“When a child’s remains are found at a demolition site–a former children’s home in Norwich–forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway is called in to examine the bones. She quickly notes that the skull is missing. Is this a Roman-era ritual sacrifice, or is the killer closer at hand? Ruth and DCI Nelson seek out the priest who served as the home’s operator. Father Hennessey reports that two children had gone missing there, about forty years earlier. They were never found. Is this one of them, finally unearthed? Or another child altogether? Ruth is drawn into the case, but soon it becomes clear that someone is trying very hard to put her off the trail by frightening her, and her unborn child, half to death.”
-Synopsis from StoryGraph
The Janus Stone is book two in the Ruth Galloway series. I started reading this series earlier this year and knew I was going to like it from the very first book. I was thrilled to go back into Ruth and Nelson’s world and really enjoyed this story.
This was a great read overall. It was equal parts mysterious and creepy and suspenseful. But there were a few things I couldn’t stop thinking about, which I’ll list below…
- It would be impossible to discuss this book without mentioning that Ruth is pregnant. I still could not believe that she had not told Nelson this. When she has the realization that it is as much his baby as hers, I was surprised that she did not understand that sooner. Keeping that secret was not something I expected her to do.
- The crimes in this story were particularly gruesome. I did not care for the animal cruelty, so big content warning to others in that respect.
- Lastly, I was a confused about the timeline. In between each chapter are short excerpts of narration, supposedly from the killer. I could not for the life of me figure out when these were taking place. Of course by the end I realized they were from a decades-old diary, but I wish there had been some indication of that earlier because for a while I thought that was taking place at the same time as Ruth and Nelson’s investigation.
The twist at the end was very suspenseful and I did enjoy those last few chapters where we get to see Nelson race to Ruth’s rescue! I look forward to book three and seeing where Ruth and Nelson’s relationship goes next, and I do hope Cathbad is there, too.