The Janus Stone

The Janus Stone

by Elly Griffiths

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Overview


In this “chilling and entirely believable”* mystery, forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway and DCI Harry Nelson investigate a set of remains buried in the foundations of an old country manor—but as soon as they get close to cracking the case, Ruth becomes the killer’s next target. 
*Richmond Times‑Dispatch
 
When a child’s remains are found at a demolition site—a former children’s home in Norwich—forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway is called in to examine the bones. She quickly notes that the skull is missing. Is this a Roman‑era ritual sacrifice, or is the killer closer at hand?

Ruth and DCI Nelson seek out the priest who served as the home’s operator. Father Hennessey reports that two children had gone missing there, about forty years earlier. They were never found. Is this one of them, finally unearthed? Or another child altogether? Ruth is drawn into the case, but soon 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781328622396
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 03/19/2019
Series: Ruth Galloway Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 523,389
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author


ELLY GRIFFITHS is the author of the Ruth Galloway and Magic Men mystery series, and the standalone novel The Stranger Diaries. She is a recipient of the Mary Higgins Clark Award and the CWA Dagger in the Library Award.

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The Janus Stone (Ruth Galloway Series #2) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 55 reviews.
Twink More than 1 year ago
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. The forensic and archaeological details are real and accurate as well, not sensationalized at all. The Janus Stone is interspersed with random entries from the killer's diaries, but it is impossible to try and date them. I thought I had figured out who the suspect was early on, but was proven wrong as the story progressed. Lots of twists and turns keep you guessing. As much as I enjoyed the mystery part of the story, it is the characters and their interactions - especially those of Harry and Ruth that capture me. I cannot wait to see where Griffiths takes them - and us - next. Watch for the third in the series - House at Sea's End - I will be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good crime-mystery series. Interesting premise. Forensic archaelogist in the UK. There are recurring characters including a Druid, a catholic priest, members of the police force including an Inspector who is a prominent character through the series. Would be better if you start with the first book, The Crossing places. The main character is asked to be involved in a police investigation in the first book and in subsequent books. Most take place in the Saltmarsh area near Norfolk England. Like the descriptions of this desolate area. Several storylines through the series including a couple of unlikely romances and several humorous situations. Historical info on the area is also part of each book. Great relationships between the characters. I enjoy a good mystery with an interesting but not overwhelming number of characters, in areas that I am not familiar with that also provide me with some history. I can't wait for the next book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting look at the use of archaeological expertise in investigating murder. Makes me want to read more.
MysteryReader More than 1 year ago
The second in the Ruth Galloway series does not disappoint. I really connect to Ruth in this series, and enjoy the setting. I can't wait until I have the third book in hand to find out more about these characters.
Duck More than 1 year ago
I have really enjoyed the setting, background and unique mystery. Head of Forensic Archaeology, Ruth Galloway isn't wonderwoman, and I like her better for it. She's a complicated person making her way through a career she enjoys with a life outside it. The mystery is unexpected and doesn't tie things up too neatly. Love this novel and series.
Mrs_ELS More than 1 year ago
This is the second mystery in the series with Dr. Ruth Galloway. The characters are interesting and flawed, which makes solving the mysteries even more challenging. Ruth is a forensic archaeologist, which is not unique, but the location of the stories (England) increases the appeal. The author creates a great atmosphere for intrigue and murder.
Suspensemag More than 1 year ago
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 Griffith's second Ruth Galloway mystery. I thought it was wonderfully written and although this was my introduction to the series-her first installment was "The Crossing Places"-I still fell in love with the main character right away. In this book Galloway teams up with Inspector Nelson to uncover the mystery of a headless skeleton of a child. This is quite poignant since Ruth is found to be pregnant herself. Her personal life comes into play often in the story and eventually becomes very purposeful to the plot and ending. The story takes many twists and turns and the author does a very good job of giving the reader many suspects to choose from, but does not lean towards any one of them in particular. Griffith also does a wonderful job of not just focusing on Ruth and Nelson to solve the mystery, but the entire team to help solve the puzzle. This is really a great read and I am looking forward to the next book in the series. Reviewed by Catherine Peterson for Suspense Magazine
ReaderOfThePack More than 1 year ago
The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths picks up just a few months after The Crossing Places. ** Spoiler ** Ruth Galloway is pregnant with Detective Harry Nelson's child. She is committed to raising the child on her own since Detective Nelson is happily married with two daughters. In this installment, Ruth finds herself involved with two archaeological digs. One of the digs takes place on the site of a former children's home. A developer is in the process of tearing down the house and turning the site into apartments, but the requisite archaeological dig unearths the skeleton of a young girl. The bones are first thought to be those of a 1970s runaway from the children's home, but a filling in the girl's tooth proves the skeleton more likely died in the 1950s. After she examines the bones, someone begins to frighten Ruth by leaving items, such as a dead bird and Ruth's name in blood, on the site of the second dig that Ruth is involved in. These items cause Ruth great distress. The big mystery surrounds the identity of the skeleton. Interspersed with the main story are chapters written from the point of view of the murderer. The murderer is well educated in history and mythology. In fact, both Ruth Galloway novels have integrated mythology and history into present day stories. In The Janus Stone, Janus is referenced as the god of beginnings and transitions. Janus acts as a gatekeeper, which includes doorways. The girl's skeleton is found under the doorway to the home. Thus, the archaeologists think that the child may have been a sacrifice to Janus. The Janus Stone is a good read, but I recommend starting with The Crossing Places. Many of the characters and events from The Crossing Places are referenced in the second novel. At the end of The Janus Stone, there is a teaser for the third novel, The House at Sea's End. The first few chapters are promising. Minor characters are revisited and a sea setting is prominent. The saltmarsh environment is a large part of what drew me to this series so I will definitely return to this series when it is released in the United States. Thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing me with an e-galley, via NetGalley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Will+definitely+continue+to+follow+Griffith%27s+adventures+of+Ruth...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series is a wonderful complex thriller. A reader should start with the first book as there are many characters working separately to solve this mystery and they would have a better understanding of all the dynamics.
nanajlove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Received for review through netgalley.The Janus Stone is an exciting murder-mystery, the second offering following Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist.Intrigue and suspense complicate Ruth Galloway's once simple life, as she learns of her pregnancy, deals with the (married) father, and has her life threatened by unknown shadowy players attempting to derail a possible murder investigation. The characters are wonderfully engaging and the entire story line is filled with subtle nuance. I am looking forward to more stories from this author and plan to read her previous book, The Crossing Places.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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. Of course, starting with the investigation into a children's home the usual preconceived prejudices are rampant and several characters are anti-Catholic. But once a retired Sister and Father are introduced as characters the journey of these characters and the Catholic part of the plot which leads to the eventual reconciliation of one of the characters is very satisfying.Elly Griffiths, pseudonym of Domenica de Rosa, has created a wonderful mystery that is going to appeal to a lot of people. There is plenty of action and forensic detail for thriller fans and yet no gory bits for more cozy mystery fans. The plot has many layers, is quite intricate as it twists and turns upon itself and is a ton of fun to read. I'm glad to have started this series at the beginning and can't wait for the next Ruth Galloway Mystery!
Scrabblenut on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another good mystery from Elly Griffiths. She gives enough clues so you think you have it all figured out, and then throws you a curve and keeps you guessing. Ruth Galloway is a complicated and likeable character, and I hope there will be more in this series. The mystery involves finding the headless body of a child buried under the arch of an historic building undergoing reconstruction. Ruth is called in to see if the bones are ancient or modern, and this triggers a murder investigation and a search into the history of the house. Very intriguing.
jasmyn9 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ruth Galloway is a forensic anthropologist. Our story starts with the discovery of a set of bones under the doorway of a building being torn down for new development. Ruth is called in to investigate and determine if the bones are "old" or "new". Her analysis leads to the discovery of a murdered young girl.I was hoping for something different from this book. A big fan of the Bones series on TV, I thought the story would be more scientific. However, it is much more about the people solving the crime than the crime itself. Once I realized this I found the story to be very entertaining.Ruth finds herself working with Inspector Harry Nelson again (I assume they worked together in book 1 as well). Consequences of their last encounter will be following Ruth for the rest of her life. Inspector Nelson finds himself feeling the need to protect her when he realizes that someone is literally trying to scare her to death to keep her from solving the case of the murdered little girl.An enjoyable read, characters were fantastic, but it left much to be desired from a more technical/scientific point of view.3/5
crazyjster on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book caught my attention because there seemed something familiar about it. A woman who digs up bones for a living and has a ¿thing¿ for her police-officer/co-worker. It had a very familiar sound to it...Oh yeah! It sounded like the show I love to watch every week ¿Bones!¿ But this was by a Brittish author, not Kathy Reichs, so could it be better? To be honest, I'm a huge ¿Bones¿ TV show fan, but the books I have found boring and predictable. This is one of those rare occasions I thank screenwriters for working with authors. So could this Elly Griffiths keep my interest? Well, I must say, I have found my ¿British Bones,¿ Ruth Galloway. She is bright, savvy, and the cast of characters that join her in The Janus Stone, are all very colorful bunch! The book is extremely well written and covers a variety of areas from Roman archeology to Druid rituals. It wasn't overly predictable, and it was overall, very interesting. This is the second Galloway book by Griffiths, and hopefully the series will continue.
Tmtrvlr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I wanted to read The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths because I read and reviewed her first of the Ruth Galloway books, The Crossing Places, and enjoyed it very much. I wish I could say the same about this book. In the first, the author used location descriptions that were so vivid they brought the location of Saltmarsh to life, and its story about finding the bones of an unknown child was touching. In the Janus Stone, those rich descriptions were missing. The mystery was ok, but it was again about finding the bones of an unknown child. There were plenty of suspects and enough twists and turns to get lost in, but it fell short for me. We learn much more about the two main characters, Ruth Galloway and Harry Nelson, but unfortunately the more I learn about Ruth, the less I like her. One issue I have is that the main character has a hatred for Christians. In the first book there was mention of the character¿s born again parents and her disdain for them, but in this book she really went all out to try to paint them as bad people because of their faith. Does the author thinks that Christians don't purchase mystery books? Ah well.
nocto on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in a crime series that so far I like pretty much everything about. Ruth Galloway is a strong central character with some complicated relationships that bode well for storylines over several books. As an archaeological expert on bones she can get dragged into police investigations without it seeming too convoluted. This was a one day holiday read and I enjoyed it a lot.
MurderMysteryMayhem on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ruth is back, digging up skeletons and sinking to her boot tops in the mire with Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson, in The Janus Stone number two in the Ruth Galloway series, from British author Elly Griffiths.A child's headless skeleton is found under a doorway during demolition of a building site of luxury apartments and Ruth's expertise as a forensic anthropologist is called back in to service by the local police. The site has a long and varied past, from a Roman encampment to a more recent stint as a Catholic orphanage, and DCI Nelson needs to know to which part of the site's history the body belongs.As Ruth digs deeper, threatening messages and sinister props from the local museum are left directly targeting Ruth. But who could know such intimate details of her life? As Nelson and his team investigate the site's more recent occupants, a prominent local family, a Catholic priest and the sisters of the orphanage, they find that more than one child in the past remains unaccounted for.Another lovely traditional mystery featuring the feisty, messy, irrepressible Ruth Galloway. If you haven't read the first in the series, The Crossing Places, you won't want to miss it. Looking forward to the third and the fourth in the series.
Twink on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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. The forensic and archaeological details are real and accurate as well, not sensationalized at all.The Janus Stone is interspersed with random entries from the killer's diaries, but it is impossible to try and date them. I thought I had figured out who the suspect was early on, but was proven wrong as the story progressed. Lots of twists and turns keep you guessing.As much as I enjoyed the mystery part of the story, it is the characters and their interactions - especially those of Harry and Ruth that capture me. I cannot wait to see where Griffiths takes them - and us - next. Watch for the third in the series - House at Sea's End - I will be.
thornton37814 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A child's skeleton is found buried under an archway on a construction site that dates back to Roman Britain, but these bones appear to be of more recent origin. Once again, Ruth Galloway, a forensic archaeologist, teams up with Harry Nelson to solve this mystery. I really enjoy the way the history of Roman Britain and some of the rituals are incorporated into the story line. I enjoy the main characters in this series -- Ruth, Harry, and Cathbad. I received an advance copy of this book through NetGalley for review.
amanderson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good followup to Crossing Places. It's a mystery set in England, featuring a forensic archaeologist who gets drawn into another murder investigation after the discovery of a child's bones which might be ancient, or more modern. I like the characters a lot; I just wish the mystery plotting was better. It seemed kind of cursory. I don't like the little interludes of narrative from the viewpoint of the unknown crazy murderer. It comes off to me as kind of a trite plot device.
bjellis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately, not quite as compelling as Griffiths' first book, The Crossing Places. In Janus Stone she is trying too hard to pull in all the references you might need (and you really don't) from the first book, with the effect in the first chapter or so of having the author step in and summarize it all. And some of the later plot devices don't quite work, and also seem much too predictably like the structure and devices used in The Crossing Places. Griffiths is an excellent, excellent writer, and I look forward to more of her mysteries. I love the main characters she's developed -- Ruth Galloway, adult, middle aged, living near the digs and the university that an archeologist needs. The supporting characters worked well in teh first book but by the second they come off as Ruth's too-predictable circle of friends -- surely they don't ALL have to come back for every sequel?I liked The Crossing Places enough to hope that future books will be equally terrific. This one was good, but I'll agree with the meager rating of 3 1/2 stars that is the current average. More, Elly Griffiths, more!!!
caitemaire on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The most excellent Dr. Ruth Galloway, an expert in forensic anthropology is back, as well as a number of the characters from the first book, but most especially her friend, DCI Harry Nelson. Once again there will be a murder from the past to investigate and a very present danger for some to avoid. Oh, Ruth is just a trouble magnet!Archeologists doing some digging at the site of an impressive old manor house and former Catholic orphanage, being torn down to build condos, find the bones of a young girl. She is maybe 5 years old, buried under an archway on the site. Where she was buried, in a doorway, and the fact that her scull is missing, make them think at first that she might be an ancient Roman sacrifice to the god Janus, the god of comings and goings. But it is soon apparent that they are looking at bones that are only decades rather than centuries old and that represent secrets that some still alive today may be willing to kill to keep buried. Once again, Ruth will find herself at the very center of the mystery..and the danger.And once again we will find ourselves in the wonderfully atmospheric setting of seaside Norwich, England, on the edge of the marshlands, so important in the first book, where Ruth lives in her tiny isolated cottage. Although the setting does not play the large role it did in the first book, it is still a great addition to the story. Several interesting, intersecting story lines, bits of great ancient mythology and archeological facts, family secrets, mysteries old and new and a few red herrings for good measure add to the delight of this fast paced, well written thriller. But perhaps what most sets this book a bit apart from many books in this genre is the excellent character of Ruth Galloway.Ruth is maybe not your typical mystery heroine, being almost 40, single, overweight and decidedly not stylish. She is, however, smart and independent, an expert in her field, often quite funny and...very surprising...pregnant. Well, not a total surprise to her. She knows exactly when she got pregnant and she knows without question who the father is and she is well aware of the difficulties this may present. What is perhaps most surprising to her is the fact that while she never really desired to have children, now that she finds herself about to have a child, even at only a few months pregnant, she is totally in love with her child and will do anything to protect it's life...which may well be an issue. Because it seems that someone is out to do them both a great deal of harm.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I’m quite fond of Our protagonist, Ruth. The setting is is broader than book#1. The development of the relationship between Ruth and Nelson should be interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book as much as the first one. The author has drawn the mysterious north Norfolk landscape very well. I thought the storyline was well done, and the characters are fascinating. Looking forward to reading #3.