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The Janus Stone

(Ruth Galloway #2)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  14,399 ratings  ·  1,176 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, 327 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)

Community Reviews

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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,399 ratings  ·  1,176 reviews

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Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)
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
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.
Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really do love this series.
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 ha
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this story! Looking forward to the rest now.
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
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
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
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.
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great series. Easy to read, but compelling crime novels, Griffiths’ novels are enough of a deviation from popular tropes that they are interesting, but recognisable. Great summer reading.
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
Taryn Pierson
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
Tanja Berg
This is my second encounter with archeologist Ruth Galloway. This was a rather more interesting encounter than the first, mostly because Ruth at almost 40 years old, is accidentally pregnant for the first time by the married police officer Nelson. Some bones are discovered at a dig for apartment complexes and they turn out to be from the 50's - the pertinent question is, who do they belong to? This was more enjoyable than the first installment, including sacrifices made to Roman gods.
Jenni Joru
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Voi, nämä on ihan täydellistä viihdettä historiagiikille: sipsejä naposteleva arkeologi Ruth Galloway elelee suolamarskin reunalla ja törmää karmeisiin tilanteisiin kaivauksilla. Samalla tiputellaan kaikenlaista huikean kiinnostavaa tietoa roomalaisten ja kelttien esineistöstä ja tavoista ja kaivauksista.

Juonessa on paikoin vedetty mutkat suoraksi, toisaalta nautin siitä, että kerrankin arvaan toisinaan myös murhaajan.

Rentouttavaa viihdettä historian ja englantilaisen maiseman ystäville!
Jan 11, 2016 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
Jan 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: s-mystery, audiobook
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 14, 2014 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
Bon, soyons clairs, à mon sens le style n'est pas très bon. Toutefois, l'intrigue m'a suffisamment accrochée pour me donner envie de lire les autres volumes de la série. Et qu'est-ce que je fais dans ces cas-là ? Je lis en v.o. ! Ce roman est le 2e de la série, le style s'est donc peut-être amélioré. Son 1er traduit paraît en poche en novembre.
I loved the first Ruth Galloway book, The Crossing Places. I had to rush out and read this, the second book in the series, as The Crossing Places finished off on a spectacular cliffhanger when it came to Ruth’s personal life, hooking me completely. I’m pleased to say I wasn’t disappointed with this installment.

Griffiths’ writing is still not perfect. Her habit of word repetition drives me nuts (in The Crossing Places it was the word ‘meditatively’, this time Ruth knows everyone ‘from sight only’
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this 2nd book in Elly Griffith's "Ruth Galloway" series!
Rob Kitchin
May 06, 2012 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
Sharon Michael
Jan 04, 2012 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
Review written September 12, 2018

3 1/2 STARS - Once again enjoying audiobook hours

Book #2

Good to meet all characters another time. The crime case was thrilling enough but maybe I didn’t believe it? Well, still looking forward to continue these Ruth Galloway crime books. I want to know much more about her and her friends.

I LIKE - ... but wasn’t hooked this time
Mariah Kingdom
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I did enjoy this book (hence the four stars) because I'm warming to the characters of Ruth and Nelson. I like the fact that Ruth is pretty much her own woman (she has a "weak moment" in this book of wishing to be "saved", but as she's mostly feisty we'll put that down to the pregnancy hormones!)
Some reviewers have commented that this is pretty much the same plot as the first in the series, and maybe it is. But I enjoyed the characters and the setting, and appreciated the fact that this was a goo
Mai Laakso
Toivoin kovasti brittikirjailija Elly Griffithsin ensimmäisessä Ruth Galloway-dekkarissa Risteyskohdat, että myös Nelson jatkaa jatkokirjassa Januksen kivi. Ja Nelson oli mukana. Tosin Ruthilla oli toinenkin ihailija, Max.
Kirjasarjan pääpari ja muutkin jo edellisestä kirjassa esiintyneet henkilöt tuovat dekkarisarjalle sydämellisyyttä ja tietysti mieleenpainuvuutta. Ruth on arkeologi, joten kirjoissa pyöritään kaivauksilla ja tehdään löytöjä.
Ruth pyydettiin edellisessä kirjassa auttamaan poliis
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in the Ruth Galloway mystery series. While it is not particularly evenly paced, it is an enjoyable read, and there are a few surprises about who buried what bodies where, when and why. On to book three.
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
Jan 31, 2012 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
Mary Gilligan-Nolan
Dec 02, 2011 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
This book is #2 in the Ruth Galloway series. It picks up about 3 months after the end of #1, and quickly brings us up to speed with where Ruth and Nelson are at with their personal and professional relationships.

When the bones of a child are uncovered during the demolition stage of a luxury apartment development, Ruth is brought in as the forensic expert, and she does not hesitate to alert Nelson to the possibility of a crime in the relatively recent past. The thing is, the small skeleton is mi
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Play Book Tag: The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths - 4 stars 2 9 May 20, 2018 07:46AM  
  • Lake of Sorrows (Nora Gavin, #2)
  • The Merchant's House (Wesley Peterson, #1)
  • Dead Scared (Lacey Flint, #2)
  • Blood Atonement (Blood Detective, #2)
  • The Shadows in the Street (Simon Serrailler, #5)
  • A Lonely Death (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #13)
  • Death Watch (DI Peter Shaw & DS George Valentine, #2)
  • Dead Water (Shetland Island, #5)
  • Through the Evil Days (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #8)
  • Water Like a Stone (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #11)
  • A Small Death in the Great Glen
  • The Stabbing in the Stables (Fethering, #7)
  • Killed at the Whim of a Hat (Jimm Juree, #1)
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 12 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)
“You know how thick I am. I don't even eat yoghurt because it's got culture in it.” 17 likes
“Ah, DCI Nelson. He’s a fine man, I think. A man with morals.” 0 likes
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