April 20, 2015
The Janus Stone
The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths
Ruth Galloway Series #2
2010 AudioGO Ltd.
Reader: Jane McDowell
Finished on March 21, 2015
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good!)
It’s been only a few months since archaeologist Ruth Galloway found herself entangled in a missing persons case, barely escaping with her life. But when construction workers demolishing a large old house in Norwich uncover the bones of a child beneath a doorway—minus its skull—Ruth is once again called upon to investigate. Is it a Roman-era ritual sacrifice, or is the killer closer at hand?
Ruth and Detective Harry Nelson would like to find out—and fast. When they realize the house was once a children’s home, they track down the Catholic priest who served as its operator. Father Hennessey reports that two children did go missing from the home 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 trying very hard to put her off the trail by frightening her, and her unborn child, half to death.
I read The Crossing Places (Elly Griffiths’ first installment in the Ruth Galloway series) in early March and couldn’t wait to move on to the second in the series (The Janus Stone), as soon as I finished. Once again, I listened to the audiobook and found myself completely absorbed in the mystery, enjoying Jane McDowell’s excellent delivery of the story. I didn’t mark any passages to share, but since the third book isn’t available on audio from my library, I’ll probably wind up reading the print copy of that installment in the series. Perhaps I’ll find more inspiration to include quotable passages with that book. And, as with most series of this genre, I care more about the characters than the actual mystery. As my friend Kay says, “If you like books about bones and digs and interesting settings, legends and the sea, a protagonist that is not a size 0 and a regular person that you could share a coffee with, this is the one.”
I enjoyed this second installment in the Ruth Galloway series even more than the first. The mystery was suspenseful and kept me guessing up until the very end. I’m anxious to see what’s in store next for Ruth. She has quite a lot going on in her personal life and it will be interesting to see how things play out with her and her ongoing (and complicated) friendship with DCI Harry Nelson.