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The Janus Stone

(Ruth Galloway #2)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  25,214 ratings  ·  1,865 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, 328 pages
Published January 21st 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published March 1st 2010)
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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)
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Elizabeth King
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  25,214 ratings  ·  1,865 reviews

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Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, murder-mystery
I enjoyed this second book in Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway series just as much as the introductory book and I really like the way the characters are developing in this very character driven plot. Ruth Galloway with her straightforward no-nonsense approach to life and DCI Harry Nelson with his old fashioned approach to policing and disdain of new technology and pretentiousness. His wife Michelle and two daughters round out his character as a family man and the personalities of CID team are also ...more
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library

Truth be told, while I admire Ruth Galloway, I love DCI Nelson. He just brings a smile to my face. Whether trying to learn the latest technology or moaning about having to hobnob with “arty farty types”, he is so hysterically old school.

The book seems to be more about Ruth’s personal life than the mystery, which involves a decapitated young child’s skeleton which is found underneath an old house being demolished to make way for luxury apartments.

This is more than the typical mystery. You get b
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
I always right short reviews on audiobooks. This is the second in the Ruth Galloway series and it was just as good as the first one! Wow I love this author, there is never just one mystery but several things going on and it's pretty difficult to figure out who is doing what, but in a very good way.

It has a gothic feel to it, is very atmospheric and I've learned a heck of a lot about the salt marshes of Norfolk.

I came to this series after reading her excellent stand alone novel "The Stranger Dia
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thought the first book in this series showed promise and I was right. Book two turned out to be just as good.

Top marks to the author for her well written characters. There is something very appealing about Ruth especially her independence and general common sense. Nelson is fun too although I cannot imagine where the Kate/Nelson story is going to go!

There is an interesting mystery going on involving the discovery of a small child's skeleton. This is the catalyst for including Ruth in the case
Feb 14, 2016 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. ...more
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dr Ruth Galloway's forensic expertise is again called upon after a skeleton of a young child is discovered during the demolition of an old Victorian children's home in Norwich.

While the mystery is strong and compelling this second novel is really about getting to know Ruth and the other characters better.

After Ruth's news in the first novel her vulnerability and human side is much more apparent.

Griffiths really sets the scene of the Norfolk location as well as some enjoyable facts during this hi
Mar 05, 2015 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 has had a
This is the second book in the series of murder/mysteries written by Elly Griffiths. I didn't enjoy the setting quite as much as her first book but nevertheless I feel it still merits a five star review for the very clever writing, the twists and turns of the plot that kept me as a reader always ready to read more and the extent of the background research. I carried the book around the house with me to snatch as much reading time as possible, yet it still took me awhile to read simply because I ...more
Mary Beth
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really do love this series.
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
I really liked the first one, and this one is even better, and has a lot more humor, and I love the humor. I love Ruth and the setting. The characters are interesting. Ruth’s new situation is really interesting. I had been afraid that I wouldn’t like the change of circumstances revealed at the end of book one but I ended up enjoying everything about this story.

The author seems to know where the readers’ minds will go and that makes for some great red herrings and some chilling scenes.

I am thoro
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Hilary by: Lisa (not getting friends updates) Vegan
3.5 stars. Parts of this book were 3 stars for me and parts 4. The mystery side of the story wasn't quite as interesting as the first book but I did enjoy the characters. The main character Ruth is very enjoyable to read about, I loved her humour and thoughts, I liked the character of Nelson too.

The book I read had the first chapter of the next book in which (view spoiler)
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this story! Looking forward to the rest now.
Kylie H
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in the Ruth Galloway series. Ruth is a forensic archaeologist who finds herself working through another mysterious find on a housing development site. The bones of a young child, but with the skull missing are found. Ruth soon finds herself working alongside Harry Nelson a police detective who she admires but now feels awkward around.
Once again this story is told with a certain amount of humour and humanity that balances out nicely with the macabre storyline.
I do look for
Feb 28, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really can't get into these. I really have tried.

The characters I find really bland. Ruth seems to have zero reaction to her life being in danger which is pretty much this entire book. I'm not totally sure why she is the "focus" of this series as she really does nothing in this book except (view spoiler). She doesn't even solve the mystery!

I also just can't believe some of the characters reactions in this
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I loved the first book in the series. However this book (book 2) was even better! Full of great characters, lots of mystery and suspense. Even some different love triangles. Definitely worth your time to read!
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
I loved this second book in the series! Really glad that so many of my friends here love this series that I gave it another chance.

I don't normally give crime novels five star ratings, but I loved this all the way through, plus:

* the creepy British countryside just can't be beat
* the sea, the sea!
* loving the main characters more as I get to know them
* the rather dramatic event of the first book actually became more of an emotional draw than I had expected and it's a catalyst for laughter and
Oct 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
More missing children in Norfolk? More pre-Christian archaeological discoveries? More people trying to scare Ruth? This sounds awfully much like the first book -- which is why I didn't read it for a decade despite enjoying book one. Pleasingly, this was enough time for me to forget the details, so I enjoyed this even though it was highly implausible that she encountered such a similar set of murders only a few months later. There are some other weaknesses in plot (view spoiler) ...more
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-goal, mysteries
So I really do love almost everything about the Ruth Galloway series except I always guess the criminal way ahead of time. It’s still suspenseful, there are still twists and turns, and even a few surprises but the ultimate evil doer hasn’t surprised me yet.

Oddly, that’s totally okay because I really love Ruth (in another dimension I am Ruth Galloway) and I think Griffiths does a great job of introducing messy, real and likable characters. If I can relate to them, that’s half the battle of a gre
Alan Cotterell
Nov 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2021, ib, read-2020
Full review to follow shortly
switterbug (Betsey)
Feb 22, 2011 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
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
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I find it strange that sometimes I can't explain why I like a book as much as I do and yet dislike other books that have exactly the same elements.
I say I don't like this or that (view spoiler) and yet when this or that appears in this book I don't dislike it!
I guess it must be t
Nov 05, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in the 'Ruth Galloway series by author Elly Griffiths. The bones of a child minus the skull are found when an old house in Norwich is being demolished to make way for a housing development. DCI Harry Nelson asks forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway to help investigate the bones to try and uncover the mystery. The house used to be a children's home and Nelson manages to track down Father Hennessey, the Catholic priest who used to run the home. Father Hennessey tells him of ...more
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 rounded up. This was so good! Elly Griffiths is my new reading fix and this series particularly. I love the way the characters are developing. Next!
Natalie M
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An awesome 4.5-star character-driven crime novel.

I thoroughly enjoyed Book #2 by Elly Griffiths. I am totally intrigued by forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway. I really like the character development which unfolds so eloquently around the comprehensive plot. Ruth is a very strong female protagonist: a straightforward, no-nonsense, down-to-earth, goal-oriented career woman with a zesty approach to life. DCI Harry Nelson, a little more old fashioned is so enjoyable too.

This plot is as clever a
Okay, I have definitely become invested in this series. I really like the main character, Ruth Galloway, probably because I can see a fair number of my own beliefs and qualities reflected in her. Ruth is a professional woman, working for a university, building a life for herself as a single woman, pretty immune to religion of any flavour but willing to contemplate the faith of her friendly neighbourhood Druid, and reserving the right to tell everyone else to bugger off.

I must confess that I don’
Nov 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
4+ stars

I’m so enjoying this series. Atmosphere. Characters who feel so real. Subtlety. Rich observation. Quiet but satisfying rhythm of plots. I don’t get as engaged in the mystery as I’d like, but I’m persistently interested in coming back to the book to see what’s going to happen. Not quite love, but strong like.
Barbara K
I have to admit to being disappointed by this book, given how much I enjoyed The Crossing Places. Griffiths' mastery of describing natural places and the allure of uncovering the past (in this book, both recent and ancient) is still evident in The Janus Stone, but I was uncomfortable with her treatment of the MC Ruth Galloway's personality, particularly near the end of the book.

Ruth (and initially her circle of friends) shrug off what appear to be bizarre threats against her in this book, as th
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I checked this book out from the library on a whim and finished it the next day. I remembered enjoying the first Ruth Galloway mystery, The Crossing Places, but I had forgotten what a great character Ruth is and how funny these books are. There are so many one-liners, I kept snorting to myself as I read. Ruth is a smart, capable, and delightfully snarky archaeologist, and her unlikely bond with DCI Harry Nelson is not the typical professional relationship. As with the first book, Ruth’s position ...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.


Other books in the series

Ruth Galloway (1 - 10 of 14 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)
  • The Dark Angel (Ruth Galloway, #10)
  • The Stone Circle (Ruth Galloway, #11)

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“You know how thick I am. I don't even eat yoghurt because it's got culture in it.” 18 likes
“We tend to think of the Romans as so civilised, he’d said, so outraged by the barbaric Iron Age practices but there is plenty of evidence of Roman punishment burials, ritual killing and even infanticide. A boy’s skull found in St Albans about ten years ago, for example, showed that its owner had been battered to death and then decapitated. At Springfield in Kent foundation sacrifices of paired babies had been found at all four corners of a Roman temple.” 1 likes
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