The Janus Stone: The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 2 Paperback – 29 Jul 2010
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'The setting is enticingly atmospheric. I closed the book wanting to know more... as well as feeling the satisfaction that a really intelligent murder story can give' Independent. (Independent)
Readers met Dr Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist, in Elly Griffiths' acclaimed debut The Crossing Places. Here is the second novel in this bestselling series.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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...
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.
Much as I enjoyed The Crossing Places, there were plot elements that I found faintly ludicrous, and I must say the same applies (perhaps to a slightly lesser extent) here. The story follows much the same formula as its predecessor - bones are discovered, Ruth helps Harry in his investigation along with a supporting cast of recurring characters, Ruth ends up in jeopardy as a result - but it's all good fun. There's dark creepiness aplenty and a few shocks, but don't come to these books looking for gritty realism. There's a touch of pantomime about the character eventually revealed as the villain, and it all gets a little bit Hammer Horror in places.
Ruth and Harry's relationship - now platonic - remains convincing, and Harry manages to remain largely likeable despite being a man who has cheated on his wife. His slim, attractive hairdresser, that Griffiths could lazily have depicted as a airheaded cow, is in fact intelligent, kind and interested in the arts, a wise choice on the author's part as it stirs up all sorts of conflicting emotions for not just Harry and Ruth (who, while fond of each other, are in many ways profoundly unsuited to one another) but also the reader.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Easy read . Like the first one the myths and gods are interesting without being to heavy . Will probably read the third .Published 2 days ago by Mark
This is my second book by this author. I find her stories captivating. I am about to buy the next in the series as soon as I finish typing this! 👍👍👍Published 6 days ago by Pammy
Excellent book,a wonderful addition to the series! Will happily be reading the rest of them!Published 26 days ago by Zoe Shelley
Already read book by this author, thoroughly enjoyed it and will be reading more from this authorPublished 26 days ago by Carol Callow
The Janus Stone is a superb follow up to the introduction of forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway in The Crossing Places and builds on all the promise of the first outing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by MRS V L HALL
The second book in the series and I have enjoyed this as much as the first. The characters are engaging and the stories well written and well researched. Can't wait to read more.Published 2 months ago by Heather Eeles