Book Review: The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths

The Blurb:

“Ruth Galloway’s expertise is 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? DCI Harry Nelson investigates. 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 trying hard to put her off the scent by frightening her to death…”



What I thought:

So what do you do when you’re busy, busy, busy and you’re brain is crying out for a book that will allow you to slip inbetween the pages from one life into another with complete ease?  This is exactly how I felt last week – with my brain all over the place with work stuff, and not one, not two but three abandoned books by my bedside I knew that I needed to turn to a trusty author. In this case, I went for the second in the series of books by Elly Griffiths: having only read one of her books this may have been a gamble but I knew that it was the perfect book as when I closed the pages of the first in the series a few months ago, I was already in love with the characters and the setting. I was right to trust my instinct. This book and me went together like peaches and cream.

Ruth Galloway is an (almost) 40 year old, single, slightly overweight, cat-loving, book-loving forensic archaeologist from Norfolk. In other words she analyses bones for a living, so when a local building firm dig up an old childrens home to make way for luxury apartments and a childs skeleton is found, Ruth is called in to look for clues. Ruth is joined agian by the fabulous Nelson from Norfolk Police as well as Cathbad, the purple-cloak-wearing-historian.

What I love about the first two books that I have now read is that the characters are like you and me. Urbanisation is replaced with small towns (the sort you and I live in), cops on the edge with drinking problems are replaced with a family man (OK, Nelson has been a naughty boy but I still love him – mainly ‘cos he’s northern and doesn’t suffer fools gladly), sexy protagonists are replaced with a down-to-earth, doesn’t-care-what-she-looks-like woman who likes books and cats (go Ruth!). How refreshing!

So in summary – a tonic for my weary soul. If you haven’t read The Crossing Places (the first book in the series) yet then I would strongly recommend that you do as it is a fantastic book to introduce you to the characters, but to be honest it doesn’t need to be read in order to read The Janus Stone. If you want to learn more about the author, here is the interview I did with Elly a few months ago.

(This book is from my own personal collection)




12 thoughts on “Book Review: The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths

  1. I am *really* looking forward to the next book, and really pleased that it’s not long till it’s out now. This series has become an instant favourite with me and I’m giving copies to anyone in my family who likes detective stories this Christmas!


  2. Pingback: My favourite books of 2010 « The Book Whisperer

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