The Crossing Places 3 (Pages 153 – 213)


Cathbad is arrested when his DNA is found in the letters that Nelson receives. He is a likely suspect as he knows about archaeology, mythology, and spirituality. Erik is outraged and keeps badmouthing Nelson. Ruth doesn’t know what to believe; she doesn’t want to believe that he could kill a child, but then how did his DNA get in the letters? Ruth also learns that the reason why Scarlet’s mother had his photo is because he is her eldest child’s father. They met when Delilah was a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl and he was at university. They had an affair, and lived together for a while, but then Delilah left him for someone else, and that was it.

Then Ruth figures out where the place referred to in the letters is. It is where the henge was, so she calls Nelson, and the police find Scarlet’s body. Nelson has to break the news to the family, and afterwards, he calls on Ruth. He is broken after seeing Scarlet’s mother. Ruth tries to comfort him, and then they end up in her bed. Ruth knows that it is a mistake because first, Nelson is married, and then it is clear that this is not the first time he has done something similar. Ruth knows that she has been attracted to him from the first moment, but she tells herself that she can’t afford to have illusions about the man.

Nelson advises her to go and live somewhere else for a bit. So Ruth goes to her friend Shona’s. Shona is her best friend and also works at the same university. That night with Shona is not as much as she would have thought. Shona keeps talking about Liam, the married man she is having a relationship with, and her frustration as he hasn’t left his wife yet. When Ruth and Shona finally call it a night, Ruth has a text on her phone. It is from an unknown number with the message ‘I know where you are’. I wonder who is trying to scare Ruth and why.

Cathbad is finally released because there is no trace of his DNA in Scarlet’s body. The second night that Ruth is to spend at Shona’s, she decides to accept the invitation from Peter to have dinner. Peter talks about his marriage and how there is nothing any longer, and he and Victoria are more like flatmates, and he talks longingly about the time when he and Ruth were an item. Yet, Ruth stops him there, and lets him know that she doesn’t want to get back with him. I like how direct Ruth is. She doesn’t beat about the bush and I like it.

When Ruth returns to her cottage, she is startled when she finds Cathbad has sneaked inside. The man wants her help, saying that if the murderer of the girl isn’t found, he will always be marked by the arrest and people will always think that he is a murderer. Cathbad also reveals something that Ruth didn’t know. Ten years ago during the dig that brought together Erik, Peter, Ruth, and even Cathbad, Erik was having an affair with Shona. This is the first news Ruth has, and we see that Erik isn’t the friend that Ruth thought he was. It is the second time that Ruth learns that he has hidden something from her. So I wonder if Ruth really knows Erik.

Apart from the investigation, the novel is interspersed with sections in which a girl talks about her being locked away and her jailer. If Scarlet is dead, I imagine this girl is Lucy. So does this mean that the two girls weren’t abducted by the same person? Otherwise, why kill Scarlet and let Lucy live? Lucy must now be a teenager as it was ten years ago that she was kidnapped. So who is the man who took her? Someone we know? And who killed Scarlet and why?

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