TITLE: THE JANUS STONE
AUTHOR: ELLY GRIFFITHS
Details: no. 2 Dr. Ruth Galloway
Large Print edition
This is the second mystery featuring Dr. Ruth Galloway, forensic Archaeologist, and I liked it as much as I did the first one.
The story is set about four months after the terrifying ending of the first book and Ruth is back working in the university, living her solitary life and... pregnant. A pregnancy she keeps to herself for as long as she thinks she can, but is soon forced to share with others, including the baby's father.
When bones are found under an archway in an old building being torn down for conversion into apartments, Ruth is called in to examine the bones and the site they were found in. Because the bones turn out to be relatively recent, DCI Harry Nelson is called in and he soon finds himself wondering what he could be dealing with. Is this a case of straight-forward murder or is he looking at a chilling ritual killing? And who could these tiny bones possibly belong to?
As the case develops Ruth finds herself targeted by someone who seems determined to scare her either away from the investigation, or to death. And before the book ends Ruth will have to take actions she wouldn't have considered possible in order to protect herself and, more importantly, her unborn child.
I really enjoy this series. I have a soft spot for archaeological mysteries anyway, but the character of Ruth gives these books an extra charm. Ruth is not you're average beautifully, athletic and overly competent mystery heroine. Quite the opposite really, since she is over-weight and a rather solitary person. For me though, that only adds to her appeal. It seems to make her more real, and therefore the danger she gets into more threatening.
Another thing I like is that the reader is given an insight into the actions and thoughts of every person involved in the investigation, meaning that there are no late surprises when the mystery's solution is revealed. The reader has as good a chance to solve the mystery as the characters have, and that's the way a good mystery should work in my opinion.
I'm really glad that I already have the third book in this series here at home, and know that I will be picking it up very soon.