tense narratives, but I was hyper aware of all the wording within the first fifty pages; it was making me crazy! However, once I settled into the plot and the characters, I found it didn’t bother me as much. One of those quirky things, I guess! The detectives working their case of multiple missing women happens in parallel with Ruth’s story as she is called in and out to consult and handle her own personal business. I didn’t find myself confused by any of the references into the first eight books in this series. Griffiths does a fine job at using memories to fill the gaps and other character perspectives to explain the backstory. In fact, Ruth’s personal life became one of my favourite parts of the book. Similar to how Tess Gerritsen creates colourful backstories for the protagonists of her Rizzoli and Isles series, Griffiths has a pretty interesting and scandalous personal live for Ruth Galloway. I am all about a little bit of scandal and juicy gossip mixed into my reading! This one is considerably slower (especially if you are not one to indulge in a backstory of the characters and prefer to stick with the case) but once the plot gets moving, I’d say about half way through, I was intrigued enough to continue going. I did like that the author included an epilogue as the last chapter, which tied up any loose ends and it made so that the next book in the series could be a fresh start. I cannot say much more without giving away some spoilers, but I must say, I was pretty disappointed with the direction the plot chose to go. Overall, I’d say if you enjoy a slow burning, police procedural style novel with a female protagonist, you might want to add this to your TBR pile. However, if you are looking for a fast paced, on the edge of your seat style of mystery, this would miss the mark. I gave it a 3/5 stars!

  • Ellen
    2019-04-19 00:12

    The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths.This is the 9th in the Ruth Galloway series and my 9th. Where do I do I begin? Just to say 5 stars is not enough for this excellent addition to the R.G. series. Norwich has underground tunnels throughout ...chalk tunnels to be precise. Ruth's assistance is needed in identifying bones found in one of these tunnels. If they are ancient Ruth may be taking her class on another excavation to find any other bones hidden in these tunnels. At the same time DCI Nelson has a missing homeless woman he's attempting to locate. Who she is and who knew her remains a puzzle.The characters continue to evolve/grow in their personal relationships and their working relationships. A fantastic cast of characters that have brought great joy to this reader. I can't recommend this book and this marvelous series enough. ..not a dull page exists within. *Please start the series from the first book.

  • Cindy Burnett
    2019-04-02 23:29

    With The Chalk Pit, Elly Griffiths adds another highly satisfying and intelligent installment to her Ruth Galloway series. The Chalk Pit is the 9th book, and the characters and plot line remain outstanding, likeably quirky and original. The Chalk Pit centers around Norwich’s hidden underground tunnels and the discovery of human bones. Initially the bones are thought to be medieval, but Ruth quickly determines that they are recent, and as a result, DCI Nelson and Ruth must work to solve a murder. Meanwhile, women are going missing and homeless men (rough sleepers as they are called in Norwich) are being murdered. As the story unfolds, Ruth, DCI Nelson and the rest of the crew work to figure out whether these incidents are related and attempt to solve the various crimes.The characters in this book are simply fantastic. I love reading about them all and seeing them develop over time as the books continue. Ruth and DCI Nelson’s interactions are always interesting, and for a while I had high hopes that things might resolve themselves in a manner that I would like, but apparently that is for another book. However, that did not lessen my enjoyment of The Chalk Pit. Griffith’s portrayal of the homeless population is empathetic and kind, and the underground tunnels are an intriguing inclusion in the story.I highly recommend this entire series and specifically The Chalk Pit. Thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley for the chance to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Cathleen
    2019-03-31 02:16

    Among the many reasons I love summer is looking forward to reading the next in the Ruth Galloway mystery series. And each summer I'm rewarded by the "just one more chapter then I'll go to sleep" reading experiences. The Chalk Pit is the 9th in the series, and the only downside of reading this series is waiting for the next one. A purely enjoyable reading experience.

  • Sue
    2019-04-13 22:30

    Always nice to revisit the world of Elly Griffiths, with another story set in Kings Lynn, Norfolk with Ruth Galloway and all the other familiar characters I've come to know over the course of this series. This episode involves street people, bones found in an underground cavern, unexplained killings, and mysterious disappearances. Once again there is the mix of police procedural, archaeology and the many personalities surrounding Ruth in the college town where old and ancient buildings once again serve up old bones. In this episode there is another very modern issue, that of the people sleeping rough, the street people or homeless who are sometimes victims of crime for no reason. Here they become the center of the question. Are they victims, perpetrators, what? What is happening in the old chalk pits?Once again Elly Griffiths delivers a great story on the way to answering the many questions -- and also moving Ruth, Nelson, and all of her regular characters along in their lives.

  • Clare
    2019-04-09 21:14

    With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an open and honest review. I feel so lucky to have received a copy before its official release date.I always look forward to the latest Ruth Galloway book, it is like meeting old friends. I have read the all the books in this series before, so I understand the tensions between Ruth, Nelson his Wife Michelle and Tim. The story begins with Ruth excavating in a tunnel under the Guild Hall in Norwich. A bone was found by architect Quentin Swain who wants to build an underground restaurant. Ruth finds more bones which were probably 10 years old or less. She is worried because the bones were cooked which could mean cannibalism.Meanwhile DCI Nelson is visited at the station by aftershave Eddie a homeless man who sleeps outside the police station at night. He is worried because another homeless woman called Babs has gone missing.Nelson, DS Judy Johnson and David Clough try to find Babs without success. Then aftershave Eddie is found stabbed in front of the station, why would someone kill a harmless man like Eddie. Judy finds another homeless man called Bilbo who knew Eddie and Babs, he said that Babs had gone underground.Nelson and the team go to see a senior lecturer at the local university about a possible underground community. The lecturer suspects there is a community but has never seen it himself or found anyone to confirm it. Then Bilbo is also found murdered in the same way as Eddie.The case hots up when local mother of 4 Sam Foster-Jones vanishes after answering her front door and then Cloughs girlfriend Cassandra Blackstone. The only connection between the two ladies is they both attend a mother and baby group, which always has a drop in for the homeless upstairs.Meanwhile Ruth's Daughter Kate is to appear in a play called Alice Underground with Cassandra. Also Ruth's Mother sadly has a stroke and she has to travel up to London. It was nice to get a glimpse of Ruth's parents who are not often mentioned. Cathbad, Judy's partner was also in the story but sadly only a bit part. The Ruth/Nelson love saga is still going strong. At the end of the book there is a startling revelation which stops Nelson and Ruth finally being together.This was another page turner, which had me on the edge of the seat by the end. If you enjoy the Ruth Galloway series, you will like this new edition.

  • Damaskcat
    2019-04-10 00:12

    I received a free copy of this books from NetGalley.I have read and enjoyed all the Ruth Galloway series and this one is just as good as its predecessors. There is something endearing about Ruth as a heroine in that she doesn't always do everything right and she has the same fears and insecurities as many of us endure. In this tense mystery boiled human bones are found in a tunnel under Norwich and Ruth discovers that they are recent rather than centuries old. The police in the person of DCI Harry Nelson therefore has a murder case on his hands.DS Judy Johnson wants to talk to a woman who used to sleep rough but it seems she has disappeared - gone 'underground'. Is this just a figure of speech or is she really living underground? There are rumours of a group of people living in the disused chalk mining tunnels under Norwich. Then another rough sleeper is found murdered and the case suddenly looks more complicated.This is a fascinating read and like all good mysteries I could imagine it happening. Having lived near Norwich at one time I am familiar with the landmarks mentioned and could imagine the action of the story taking place against a real background. I love all the series characters - Judy Johnson and Cathbad, the Druid; DCI Harry Nelson and his wife Michelle; Ruth herself and her small daughter Kate who is very much a personality in her own right. Fans of this entertaining series which combines crime and archaeology will love this latest book.

  • Elaine Tomasso
    2019-03-28 02:26

    The Chalk Pit is another excellent novel in the Dr Ruth Galloway series. Ruth is called in to look at some bones found buried in an old tunnel. What she finds disquiets her but as they are medieval she's not too worried. In the meantime DCI Harry Nelson and his team are looking in to the disappearance of a homeless woman, Barbara Murray, and a Jesus like figure seen by some drunken students and the appearance of a hole in the road.I thoroughly enjoyed The Chalk Pit with its mixture of police procedural and Ruth and Harry's tangled relationship. It all flows together seamlessly which is, I imagine, very hard to accomplish and yet Ms Griffiths make it seem effortless.I have often thought that in the past novels the investigative side of the plot has been a bit weak in comparison to the strong characterisation and interpersonal relationships but Ms Griffiths has excelled herself with both areas being equally strong. There is a real mystery surrounding Barbara's disappearance and as the police, most Judy, investigate the action ramps up to a very satisfactory conclusion. I had no idea of the perpetrator as Ms Griffiths presents several contenders and possible reasons. This kept me glued to the pages and it was a one sitting read as I just couldn't stop until I knew.Ruth, Harry and co. are like old friends by now and it is always a joy to slip back into their world. It's amazing to think, having been in on the conception and birth, that their daughter Kate is now six years old. How time flies! Neither of them are your standard protagonists but they are very likeable. Ms Griffiths is not, however, content to sit on her laurels and let their unconventional relationship continue as before. She has introduced some stunning new twists which I can't wait to learn more about. I was interested also to see Ms Griffiths's take on the homeless community. Interesting with her slew of eccentric characters but not as gritty perhaps as reality would be my take on it.The Chalk Pit is one of the best books I have read all year so I have no hesitation in recommending it as an excellent read.

  • Cynthia
    2019-04-09 00:25

    Griffiths is a great entertainer. I almost always have two or three books I'm reading in conjunction and switch them out deep depending on my mood and what book is closest to me to grab and read when I have a few spare minutes to indulge but a Griffith book never fails to grab my whole attention and everything else is set aside until I reach the end of her latest. The Chalk Pit was no immediate exception. The archeology hook this time is underground societies and their possible appeal for homeless people.Our old friends are back again of course led by Ruth and Nelson and their friends and family. Griffiths plot is once again relevant and believable and above all entertaining. The emotional complications go up a notch as well.

  • Rachel Lynas
    2019-03-29 19:30

    Really enjoyed this the 9th story about Ruth Galloway. I find it incredibly frustrating that just when you think she is finally going to get her happy ever after with Nelson it is snatched away from her. But who knows what will happen in the next book, I await with eager anticipation.

  • Kate
    2019-04-12 20:18

    Thoroughly enjoyed this!

  • JulieDurnell
    2019-04-03 00:21

    I found this one weak on the forensic archeology aspects and more emphasis on the characters relationships, just didn't enjoy it quite as much as others in the series.

  • Cleo Bannister
    2019-04-08 21:15

    Another outing for Ruth Galloway and this time the action is firmly set in Norwich when bones are found in an underground tunnel under Guildhall, which is something of an inconvenience for Quentin Swain the architect who is looking to use the space to build a swanky restaurant. Ruth overcomes her dislike of enclosed spaces to take a trip below the city to take a look; she’s fairly sure that they are old bones so sends them off to be tested.Meanwhile the police are investigating the disappearance of a homeless woman, Babs in Norwich who has disappeared without trace. Eddie who has made the police station his bedroom, has reported her missing and it is clear when the police starts talking to the other members of the community, that they are worried about her too, but many are cautious of the police. And then a housewife goes missing in very suspicious circumstances and the police are forced to consider whether there can be a link to Babs.I have to say that this book treats the subject of homelessness with far more nuance than any other that I’ve read. Elly Griffiths has given each of the many men, and they usually are men, a realistic story of how they came to be on the street, and why they are unwilling to accept the help offered to them but she has resisted the urge to make them all out to be saints which means that her attempts to make them realistic characters is so much more effective.One of the many aspects of this series which I love is the link between Ruth and DI Nelson through their daughter Kate and the peek behind their working lives into what can only fairly be described as muddled. These insights leak around the side of the main investigation, never overwhelming it but often cleverly linking or echoing the themes.In this book Kate is offered the part in a play. Ruth isn’t too sure whether this is a good idea but a few words from her mother and outright disapproval from Nelson means that Kate winds up playing the child Alice in a quirky adaption of that famous story called Alice Underground. The adult Alice being played by Cassandra wife of DS Clough.The other aspect I really enjoy is that upon opening up the latest in the series I feel like I’m meeting old friends with the characters, distinct and engaging as ever, we had plenty of news to catch up on while underground tunnels were being searched and pits opening up in the road are causing chaos in Norwich. Ruth Galloway also links back to past books with little asides so this really is one of those series which is best read in order although there is a helpful who’s who guide at the back of the book for those of you reckless readers who are happy to dive in straight at book nine!The familiarity of the characters alongside the first person narrative really make me feel that I am part of the book. So I know what’s going on and I can often predict the individual character’s response, but the plotting is so devious that I am no match for the detectives, I am merely on the side lines waiting for them to crack the case in indomitable style.Although to be honest there isn’t one of these books that I haven’t enjoyed, the plotting in this one seemed tauter and the links more robust than some of the previous books. When you combine the excellent mystery with some intriguing personal lives and a look at a community which rarely has an accurate spotlight trained on it whilst seamlessly providing the history of the underground tunnels in Norwich, The Chalk Pit was a sure fire winner.

  • Laura
    2019-03-22 18:15

    Book reviews and more on This is another great release from one of my favourite authors, as part of the Ruth Galloway series that I always really enjoy. As it’s set in Norfolk, I enjoy reading about the area, particularly when some of the story moves into Norwich so I recognise lots of landmarks (though some of course are made up).The story was interesting, particularly with its focus on the homeless community in Norwich – it’s nice to see a book that is actually quite objective and reasoned about people on the streets, instead of failing to treat them as actual human beings. The idea of an ‘underground’ community was really fun to read about and an interesting idea.. Elly Griffiths does a great job of treating the issue of homelessness seriously and, I felt, with respect but still adds a bit of light-hearted fun to the story. I also quite liked that everything wasn’t too ‘neatly tied up’ and left some things unsolved, leaving me looking forward to her next instalment!The characters are as great as ever (one of the many reasons I enjoy this series so much); I’ll always love Ruth, despite her sometimes making what I feel are questionable decisions regarding her personal life – but hey, no one’s perfect which makes me like her even more really! I also really like Nelson, his wife Michelle, Cathbald, Judy - even Clough, despite his odd views sometimes! In fact almost all of the Police force and supporting characters are really interesting characters and fun to read about (though some characters definitely featured less in this novel than I’d have liked, leaving what felt like a bit of a hole without them).I am generally a big fan of Police procedurals anyway, which certainly helps, but some procedurals can be a bit dry at times. However the Ruth Galloway series is far more than that – each book has adventure, suspense and mystery as well, and this is no different. They all set such a high standard and I thoroughly enjoyed reading every page!*Many thanks to Quercus for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review. *

  • Kathy
    2019-04-10 20:07

    Review to follow

  • Barbara
    2019-03-29 21:29

    I have liked this series from the start. Ruth Galloway is an academic (old bones, archeological kinds of things) in Norfolk. She is the single mother of 6-year-old Kate, and they live in a remote cottage (with two neighboring cottages where the residents are rarely present) on the coast. Norfolk is often a character in these books. In this novel, it is the city of Norwich, which has tunnels, many carved from the underground chalk, crossing under the city. Several of the key characters are what the British refer to as "rough sleepers". In America, we use the term "homeless" although here not all homeless people sleep outdoors. We also refer to street people but they aren't necessarily homeless. I am always interested in language and how it is used from place to place. I find the British term helpful as it is clear that rough sleepers are those people who avoid shelters, and may even refuse permanent housing. Four of the characters are members of this community, and the disappearance of a woman, Barbara, part of this community, leads to a police search. Because some of the police know community members, they pay attention to this disappearance. This is unusual, as rough sleepers are often invisible, and many would assume a person who disappears just moved on. The disappearance of Barbara, however, is eventually tied to the disappearances of two other local women.There is an obnoxious architect who wants to open an underground restaurant, and his wife, who teaches at the same university as Ruth, whose area of research is "underground societies". Underground societies and the Norwich tunnels are key to the themes of the novel.Ruth and DCI Nelson continue to work on cases together. There are sub-themes in this novel connected to their personal lives, but these themes are less central for most of the book. I found I wanted more in this respect, and for that reason, this was not my favorite in the series. But as always, Griffiths leaves readers hanging, and we will be waiting for the next installment.

  • Kristy
    2019-04-01 21:22

    Dr. Ruth Galloway is called in to investigate some bones found underground: local architect Quentin Swan is building a large center, and he worries the bones will delay his plans. Ruth fears he is correct, as she quickly realizes the bones are human (and not ancient). Meanwhile, members of DCI Nelson's team are looking into a missing "rough sleeper" (homeless person, in American parlance). Others in the community are saying she went "underground." Is this a figure of speech, or really true? After all, a geologist at Ruth's university says that there is web of chalk mining tunnels beneath King's Lynn. Nelson is also dealing with a new boss, who is putting pressure on him from all sides--from driving more safely (as if) to focusing more on strategy and less hands-on investigation. Can Nelson put aside this new distraction and solve these cases? It's hard to believe this is the ninth book in Elly Griffiths' fantastic Ruth Galloway series. I'm sure all my reviews are starting to sound somewhat similar by now, but these books are just so wonderful, and I love them so. Ruth is a great character: she's well-written and completely herself, and the cast of characters that surround her in each book (Nelson, his wife, Judy, Cathbad, Clough, Tanya, etc.) are also their own people. Each are so fully developed that you feel as if you know them as intimately as friends. I love Ruth and her antisocial nature, her sarcasm, and her fierce devotion to her daughter, Kate (who can be so different from her mother). I love gruff Nelson. I love all of Nelson's subordinates on the force. They seriously do feel like friends, and while I loved this book, I felt bereft when it ended, because it means I have to wait again for another one (I will be so sad when this series ends). I have no complaints with book #9. I enjoyed the plot and while it wasn't a total page-turner, it kept me guessing, and I didn't figure out everything ahead of time, which I always appreciate. There are some interesting developments in the whole Ruth/Nelson/Michelle saga and while I wish I could just flash forward to find out everything that happens, I was intrigued by all of them. This little love triangle is a great backstory to the novels, and the tension between Ruth and Nelson is so achingly portrayed in the books: Griffiths is doing a wonderful job of depicting it as Kate ages and new complications emerge with the dynamic. In the end, as I always say: if you aren't reading this series: you should. It's wonderful, engaging, and I truly think you will fall for Ruth and her world. You don't necessarily need to read these books in order (novel #9 and its plot will stand on its own), but I think starting at the beginning will certainly enrich the experience. Meanwhile, I will be patiently waiting for #10 and secretly dreaming of a world where Ruth and I are the sort of friends where we can eat food together without judgement and occasionally get together without any social pressure.You can read my reviews of book #8, THE WOMAN IN BLUE, here; book #7, THE GHOST FIELDS, here; and book #6, THE OUTCAST DEAD, here. Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Google+ ~ Instagram

  • Minty McBunny
    2019-03-23 21:10

    I have been reading this series for years and I have to say I am very impressed with how Elly Griffiths has grown the characters. Ruth is continually real and evolving as she gets older and experiences different stages of life. Her supporting cast, especially Judy, Clough & Nelson have also managed to stay fresh and keep me interested in their lives. I am always impressed when someone can write a believable crime series about a main character who is not a police or investigator who still regularly gets mixed up in mysteries. This series continues to succeed wildly.

  • Margaret
    2019-04-03 22:30

    3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.The Chalk Pit is the 9th in Elly Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway books. It’s written in the present tense which I find somewhat jarring (strange because in other books such as Eyes Like Mine, which I reviewed in this post, I hardly noticed the tense). But I did enjoy this book because of the characters, in particular Ruth, her daughter, Kate (now nearly 6 years old), DCI Harry Nelson and his wife Michelle, DS Clough, DS Judy Johnson and Cathbad, the part-time druid, who now looks after their two young children. I also like the archaeological investigations, although in The Chalk Pit that is not the main focus.It centres on the plight of homeless people and the maze of tunnels under Norfolk. The bones are found during the excavations when an underground restaurant in one of the tunnels is proposed. One of the homeless women, Barbara, disappears and there are rumours that she has ‘gone underground‘. It becomes a murder mystery when two more of the homeless, ‘Aftershave Eddie’ and then ‘Bilbo’ are found dead, both stabbed. Then two local women go missing – Sam who has four children and Cassandra, Clough’s partner (they have one child). And it soon becomes clear that all these events are linked.There is a Who’s Who of the main characters at the end of the book giving their backstories which helps if you haven’t read the earlier books. But I think it really helps to read the Ruth Galloway books in order as the recurring characters’ lives progress with each one, making it difficult to write much more about The Chalk Pit without giving away spoilers. I’ll just add that one of my favourite characters, Cathbad, doesn’t have a large role, which disappointed me. And I really would prefer if Elly Griffiths had written this in the past tense as she has in her Stephens and Mephisto series, which I prefer.My thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for an ARC of this book which will be published on 23 February 2017.

  • Rebecca Bradley
    2019-03-22 23:19

    Another great outing for Ruth Galloway and Harry Nelson. Griffiths writing is flawless. If I could I'd have read this in one sitting. As it happened it only took two! Now I'm ready for the next instalment!