Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Janus Stone

The Janus Stone
by Elly Griffiths

Forensic archeologist Ruth Galloway, is called to the excavation of a Roman site because a human skeleton has been unearthed. The body is that of a small child missing its skull. Was the child an ancient sacrifice? Or was it more recent murder victim? Where is the skull? Ruth teams up with DCI Harry Nelson and his staff to find the answers to these questions. Harry learns that the mansion next to the dig has interesting history. In its former glory, the house was the opulent mansion of the Spens family. After they moved, it was converted into the Sacred Heart Children's Home that Father Hennessey ran. The priest tells Harry about two children, Martin and Elizabeth Black, who ran away from the home in the early 1960s. The children were never seen again. Martin was ten and Elizabeth was five at the time they disappeared. The child in the grave was about five. Is the body hers? Autopsy findings say no. The child died in the late 1940s or early 1950s. Long before the house was turned into an orphanage. The Spens lived in the house at time in question. They had a daughter that died in 1952. It's not Annabelle Spens because she is buried in the family plot. Who is this child? The book is a labyrinth of clues and duplicitous personalities. The book is a page-turner. Each night I promised myself that I would stop at the end of the chapter and go to bed. Did I keep the promise? Not really! [If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the works of Ann Cleeves, Martin Edwards and Susan Hill.] -- recommended by Donna G. - Virtual Services Department

[Also available in downloadable audio format.]

[ official Janus Stone page on the official Elly Griffiths web site ]

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