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The Janus Stone: A Ruth Galloway Mystery Paperback – Apr 19 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart (April 19 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771035896
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771035890
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Praise for The Crossing Places:
"Griffiths has wrought something of a miracle."
The Times (London)

"An effective and compelling archeological mystery in a unique setting, with engaging and unusual leads, and plenty of surprises"
— BookLoons

"I can't wait for the next in the Ruth Galloway series."
— Amy Myers, author of the Auguste Didier mystery series

"[Ruth Galloway] is solitary and plump and smart and self-assured, and very, very likeable."
— Margaret Cannon, Globe and Mail

From the Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

In Elly Griffiths s second novel starring Ruth Galloway, the forensic anthropologist, now expecting a child, undertakes a battle of wits with a deadly nemesis . . . Her inner strength as she battles social stigma and the hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy wonderfully complement the starkly wild Norfolk coast of England where Griffiths s novels are set. "USA Today"
It s only been a few months since forensic archeologist Ruth Galloway found herself entangled in a missing-child case, barely escaping with her life. But when constructions workers demolishing a large old mansion to make way for a new development 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 killer closer at hand?
When carbon dating proves that the child s bones predate the home and relate to a time when the house was privately owned, Ruth is drawn more deeply into the case. But as spring turns into summer, it becomes clear that someone is trying very hard to put her off the trail by frightening her, and her unborn child, half to death.
Delightfully twisted . . . Griffiths is a talented writer and, like its predecessor "The Crossing Places," "The Janus Stone" exhibits her skill at character development and her ability to create a chilling and entirely believable story "Richmond Times-Dispatch"
Elly Griffiths lives near Brighton, on the English coast. "The Janus Stone" is the second in her Ruth Galloway crime series.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Nicola Mansfield HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on March 5 2010
Format: Hardcover
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 answers. At the same time someone is literally trying to scare Ruth to death and when that doesn't work perhaps they'll have to get up close and personal to finish off the job.

Comments: I love this series! This book is even better the first, The Crossing Places. This was a fast, page-turner that I read very quickly; I just couldn't put it down. Not only are there several possible suspects there are a few possible choices for the identity of the victim! I only just managed to stay a few pages ahead of each reveal but the final solution is one that you could not possibly see coming from the beginning.

Both Ruth and Harry are back the same as we remembered them from book one, only Ruth is less self-conscious but still her same outspoken, hard-headed, overweight, unfashionable self. For me personally, she is a character I could like ( I want to like) only I have great issues with her moral conduct and Harry's as well, though both of their personal lives take new directions and this is being addressed. I am eager to see where they are each headed personally in the next book. Since the personal life is integral in these books I do recommend reading them in order.

I also was quite taken with the Catholic part of the story.
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Format: Hardcover
I was looking forward to this book as I enjoyed the first book in this series very much. I found this book did not flow from one scene to the next. It was very choppy as if in the editing a lot of the descriptive passages needed to fill out the story where cut out. For me this book was predictable. The tension I felt in the first book between the main character and the mystery was not here for me.
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Format: Paperback
"The Janus Stone" is the second Ruth Galloway mystery by Elly Griffiths, set in atmospheric and history-rich Norfolk County in England. Ruth, a forensic archeologist, is called to a building site after the bones of a child are found during the demolition of an old building to make way for luxury condos. The site was once a medieval churchyard, possibly a Roman villa before that and in its most recent incarnation, a home for orphan children, which closed in the 1980s. When Ruth finds that the bones are relatively recent, from the 1970s, DCI Harry Nelson becomes involved in the case; they soon discover that the house had been owned by a prominent family, the current generation of which owns the construction company responsible for creating the condo project; which is to say, a family with secrets who have more reason than anyone to deter any investigation into the past. As Ruth learns more, she finds herself the target of bizarre pranks - pranks that might be designed to scare her, or perhaps to kill her.... This second novel in Griffiths' series confirms that it's a series worth reading. Aside from the relationship between Ruth and Nelson, we get a lot of history, a story about a Christian orphanage that does not include abuse (for a welcome change) and a smattering of information about Roman religious practices and mythology. All good fun for this reader; recommended!
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By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Jan. 31 2011
Format: Hardcover
Crossing Places was the first novel of Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway series. I really enjoyed it and was happy to settle in with the second in the series - The Janus Stone.

This series takes place in the Norfolk region of England. Ruth has been called on to a construction site in her capacity as a forensic archaeologist. The skeleton of a child has been found underneath a doorway by the builders as they demolish the original building - a mansion that was also home to an orphanage.

Finding a child's skeleton impacts Ruth rather more personally than usual - she is four months pregnant. As she delves farther into identifying the remains, someone else is just as hard at work - making sure she doesn't succeed. They seem determined to go to any lengths to stop her.

Griffiths has created a great character in Ruth. She is highly intelligent, but insecure in social settings. She happily lives alone with her cat in a remote cottage. (I love the descriptions of the isolated salt marsh and it's beauty) She has come to terms with being pregnant for the first time at forty, but isn't concerned about being a single parent. Just about telling her quite religious parents. Not a cookie cutter protagonist at all.

The supporting characters are just as interesting. I am quite taken with her friend and colleague Cathbad - a self proclaimed Druid. Recurring character DCI Harry Nelson is a man of many facets - the relationship between him and Ruth is quite complicated.

I'm intrigued with how much historical detail is woven into Griffiths' mysteries. Janus is the god of beginning and endings, January is named after him and he is the god of doorways - transitions and change.
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