Elly Griffiths – The Janus Stone

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This is the second of the series about Dr Ruth Galloway, a forensic archaeologist, and her adventures in and around Norfolk.  I read the previous, and the link to that review is at the bottom of the page.

In this episode Griffiths develops the relationship between Ruth and DCI Harry Nelson further.  They make a good chalk and cheese pairing and provide one of the more interesting aspects of the novel.

There is a certain formulaic element to these novels, revolving around Ruth’s love life and the presence of Cathbad, the ageing hippy, and his new age beliefs.  The introduction of a love interest for Ruth has provided additional suspense in both novels, and the character of Shona, Ruth’s rather immoral colleague adds another dimension.  All these things promise well for the future enjoyment of these books, and as I said in my previous review, they would combine to make a good TV series.

In the end though there are only so many opportunities to explore the links between modern Norfolk and its pagan past and I’m not sure I want to read another book about human sacrifices.

Griffiths does seem a little anti-religious in her attitude – Nelson is a stereotypical Catholic, whilst Ruth’s parents are born again Christians with a lot of moral judgement and little Christian charity.  New age Cathbad, meanwhile is more sympathetically portrayed as a wise and caring figure.

Elly Griffiths – The Crossing Places

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