The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths: A review
Galloway is a forensic archaeologist who is extremely intelligent and good at her job but is personally awkward and vulnerable. In this sense, her vulnerability is increased by the fact that she is nearing forty and is pregnant and unmarried.
This case once again brings her into contact with DCI Harry Nelson who is brought in to investigate the mystery of some old bones, belonging to a child, that were found when a former children's home was being demolished to make way for some luxury housing units. The skeleton is missing its skull and the question is, is this a crime scene? When was the child buried and why buried here? Two children had disappeared from the home years earlier and had never been found. Could this skeleton be one of them?
We get to spend quite a bit of time with a local Druid named Cathbad who is a friend of Ruth's and seems to have a way of popping up everywhere. He involves himself in Nelson's investigation and he is aware that in fact Nelson, who is married and is father to two teenage daughters, is also the father of Ruth's unborn child.
A strength of this series and this particular book is its strong characterizations and also the description of the setting. I would describe the plot as character-driven but the setting is almost an additional character in and of itself. The Norfolk salt marshes where Ruth lives in an isolated home loom over everything and give the tale a very gothic feel. I look forward to reading more of this series and getting to know Ruth and her salt marshes even better.