The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths

Published by Quercus

The second in the series featuring Investigator Ruth Galloway, Forensic Archaeologist, and no disappointments here – can’t wait to get into books 3 and 4 of the series.

The central character of Ruth is developing in more ways than one, following events in the first of the series, The Crossing Places, and is once again thrown into turmoil both in her personal life and by being brought in to investigate after the bones of a child’s skeleton, minus its head, are discovered when builders demolish an old house.

Subsequent discoveries of a skeleton of a headless cat and rumours of child torture and of two missing children from 1973 when the house was once a childrens’ home, all draw Ruth deeper in the darkness once again.  Could the location of the bones, under a door threshold, point towards a sacrificial gift to Janus the God of doors and openings, the God of beginnings and endings?

And, then, when her name is found written at the remains of the house, it seems nigh on impossible for her to get away from the case.

A great character with all the traits set up so nicely in the first book really coming to life now in the second investigation.  I love that Ruth selects Springsteen albums to suit her mood, that she makes slights at the Time Team show, and her failable nature is very endearing.

There are no major shocks in The Janus Stone that prevent it being read in isolation, but I’d strongly suggest starting with The Crossing Places as it’s been great so far to follow the wonderful Ruth Galloway as she stumbles through the situations that the wonderful Elly Griffiths puts her in.

Keith

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