Burying Place

The Burying Place

Though Jonathan Stride is still recovering from injuries he suffered in a high fall at the start of Freeman’s intriguing if overly plotted fourth thriller featuring the Duluth, Minn., police detective (after In the Dark ), he’s soon looking into the kidnapping of the 11-month-old daughter of a Grand Rapids, Minn., surgeon, Dr. Marcus Glenn, who happens to be a local cop’s brother-in-law. Jonathan thinks the kidnapping is an inside job, especially after unsavory secrets about the arrogant surgeon come to light. Meanwhile, Jonathan’s partner, Det. Maggie Bei, aided by rookie Kasey Kennedy, scrambles to catch a serial killer who’s murdered several women in Duluth. When Kasey is witness to the fiend abducting a victim, the killer becomes fixated on Kasey. An appropriately creepy atmosphere and well-rounded, flawed characters compensate only in part forced connection novel.

Be sensitive If there is a golden rule to the preservation of cemeteries and burial grounds, it is to be aware that our diverse country is home to a wide variety of burial customs. Take into account cultural sensitivities when working above-ground, and employ only professional, trained archaeologists for below-ground research.

Pay attention on the way in The entrance to a burial ground can tell you a lot about the time period in which it was established and the culture associated with it, as well as the materials available and the types of craftsmanship. It can also provide clues about boundaries, other entrance points, and aesthetics.

Examine the burial enclosures The presence (or absence) of fencing and other plot definitions can indicate the era in which the cemetery was active, its level of sophistication, and the economic status of those buried there. For example, wrought or cast iron fences and gates would suggest a more elaborate cemetery, whereas brick, stone, or wood is indicative of a simpler burial ground.

Notice the trees Mature trees may be one of the most beautiful aspects of a burial area, but they are also one of the most historically significant. They may have been memorials, part of the original design plan, or added during a previous restoration process. Any (or all) of these reasons are sufficient for maintaining the trees.

And don’t miss out on the smaller plants Most particularly in cemeteries that have been untouched for great lengths of time, grave plantings may be the only indications of where a burial site was.

Consider the retaining walls These features can be important for two reasons. First, like the entrances, they provide clues about craftsmanship and materials, and second, they often provide a critical function of preventing erosion from toppling tombstones and keeping remains in place.

Look for open spaces Often, the area of a cemetery that appears at first glance to be empty is in fact the oldest section and where burial markers have been lost to time. It could also be a “potter’s field” -- intentionally unmarked graves where the poor or unknown are buried.

Remember the buildings Many cemeteries will have at least a few buildings, such as a church or chapel and a vault. (A more elaborate Victorian cemetery might also have a gate house, administration building, and/or other structures.) These are as important to the site as the burial-related areas and should be given the same critical analysis as any other historic building.

Turn on the faucet Water spigots, believe it or not, are a critical element to consider, as they indicate a milestone point of modernization for a cemetery. The date for this technological advance varies from location to location, depending on when plumbing became readily available.