‘The Janus Stone’ is the 2nd novel in the series by Elly Griffiths featuring forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway and DI Harry Nelson.
At the end of the previous novel ‘The Crossing Places’, Ruth and Harry fell into a night of passion, as much for stress relief as anything else. Now Ruth is three months pregnant and yet to tell the happily married father of two teenage girls that he is once again going to be a father.
There’s plenty of archaeology in Norfolk with a major Roman dig in progress. Ruth is becoming more then friends with the head of the dig Max Grey.
But then Ruth is called in to inspect some bones found during a building construction. An old house is being demolished to make room for ‘luxury’ apartments and the headless skeleton of a child has been found under a doorway. It looks like a ritual killing but the grave does not look old enough. The house was once used as a Catholic orphanage and Harry has discovered that two children went missing from the home.
While Harry and his team track down people associated with the orphanage, Ruth tries to date the bones. The bones turn out to be associated with a time when the house was in private hands (before it became an orphanage).
But as Ruth starts to find out more about the body and the burial site it seems that someone is doing whatever they can to discourage her investigation, using mythology and ancient Gods to frighten her.
With Ruth in danger, the three men in her life – Harry Nelson, Max Grey and her Druid friend Cathbad form an unlikely alliance to try to keep her safe.
This novel contained an amazing mix of creepiness and beauty, with the Norfolk weather, Roman Gods, Druid rituals and very modern murderers along with a good dose of friendship, love and caring.
The characters were excellent and the more I get to know Ruth, Harry and Cathbad, the more I like them. I also enjoyed meeting Max Grey and Father Hennesey (who ran the orphanage) as well as Harry’s work colleagues.
I’m looking forward to reading the next novel in the series ‘The House at Seas End’ and finding out what happens with Ruth and Harry, Ruth and her baby, Harry and his family etc.
Book published 2010