Book Review | The Janus Stone (Dr Ruth Galloway #2) by Elly Griffiths

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After the terrifying events a few months ago on the saltmarshes, Dr Ruth Galloway is enjoying her pregnancy and her work when she is called to a medieval site. The constructos are building new flats over the area, but want archaeologists to dig it up first. Then, a skeleton of a young child is found – missing its head. Another murder is here…

The second novel in the Dr Ruth Galloway Series, The Janus Stone was exciting, but also really rather confusing, not something you often see in cosy crime.

I really love the idea of the Ruth Galloway series. The first book, The Crossing Places was one of my favourite books for the plot, but I just could not stand the author. The novels are incredibly close-minded, including pretty much fatphobia and xenophobia on every single page. The reason I decided to pick up the next one is, simply, because I love the idea of an archaeologist getting involved in crime, and I also love unsolved murders getting solved, and this is probably, sadly, the only book series out there that does that.

The Janus Stone was, luckily, far less fat- and xenophobic than the first one. It’s like I can see the author growing up in front of my eyes! Now, let’s get on to the confusing aspect of this novel. Whilst I thought the plot was really interesting, I couldn’t actually see a motive for the antagonist. I don’t want to spoil too much, but it was just kind of accepted that he did what he did because he wanted to. For someone as inquisitive as our protagonist, Ruth, I was disappointed at the ending to the novel.

All in all, I sort of enjoyed this one, but I also found it a little slow-paced in places, something not found in The Crossing Places, and, like I said, the ending was really disappointing for me. My best friend’s mum has kindly leant me the entirety of the series so I may as well carry on reading as I have the books in my house, but I just hope they pick up. Maybe this one suffered second-book syndrome!

ALSO – a bit tut-tut to Elly Griffiths, who did not do her research! In this novel, Ruth attends a celebration of Imbolc on the beach with Cathbad, a Druid. However, we have been told that this is taking place in the summer, so the celebration they could be attending is Litha, the summer solstice on June 21. Imbolc takes place on February 2nd. Authors, do your research!


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