24 November 2021

The Janus Stone

By Elly Griffiths

My Review

Forensic archaeologist and bone expert Dr Ruth Galloway assists the police when the remains of a child are uncovered during demolition of a former children's home. Further investigation reveals the child's skull is missing. Could this be a ritual sacrifice or a murder victim?

The Janus Stone is the second book in this highly enjoyable series. The complicated relationship between Ruth Galloway and DCI Harry Nelson is developed further and I found myself fully immersed in their lives. It will be interesting to see how things pan out between them in future novels.

The story is well-paced, with the Norfolk salt marsh landscape adding to the creepy atmosphere. Ruth Galloway is a strong female lead character and I like her very much. Although she's career-driven, she also has insecurities which reveal a softer side to her personality.

The book follows the investigation into the child's death and Ruth Galloway's personal life in equal measure. I thought the balance was perfect. It was a suspenseful, very entertaining read.

Book Source: Purchased copy
My Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Paperback: 352 Pages
Publisher: Quercus (2nd June 2016)
ISBN-13: ‎978-1786482129

The Blurb

Dr Ruth Galloway's forensic skills are called upon when builders, demolishing an old house in Norwich, uncover the bones of a child - minus the skull - beneath a doorway. Is it some ritual sacrifice or just plain straightforward murder? Ruth links up with DCI Harry Nelson to investigate.

The house was once a children's home. Nelson traces the Catholic priest who used to run the place. He tells him that two children did go missing forty years before - a boy and a girl. They were never found.

When carbon dating proves that the child's bones predate the home and relate to a time when the house was privately owned, Ruth is drawn ever more deeply into the case. But as spring turns into summer it becomes clear that someone is desperate to put her off the scent by frightening her to death...

The Author, Elly Griffiths

Elly Griffiths is the author of the Ruth Galloway and Magic Men mystery series. She is the recipient of the Mary Higgins Clark Award and the CWA Dagger in the Library Award, and her work has been praised as "gripping" (Louise Penny), "captivating," (Wall Street Journal) and "must-reads for fans of crime fiction" (Associated Press). She lives in Brighton, England.

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