Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Janus Stone (Ruth Galloway, #2)” as Want to Read:
The Janus Stone (Ruth Galloway, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Janus Stone (Ruth Galloway #2)

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  8,250 Ratings  ·  760 Reviews
It’s been only a few months since archaeologist Ruth Galloway found herself entangled in a missing persons case, barely escaping with her life. But when construction workers demolishing a large old house in Norwich uncover the bones of a child beneath a doorway—minus its skull—Ruth is once again called upon to investigate. Is it a Roman-era ritual sacrifice, or is the kill ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 21st 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Janus Stone, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Linda Wells The characters are ongoing, as is their relationship, but with a lot of twists and turns. I love all the Ruth Galloway books - have read every one of…moreThe characters are ongoing, as is their relationship, but with a lot of twists and turns. I love all the Ruth Galloway books - have read every one of them and they don't disappoint. Her other books are brilliant too, whether under Elly Griffiths or Domenica de Rosa. Superb story teller.(less)
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane SetterfieldThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónRebecca by Daphne du MaurierThe Historian by Elizabeth KostovaThe Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Modern Gothic
55th out of 367 books — 1,063 voters
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha ChristieThe Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan DoyleAnd Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieThe Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha ChristieThe Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Best British Crime/Mystery Fiction
204th out of 867 books — 1,022 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 21, 2016 Brenda rated it it was amazing
I really liked the first book in this series, and my feelings haven't changed with this one, the second. I still like Ruth and Nelson, the quirky Cathbad, and the archeological background and mysticism. The mystery begins with the discovery of the bones of a child at a dig. Along with the investigation are the personal relationships between the characters. I love the well-written dialogue and the bits of sarcasm.
Feb 28, 2016 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 big stars for The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths i loved the way the author takes you on a journey about the life of a Forensic expert & the detail that goes with the story. In the 2nd instalment Ruth investigates a body of a little girl who is found dead in old house what makes this more bizarre is the little girl is missing a head.

Is it Ritual sacrifice or just plain Murder. At the same time Ruth finds herself pregnant & has to deal with the issue of telling DI Harry Nelson who she ha
Mary Beth
Sep 20, 2016 Mary Beth rated it really liked it
I really do love this series.
switterbug (Betsey)
Sep 21, 2013 switterbug (Betsey) rated it it was ok
I was both charmed and haunted by the first Ruth Galloway mystery, The Crossing Places (Ruth Galloway). Griffith's sense of place--the salt marshes of Norwich, England--was stark and moodily disquieting. The land seemed almost anthropomorphic in its presence, and served to heighten the story and even strengthen the weak spots, including her strained and rushed denouement. Ruth, a Ph.D. anthropologist, is a flawed and frank woman of forty, an unapologetic atheist with a no-nonsense style. In this ...more
The pleasure of being in a marathon reading spree on a newly discovered favorite series is absolute joy for me as a reader. So, I find myself in absolute joy while I finish one Ruth Galloway mystery and start another. Reviews become somewhat bothersome in this situation because all I want to do is get on with reading the next book. Elly Griffiths has caught me hook, line, and sinker. I only stop to do a review out of respect to the enjoyment I'm experiencing from these mesmerizing stories.

In Th
Jan 19, 2016 Ellen rated it it was amazing
The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths.

A new construction is about to begin but before they can start an old mansion must be leveled. Just as soon as this has begun the skeleton of a child is unearthed under a doorway. Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist, is called in to determine the age of the skeleton as well as how many years it's been buried there.
Then a new issue to comes to the forefront. This area was also the site of a Catholic children's Home. Ruth soon finds herself working alongside DC
Jo Chambers
Apr 24, 2016 Jo Chambers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second in the Ruth Galloway series of crime novels, set in Norfolk. Ruth is an archaeologist specialising in bones so she is sometimes called in by the police. In this novel, the bones of a young girl are found below the door of an old children's home. I'm really enjoying this series and love the lead character of Ruth and her friends, including Nelson the police detective and Cathbad the local druid. An excellent read. I'm looking forward to reading the next one soon!
First Sentence: 1 June, Festival of Carna The house is waiting.

An old house is being demolished to make way for a new housing complex when work is halted when the headless skeleton of a child is found beneath a doorway. It is learned the house was once a Catholic children’s home and two young children went missing. The situation of the skeleton, however, suggests a possible ritual burial.

DCI Harry Nelson is called in, as is forensic archaeologist, Ruth Galloway who is, unbeknownst to Nelson, pr
Jan 29, 2016 Jaro rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, mystery
A good, solid mystery, carefully written, with quite powerful resonance, and with a strong and very lovable protagonist. Slightly better than the first book in the series.
Susan Johnson
Apr 17, 2014 Susan Johnson rated it really liked it
This is the second in the Ruth Galloway series and I liked it very much. Ruth is a forensic archaeologist in Norfolk, England. Ruth is around 40, chubby, and very good at what she does. She is also pregnant from a one night stand. Her parents, staunch Christians, are horrified.

Ruth lives in an isolated salt marsh and just outside her front door are archaeology sites. I am fascinated by this. The newest find is a Roman village and a new professional digging it out, Max Grey. There is a spark be
Mary Gilligan-Nolan
Dec 06, 2011 Mary Gilligan-Nolan rated it really liked it
I don't know how this happened, but I am reading this series backwards. Still, it has not taken away from my enjoyment of these books and I am really looking forward to getting the first one and finding out about how Ruth and Harry first met and the story of Erik. I'm in the dark there about Erik, this is what comes of reading in reverse order. This is the second book, Ruth Galloway, a forensic anthropologist, is called to look at some skeletal remains of a young child, discovered in an old hous ...more
Sharon Michael
Jan 04, 2012 Sharon Michael rated it it was ok
Somewhat disappointed. Loved the first book of this series. While I liked the plot and the writing of this one and still like the characters as well, I do not like the personal upheaval the author is adding to the lives of the main characters in this series.

I would have enjoyed the book much more without the addition of an illegitimate child by the married police officer and the ongoing angst. Will probably read the third book in the series but if it continues with this trend, that will likely
Linda Boa
Feb 27, 2016 Linda Boa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-blog
Enjoyed this one too; now I'm going to have to track down copies of 3 & 4 in the series as they're the only two I'm missing. I fear it may get a bit soap opera-ish with the characters but they're such great characters to spend time with, I don't think I'd mind too much!
Ivonne Rovira
The premise of spinster Ruth Galloway hiding her pregnancy all the better to be independent -- or something, I never did figure it out -- made me drop out in the first chapter.
Nicola Mansfield
Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

Summary: A Victorian home is being pulled down to make way for a luxury apartment building but is stopped due to the finding of Roman remains. As archaeologists work they find a headless skeleton of a child under the doorstep of the home and forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway is called in for her expertise by DCI Harry Nelson. The house was last used as a Catholic children's home and that sends the investigation in a direction that will not easily bring a
Rob Kitchin
May 06, 2012 Rob Kitchin rated it liked it
Griffiths has an engaging style of writing that draws the reader into Ruth and Harry’s worlds of archaeology and policing, and their awkward relationship. The two lead characters, along with Cathbad, a local druid, are very appealing and the strengths of the book are the unfolding of their relationship and the sense of place of the Norfolk coast. However, whilst the style of the storytelling, the characters and setting are good, the book struggles more with respect to the plot and the mystery. T ...more
Jenn Ravey
Jan 31, 2012 Jenn Ravey rated it it was amazing
In a land so ancient, Norfolk is a gem for archaeologists and a headache for contractors. When a building in the midst of being razed for a new apartment complex is discovered to be on top of an old Roman site, construction stops and digging begins. But the archaeological team finds something it didn't expect - the bones of what look like a child beneath the door frame. DCI Harry Nelson immediately calls Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist, to determine whether these bones are from beyond rec ...more
John Carter McKnight
A solid follow-on to the first novel starring forensic anthropologist Ruth Galloway. Set a few months later, this time Ruth is called in to consult on Roman ruins and the remains of a potential human sacrifice near a new real estate development. Despite the Janus/doorways/passages metaphor, what struck me most, as an American reader, is who qualifies as visible in English culture, and who does not. Interesting also that it's Ruth's own awkwardness that renders her visible in an environment where ...more
Suspense Magazine
Oct 12, 2011 Suspense Magazine rated it really liked it
Ruth Galloway, a forensic archaeologist is called in to investigate the headless skeleton of a child found in the rubble of an old mansion (formally an orphanage). While trying to uncover the mystery though, she is given some not so subtle warnings to back off. Ruth quickly realizes someone is trying very hard to throw her off the trail and if this is not enough, Ruth is pregnant with her first child and now her life and the life of her unborn child is in serious jeopardy!
“The Janus Stone” is G
Jun 21, 2011 Jasmine rated it liked it
Shelves: british
so i have a huge goodreads petpeeve. and this is that I want an authors page to say they've written the number of books they've actually written, cause if it says 5 and I've read two I'm all excited for the three I haven't... except. yeah, see my point. I just combined a bunch of stuff on elly griffiths page for this exact reason. but that's all beside the point.

More on topic. why did I read this. even after I read the first one and called it, what did I say? fine. yeah fine's an insult. cause
Jun 22, 2015 Louise rated it really liked it
I'm really enjoying this series. The characters seem really human - I like Ruth, Nelson, and Cathbad very much. In both this and the first book there has been a streak of humour which always makes a book better for me.
Dec 21, 2010 J.R. rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
The most important consideration in a mystery novel is not simply whodunit, but do we care about the characters and what happens to them. Elly Griffiths satisfies both concerns in this second in the series. She has provided a mystery which keeps the reader engrosses and which is satisfactorily resolved at the conclusion.

Ruth Galloway and DCI Harry Nelson amply demonstrate their affection and concern for the wellbeing of one another and the child Ruth carries throughout the novel. Other character
Sep 05, 2016 Katrina rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this one even more than the first one (which I found was a bit too close to some recent news items and Time Team ) so I'll definitely be carrying on with the series.
Jan 13, 2013 Leslie rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, england, series
I sit here and wonder to myself why I like this Elly Griffiths' mystery series. I know I love the setting, England, with all its lovely Roman excavations and Druid mysteries and I love the heroine, chubby, super intelligent forensic archeologist Ruth Galloway. This is the 2nd installment in the series and I liked almost as much as the first. Being rather short, it almost felt like it was part of the first, just an installment. I see this as a BBC mystery series actually. It'd be a good one, with ...more
Elly Griffiths got me this time. In The Crossing Places, I figured out the killer way too early -- still enjoyed it though.

This one, she had me for a long time, and I love when a mystery does that.

Will definitely pick up book three soon.
Ruth Galloway is a skilled forensic archaeologist working in Norfolk, England, the site of many iron age and Roman settlements. Ruth is single, stubborn, and tough, and now, she's pregnant. The father is Detective Harry Nelson, as stubborn and tough as Ruth, and married. As she's struggling to decide if and when to tell him, Ruth is called to examine the skeleton of a child found buried under a doorway at a demolition site where Roman ruins have been uncovered. An ancient sacrifice to the god Ja ...more
Dec 23, 2015 Jill rated it really liked it
Note: Spoilers for Book One of this series, The Crossing Places

The second book in the Ruth Galloway Mystery Series begins three months after the end of the first book, The Crossing Places. In the first book, we met Ruth Galloway, an almost 40-year old overweight forensic archeologist at the (fictional) University of North Norfolk, and Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson of the Norfolk Police. The two teamed up to solve a crime when old bones were found in the saltmarsh near Ruth’s home, with
Feb 14, 2014 Gail rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
I loved the first in the series featuring Dr Ruth Galloway and DCI Harry Nelson and was hoping this was as good; sadly it wasn't.

I felt the first half of the book was just too slow and extremely repetitive, with events that were occurring constantly being repeated by the different characters but from the middle of the book I really enjoyed it. I did spot one of the main clues quite early on (I won't spoil the plot, as it's a good plot) and was surprised that Ruth or even Harry didn't see that on
Karen ⊰✿
This was a pretty easy read, but the actual plot didn't do much for me. It is the kind of book you finish and just shrug and say "it was ok". I may continue with the next book just to see if it can get it's stride on and because I do like the main character.
Sep 05, 2010 Grace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A well-crafted archeological mystery....Move over Kathy Reichs, there's a new voice in the boneyard!!! Ruth Galloway is a breath of fresh air, smart, spunky and comfortable in her own skin. I can't wait to recommend this to my customers.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Lake of Sorrows (Nora Gavin, #2)
  • Dead Water (Shetland Island, #5)
  • The Merchant's House (Wesley Peterson, #1)
  • The Shadows in the Street (Simon Serrailler, #5)
  • Dead Scared (Lacey Flint, #2)
  • Awakening
  • To Dwell in Darkness (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #16)
  • Blood Atonement (Nigel Barnes #2)
Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway novels take for their inspiration Elly's husband, who gave up a city job to train as an archaeologist, and her aunt who lives on the Norfolk coast and who filled her niece's head with the myths and legends of that area. Elly has two children and lives near Brighton. Though not her first novel, The Crossing Places is her first crime novel.

More about Elly Griffiths...

Other Books in the Series

Ruth Galloway (9 books)
  • The Crossing Places (Ruth Galloway, #1)
  • The House at Sea's End (Ruth Galloway, #3)
  • A Room Full of Bones (Ruth Galloway, #4)
  • A Dying Fall (Ruth Galloway, #5)
  • The Outcast Dead (Ruth Galloway, #6)
  • The Ghost Fields (Ruth Galloway, #7)
  • The Woman in Blue (Ruth Galloway, #8)
  • The Chalk Pit (Ruth Galloway, #9)

Share This Book

“You know how thick I am. I don't even eat yoghurt because it's got culture in it.” 10 likes
“you wanted to talk to me about SHCH.’ Sacred Heart Children’s Home, Nelson works out silently. He hates acronyms. Whitcliffe, of course, loves them.” 0 likes
More quotes…