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The Janus Stone: The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 2 Paperback – 29 Jul 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 289 customer reviews

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  • The Janus Stone: The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 2
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  • The House at Sea's End: The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 3
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (29 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849162298
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849162296
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (289 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

'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)

Book Description

Readers met Dr Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist, in Elly Griffiths' acclaimed debut The Crossing Places. Here is the second novel in this bestselling series.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Keen to know what happened to forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway after the end of Elly Griffiths' crime début The Crossing Places, I started reading the second instalment in her story, The Janus Stone, straight away. Much as I did with The Crossing Places I raced through The Janus Stone, in which Ruth is called into determine the age of a child's skeleton unearthed beneath a house with a chequered past. This time, however, things are further complicated by Ruth's unexpected pregnancy, the result of a one-night-stand with Harry Nelson, the gruff (and happily married) DCI in charge of the case.

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.
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Disappointingly this is more or less a rehash of the first Ruth Galloway book, with very similar themes and plot development. The main characters stand up well, but the murder motive seems paper thin and the final chase almost farcical. I'm also not convinced that the police can simply look up personal information from the 1951 census, as census information is kept strictly secret for 100 years.
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Dr. Ruth Galloway is an unlikely heroine, the collection of characters around her equally as unlikely which The Author has melded into a rather, would you believe, unlikely team.
The plot is well structured with the odd twist & turn to keep the interest flowing.
The description of The Salt Flats ranging from awe inspiring beauty to windswept desolation, this is the second outing for me & Ruth Galloway I'm looking forward to the third.
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Lots of positive things to say about this book. It was a pretty good crime thriller, the descriptions of the saltmarsh area in Norfolk were vivid and memorable and the author did a good job of conveying the history of the area from pagan to present.

It's quite a difficult feat to pull off, stitching together pagan Celtic and Roman cultural practices and inserting them into a narrative based in the present. I think this book just about manages to weave together all the disparate elements into a coherent and believable story.

At times the flow of the book was a bit too fragmented, leaping abruptly from character to character. The prose was sometimes awkward and the characters were a little two dimensional. Too much was made of events occurring in the prior novel which was irritating and unnecessary. In the same vein, the author left the door open for future novels with some issues left unresolved at the conclusion of the book.

All in all a worthwhile book but think about reading the first book in the series to get the most out of this one.
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Lots of detail. Development of the relationships and an interesting twist in relation to a characters health. A good read
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A good story with the usual twists and turns, but I guessed whodunnit long before the end. A bit harder to believe than the first in the series. I did stick with it though, it was an easy read and enjoyable enough.
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I have recently discovered Elly Griffiths and the books are a real page turner, each story complete in its self but with a continuing back story, for once a heroine who isn't slim and sylph like and has brains and uses them properly.
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I had enjoyed the first novel in the Dr Ruth Galloway series and I was delighted to read the second book and also find it a great story. The character of Ruth develops very well and her difficult relationship with Nelson is a fascinating aside to the main plot.
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