The Janus Stone: Book summary and reviews of The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths

The Janus Stone

A Ruth Galloway Mystery

By Elly Griffiths

The Janus Stone
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2011,
    352 pages.

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Book Summary

It's been only a few months since archaeologist Ruth Galloway found herself entangled in a missing persons case, barely escaping with her life. But when construction workers demolishing a large old house in Norwich 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?

Ruth and Detective Harry Nelson would like to find out - and fast. When they realize the house was once a children's home, they track down the Catholic priest who served as its operator. Father Hennessey reports that two children did go missing from the home forty years before - a boy and a girl. They were never found. 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 ever 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Ruth's second appearance (The Crossing Places, 2009) is an enthralling page-turner that delights in complex characters." - Kirkus

"Starred Review. Fans of Erin Hart and Aaron Elkins will be delighted by this series. With just the right balance of suspense, tight plotting, and wonderful British seaside scenery, this is sure to be hugely popular." - Library Journal

"Griffiths nimbly weaves the mythological aspects of her story - particularly the Roman god Janus, who represents doorways as well as beginnings and endings - with the complicated life of her feisty heroine." - Publishers Weekly

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Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Diane S
The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths
Ruth Galloway is a forensic anthropologist, bone lady, and in this the 2nd mystery by Griffiths, Ruth is embroiled in a mystery when bones of a young child are found while tearing down a former children's home. These are character driven, very atmospheric mysteries taking place along England's salt marshes.
The storyline is actually secondary to the characters, but the characters are exceptionally portrayed, from Druid and Celtic practitioners to a rugged policeman. I highly recommend this series.

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Author Information

Elly Griffiths Author Biography

Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway novels take for their inspiration Elly's husband, who gave up a city job to train as an archaeologist, and her aunt who lives on the Norfolk coast and who filled her niece's head with the myths and legends of that area. Elly has two children and lives near Brighton. Though not her first novel, The Crossing Places is her first crime novel.

Series order to date
The Crossing Places (2009)
The Janus Stone (2010)
The House at Sea's End (2011)

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