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THE JANUS STONE: A RUTH GALLOWAY MYSTERY [Paperback]

ELLY GRIFFITHS
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771035896
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771035890
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,677,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Elly Griffiths was born in London. The inpsiration for her books about forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway came from her husband who gave up a city job to train as an archaeologist. Elly lives near Brighton but often spends holidays on the wild Norfolk coast. She has two children and a cat.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing is what it seems 21 Feb 2010
By J. S. Bundy VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am so glad that I enjoyed this book. I found Elly Griffiths' first book disappointing and quite shallow in places but with her second book, she leaves us in no doubt that there is a definite future for Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist and DCI Nelson.

The two main protagonists have become more rounded and believable characters and the cast of recurring lesser inhabitants of Ruth's world are more delicately drawn and now provide a believable support network for her.

As in the first book, Ruth is brought in to investigate some recently unearthed bones, and we are drawn into a more recent crime event than it at first appears. The action takes us over much of Norfolk from Norwich via Swaffham to Ruth's bolt hole on the windswept North Norfolk marshes and involves Roman myths, Catholicism and missing children.

Her relationship, or lack of it, with Nelson is intriguing and made all the more interesting by her recent pregnancy, and I felt myself warming to Ruth far more than I had in the first book. I didn't second guess the ending this time and was more than surprised at times. I hope that we see more from Elly Griffiths as I for one am more than happy to follow her journey through life and love on the bleak marshes of East Anglia.
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55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gods and Mysteries 31 Jan 2010
By Damaskcat HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Ruth Galloway - forensic archaeologist - is pregnant, but she is not sure how or when to tell the father - DCI Harry Nelson. In the meantime there are two fascinating archaeological digs taking place not far from where Ruth lives at Saltmarsh on the North Norfolk coast. One is a Roman site near Swaffham, where she knows the archaeologists working there and the other is the site of an old house in Norwich where the developer is intending to build luxury apartments. Ruth is called in because the headless skeleton of a small child is found under a doorway of the house in Norwich.

From this creepy beginning an atmospheric story unfolds with Ruth's own life becoming increasingly at risk as she and Nelson gradually uncover the secrets the skeleton hides. Ruth is far from being a typical heroine, overweight, unfashionable and ferociously clever with few social graces. But there is something endearing about her fierce independence and her determination to unravel the mysteries presented to her. I really enjoyed this story not least because I am familiar with the area in which it is set. I thought it was cleverly plotted and the final denouement was tense and exciting. There was a reappearance of some of the characters from the first book in this series - `The Crossing Places'. Cathbad, the Druid, Shona - Ruth's somewhat flaky friend, and of course Harry Nelson.

The background of Roman and Pagan mythology and modern day Catholicism is fascinating and well researched and I thought the character of Father Hennessey, the Catholic priest who ran the children's home which formerly occupied the Norwich site, was well drawn and convincing. The relationships between the police involved in the investigation were also interesting. This book is an excellent follow up to `The Crossing Places' and I look forward to reading the next in the series.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Book! 5 Feb 2010
Format:Hardcover
Don't you just hate it when you find a fabulous now author and then find they have only written 2 books...? I am really looking forward to hearing more from Ruth and Harry Nelson in future books; I found both 'Crossing Places' and 'The Janus Stone' on the same day and read them both within a couple of days as they were 'unputdownable'! Write quickly please Elly!

The last time I found an author this appealing was a couple of years ago when I discovered Phil Rickman; but he kept me entertained for months with the number of books he had already written!

So what is the appeal? The story is well written and researched, and pacy...but this is not what keeps readers gripped. The characters leap out from the pages; Ruth, with her self contained existence, living in a remote cottage with her cat; her parents with their born again fervour, which is totally alien to Ruth. (I love their reaction to her pregnancy) Harry, who plainly loves his wife and family, but who seems to be headed towards a sort of menage a trois in future books...and my favourite character, who just has to be Cathbad! I can just see him now, purple cloak swirling, a sea breeze tugging at his hair, gazing mystically out to sea...lol...

Is he genuinely posessed of magical powers? I look forward to seeing how he develops. I am really looking forward to seeing how they all develop, so come on Elly, back to the computer...

Michelle Jones
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder past and present 2 Mar 2010
By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
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, pregnant with his child after a single night's intimacy. They must solve the mystery of the skeleton as well as protect Ruth from an escalating threat.

Although I enjoyed Griffith's first book, "The Crossing Places," this second entry to the series is so much better. I didn't care for a revelation and open thread at the end of the first book, but it carried over and became a very effective element to the plot of this story.

Ruth is still a wonderful character but, thankfully, less weight and age obsessed and Nelson is more human. Where the relationship between them could have been trite, it worked because of Griffith's voice and the structure of Ruth's character. We learn more about the two main characters, giving them greater dimensionality. I particularly enjoyed that Ruth is an academic who doesn't know Latin. Griffiths balances these characters with well-drawn supporting characters.

I always appreciate the inclusion of poetry and literary quotations within the story as well as the historic, mythological and religious information. It is a skillful author who can both teach and entertain, and Griffiths does it beautiful. I think part of the reason it works so well is, again, the author's voice.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars very good murder mystery
I really loved this book!Could hardly put it down!I think it must be part of serial although I read it first I think there is one before which would have been better to have read... Read more
Published 9 days ago by prebbbs
5.0 out of 5 stars ... fan of Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway novels so I loved this book
I'm a big fan of Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway novels so I loved this book. At present I am reading The House at Seas End and am hoping to get through the backlog before a new one... Read more
Published 9 days ago by foxy lady
4.0 out of 5 stars Promising beginning
A great beginning to what promises to be a great set of books. Well written, though the tense used annoys me a bit/al lot,
but it's a great tale.
Published 10 days ago by Maralyn Lever
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive service. The book arrived earlier than I expected ...
Impressive service. The book arrived earlier than I expected & was in the condition described. This series maintains an exceptionally high standard of writing, characterisation &... Read more
Published 10 days ago by H S D Grimsditch
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic!
Published 11 days ago by Mrs. J. Harriman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
If you like Rebecca Tope books you will love any by Ellie Griffiths
Published 11 days ago by Ivan Glover
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love all her books!
Published 12 days ago by Deborah Peters
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The second Ruth Galloway Investigation was every bit as exciting as the first.
Published 14 days ago by Mary Rowswell
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Really enjoyed this book. Archeologist and Detective is a different angle to thriller / mystery. This is the second book in the series and I liked how I am getting to know the... Read more
Published 17 days ago by annon2302
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read Series
I have only just discovered this series and am thoroughly enjoying reading through it. The first book I read was not the first in the series so I know one part of the story line in... Read more
Published 22 days ago by Mrs. P. Brown
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