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I found The Janus Stone to be a more satisfying mystery novel than the first in the series. It was fascinating to read about ancient gods and ritual practices ... not to mention this book included an escalating series of dangerous pranks meant to scare Ruth to death. (Ruth is braver than I am!! And feistier!) I was very happy to see Ruth's weight mentioned less often this time around. Threading through the storyline are a series of characters I've come to care about: The quirky Cathbad, Shona (with her love affair woes), DS Judy, and the brilliant DCI Nelson.
In this novel, Ruth is involved in dating bones found in 2 digs - one with a Roman past and the other one more recent. The author incorporates stories about the Roman god Janus into the plot which has a few suspenseful scenes based on Ruth's irresponsible actions. Too much description about her pregnancy awkwardness and pains for my liking. Probably a novel that female readers might enjoy more than male readers.
Read Crossing Places first. It is not nearly as good as The Janus Stone, but you will really want the background. The narrator of this story is much better than the original narrator, who sadly got bogged down in lengthy descriptions of characters and backgrounds. Once the characters were laid out in Crossing Places, however, this book just sails along. There is a lovely balance of telling us enough to understand and visualize what is going on without tedious lectures about bones and ancient structures. The characters are mush more clearly defined and their emotions and struggles to manage the messes they have made of their lives truly make them come alive. I am so glad I stayed with the series.
Read Elly Griffiths' first book The Crossing Places a few years ago and really enjoyed it! Ruth Galloway, a forensic anthropologist, is a great character. A bit on the frumpy side, she's clever, charming and determined. Inspector Nelson's quite a good balance as a main character. This book involves the unearthing of a mysterious skeleton at a building site. I enjoyed the way Griffiths used the comments from the killer to build suspense.
Not only are elly griffiths novels intertaining, but one learns something new from each book.
Another good Ruth Galloway mystery. This one keeps you guessing a bit. Took a while to figure out which missing child was the victim and didn't find out which possible suspect was the killer until the very end. One guy who seemed like a possibility turned out to be one of the ones to save Ruth at the end. Also, Ruth's pregnancy is becoming obvious and leading to questions and speculation. Love the characters in these books.
Far too much personal life! An unplanned pregnancy and morning sickness galore. 40ish professionals acting like teens.
This one's even better than The Crossing Places! Ruth Galloway, the awkward overweight forensic archaeologist is quietly brilliant, helplessly in love and somehow the perfect target for another killer. Moody and creepy!
It's hard not to fall in love with the portly (now pregnant as well,) timid ( dare I say almost "Canadian"), bookish archaeologist, Ruth Galloway. It's utterly believable that the men in her life find her unprepossessing. What she lacks in self-confidence, she more than makes up for in wisdom and charm. I knew her well. There is something about her I will always miss.
Griffiths knows how to spellbind. How to tease. How to slip her fingers round the reader's throat when they least expect it. But making the reader fall in love again, that's no easy task. Brava! This is still not my genre, but I'll gladly stand in line (in the rain if need be) to get the next available copy of episode 3 at the local library.
Book two in a series. Can be read as stand alone books but you'll get more out of them if read in order. Ruth is my kind of gal.
Fans of character-driven suspense and atmospheric writing are sure to enjoy this new mystery series. Forensic anthropologist Ruth Galloway discovers ominous links to ancient sacrificial rites when a child's headless skeleton turns up in the foundation of an old house. Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson, the married father of Galloway's unborn child, becomes the investigating officer, and the murderer sees a chance for blackmail.
I started reading the series out of order, so I missed the first book, The Crossing Places. I enjoyed this book so much that I must go back to the library, just to find out how Ruth Galloway and DCI Harry Nelson met. I was wondering who did it, right until the end and I loved the characters.