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The Janus Stone (Ruth Galloway #2)
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The Janus Stone (Ruth Galloway #2)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  6,245 ratings  ·  613 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)
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switterbug (Betsey)
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
Susan Johnson
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
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
Mary Gilligan-Nolan
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
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
Jenn Ravey
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
Suspense Magazine
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Sharon Michael
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
Feb 14, 2014 Gail rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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.
The second book featuring forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway, following up on the first, Crossing Places. It is a stand alone book, but I would recommend reading them in order if only to get all the nuances between the characters - particularly between Harry Nelson and Ruth.

Loved the book, as I did the first. So very spooky and creepy but with well developed and believable characters. What a wonderful "heroine" is Ruth. Prickly and overweight - her idea of exercise is that "maybe" she'll go fo
Rob Kitchin
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
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
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
In The Janus Stone, the bones of a child are discovered under a doorway during the demolition of a Victorian mansion while evidence of the two-faced god, Janus, is unearthed at a Roman site near Norwich. Ruth Galloway, head of the forensic archaeology department at the University of North Norfolk and an expert on bones, decomposition and death, has been called in to give her advice. She wonders if the findings at one site help her get to the bottom of things at the other. She has her hands full ...more
So what do you do when you’re busy, busy, busy and you’re brain is crying out for a book that will allow you to slip inbetween the pages from one life into another with complete ease? This is exactly how I felt last week – with my brain all over the place with work stuff, and not one, not two but three abandoned books by my bedside I knew that I needed to turn to a trusty author. In this case, I went for the second in the series of books by Elly Griffiths: having only read one of her books this ...more
Joanne Sheppard
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Book # 2 in the Ruth Galloway series is a real winner! I enjoy reading mysteries with female main characters but am not quite sure what I think of Ruth Galloway as a protagonist. I like my female lead characters to be strong, smart and confident, to be doers and not helpless damsels in distress. Ruth Galloway is somewhere between those extremes.

She is overweight, not especially good looking, awkward rather than outgoing, and often doubts herself. On the other hand, she is very smart in her area
I found this 3rd Ruth Galloway a page turner. I could hardly put it down and indeed was able to read in one day. Ruth, in this story, finds herself pregnant from her one time with Inspector Nelson. Gradually as time goes on, her close associates begin to notice.
Construction workers are tearing down a large old Victorian mansion to make way for new condos. Bones are discovered under a stone doorway arch and Nelson wants to find out if they are from recent times or they are ancient bones. Becau
I was rather critical of the first book in the series, because of the use of the third person and the present tense, which had annoyed me. Curiously, in the second book, it didn't bother me. It made me feel like I was entering a familiar room and I must say I enjoyed The Janus Stone and am now hooked on the series. I've been to Norwich several times and like being able to spot certain places.
This was the second of the mysteries with Ruth Galloway, an overweight forensic archaeologist, and DCI Nelson as the investigators. The first, "The Crossing Places" was a fabulous investigation of druid lore and practices combined with getting to know the main characters of the series, and them getting to know one another. This second novel is even better than the first, with the relationships developing between the characters at the same time that a can't-put-it-down mystery leading back genera ...more
The second book in the series about forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway continues with many of the characters from The Crossing Places, and Ruth is again asked by local police to investigate human remains found near an old orphanage. Interesting mystery and characters.
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
I have read the first THREE books in this series now and am reading the FOURTH. Love her characters. More later
The 2nd book in the Ruth Galloway mystery series. She's a forensic archaeologist, which is fab, and I love the science and history that play into the mysteries. She has a professional/sweet/complicated relationship with DCI Nelson, the "regular guy" no-nonsense police detective she works cases with. The first novel was heavy into the desolate, harsh, poetic landscape of the Saltmarsh, where Ruth lives, but I was disappointed that this landscape took a backseat in this novel. The mystery was serv ...more
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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 (8 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
The Crossing Places (Ruth Galloway, #1) The House at Sea's End (Ruth Galloway, #3) A Dying Fall (Ruth Galloway #5) A Room Full of Bones (Ruth Galloway #4) The Outcast Dead (Ruth Galloway #6)

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“You know how thick I am. I don't even eat yoghurt because it's got culture in it.” 8 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
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