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The Janus stone / Elly Griffiths.

By: Griffiths, Elly.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: Griffiths, Elly. Ruth Galloway mystery: 2.; Griffiths, Elly. Ruth Galloway investigations: bk. 2.; Griffiths, Elly. Ruth Galloway: 02.; Ruth Galloway: 2.Publisher: London : Quercus, 2010Description: 327 pages ; 20 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781849162296.Subject(s): Murder -- Investigation -- England -- Norwich -- Fiction | Women detectives -- Fiction | Children -- Crimes against -- Fiction | Murder -- Investigation -- England -- Norwich -- Fiction -- Investigation -- Fiction | Women detectives -- Fiction -- Fiction | Children -- Crimes against -- Fiction -- Crimes against -- Fiction | Murder -- Investigation -- Fiction | Galloway, Ruth (Fictitious character) -- Fiction | Women archaeologists -- Fiction | Forensic archaeology -- Fiction | Murder Investigation England Norwich Fiction | Detective and mystery storiesGenre/Form: Detective and mystery fiction.DDC classification: Rental Fiction Subject: "Ruth Galloway is called in to investigate when builders, demolishing a large old house in Norwich, uncover the skeleton of a child - minus the skull - beneath a doorway. Is it some ritual sacrifice or just plain straightforward murder? DCI Harry Nelson must find out - and fast. It turns out that the house was once a children's home. Nelson meets the Catholic priest who used to run the place. He tells him that two children did go missing forty years before - a boy and a girl. They were never found. When carbon dating proves that the child's bones predate the children's home and relate to a time when the house was privately owned, Ruth is drawn more deeply into the case. But as spring gives way to summer it becomes clear that someone is trying very hard to put Ruth off the scent by frightening her half to death."--Publisher description.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Dr Ruth Galloway's forensic skills are called upon when builders, demolishing an old house in Norwich, uncover the bones of a child - minus the skull - beneath a doorway. Is it some ritual sacrifice or just plain straightforward murder? Ruth links up with DCI Harry Nelson to investigate.

The house was once a children's home. Nelson traces the Catholic priest who used to run the place. He tells him that two children did go missing 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 hard to put her off the scent by frightening her to death...

"A case for investigator Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist"--Cover.

"Ruth Galloway is called in to investigate when builders, demolishing a large old house in Norwich, uncover the skeleton of a child - minus the skull - beneath a doorway. Is it some ritual sacrifice or just plain straightforward murder? DCI Harry Nelson must find out - and fast. It turns out that the house was once a children's home. Nelson meets the Catholic priest who used to run the place. He tells him that two children did go missing forty years before - a boy and a girl. They were never found. When carbon dating proves that the child's bones predate the children's home and relate to a time when the house was privately owned, Ruth is drawn more deeply into the case. But as spring gives way to summer it becomes clear that someone is trying very hard to put Ruth off the scent by frightening her half to death."--Publisher description.

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Excerpt provided by Syndetics

A light breeze runs through the long grass at the top of the hill. Close up, the land looks ordinary, just heather and coarse pasture with the occasional white stone standing out like a signpost. But if you were to fly up above these unremarkable hills you would be able to see circular raised banks and darker rectangles amongst the greens and browns - sure signs that this land has been occupied many, many times before.  Ruth Galloway, walking rather slowly up the hill, does not need the eagle's eye view to know that this is an archaeological site of some importance. Colleagues from the university have been digging on this hill for days and they have uncovered not only evidence of a Roman villa but also of earlier Bronze Age and Iron Age settlements.  Ruth had planned to visit the site earlier but she has been busy marking papers and preparing for the end of term. It is May and the air is sweet, full of pollen and the scent of rain. She stops, getting her breath back and enjoying the feeling of being outdoors on a spring afternoon. The year has been dark so far, though not without unexpected bonuses, and she relishes the chance just to stand still, letting the sun beat down on her face.  'Ruth!' She turns and sees a man walking towards her. He is wearing jeans and a work-stained shirt and he treats the hill with disdain, hardly altering his long stride. He is tall and slim with curly dark hair greying at the temples. Ruth recognises him, as he obviously does her, from a talk he gave at her university several months ago. Dr Max Grey, from the University of Sussex, an archaeologist and an expert on Roman Britain.  'I'm glad you could come,' he says and he actually does look glad. A change from most archaeologists, who resent another expert on their patch. And Ruth is an acknowledged expert - on bones, decomposition and death. She is Head of Forensic Archaeology at the University of North Norfolk. 'Are you down to the foundations?' asks Ruth, following Max to the summit of the hill. It is colder here and, somewhere high above, a skylark sings.  'Yes, I think so,' says Max, pointing to a neat trench in front of them. Halfway down, a line of grey stone can be seen. 'I think we may have found something that will interest you, actually.'  Ruth knows without being told.  'Bones,' she says. Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson is shouting. Despite a notoriously short fuse at work (at home with his wife and daughters he is a pussy cat) he is not normally a shouter. Brusque commands are more his line, usually delivered on the run whilst moving on to the next job. He is a man of quick decisions and limited patience. He likes doing things: catching criminals, interrogating suspects, driving too fast and eating too much. He does not like meetings, pointless discussions or listening to advice. Above all, he does not like sitting in his office on a fine spring day trying to persuade his new computer to communicate with him. Hence the shouting.  'Leah!' he bellows.  Leah, Nelson's admin assistant (or secretary, as he likes to call her), edges cautiously into the room. She is a delicate, dark girl of twenty-five, much admired by the younger officers. Nelson, though, sees her mainly as a source of coffee and an interpreter of new technology, which seems to get newer and more temperamental every day. 'Leah,' he complains, 'the screen's gone blank again.'  'Did you switch it off?' asks Leah. Nelson has been known to pull out plugs in moments of frustration, once fusing all the lights on the second floor.  'No. Well, once or twice.'  Leah dives beneath the desk to check the connections. 'Seems OK,' she says. 'Press a key.'  'Which one?'  'Surprise me.'  Nelson thumps the space bar and the computer miraculously comes to life, saying smugly, 'Good afternoon, DCI Nelson.'  'Fuck off,' responds Nelson, reaching for the mouse.  'I beg your pardon?' Leah's eyebrows rise.  'Not you,' says Nelson, 'This thing. When I want small talk, I'll ask for it.' Excerpted from The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Forensic anthropologist Ruth Galloway helps investigate when a child's partial skeleton is unearthed beneath an old mansion. Mixing gothic elements with a pulse-pounding British procedural, the case captivates. (LJ 11/1/10) (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

When a child's headless skeleton turns up during an archeological dig in Griffiths's compelling second Ruth Galloway mystery (after 2010's The Crossing Places), Ruth's determination that the bones are of recent origin spurs her special friend, Det. Chief Insp. Harry Nelson, to investigate the Catholic orphanage run by Fr. Patrick Hennessey that once occupied the Norfolk, England, site. Two children disappeared from the orphanage in 1973, though Ruth's study of the bones suggests that the murderer might have ties not to the orphanage but to the site's Roman's origins. Complicating matters are her pregnancy-the result of a one-night stand with Nelson in Crossing-and an escalating series of dangerous pranks meant to scare her off the case. 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. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Book Review

A forensic archaeologist's murder investigation puts her and her unborn child in mortal danger.Ruth Galloway is intelligent, independent, overweight and pregnant. She has not yet told DCI Nelson that she fell pregnant after the one night of stress-relieving passion stemming from their partnership in another murder case. Ruth is called to a building site where bones have been discovered in the wreckage of a mansion built on Roman ruins, a site in the process of being turned into luxury apartments by Spens and Company. The body is that of a girl whose head is missing. Nelson has the task of digging into the history of the house, formerly a Catholic children's home, looking for clues. An interview with the priest who ran it turns up the story of a brother and sister who went missing and were never found. Assuming that the murdered child is the missing girl, Nelson is amazed when forensic evidence shows that the two must be different, and even more astonished when he realizes the Spens family used to live in the house. Already dealing with morning sickness, disapproving parents and the knowledge that Nelson is married with two girls of his own, Ruth starts to get cryptic threats from an unknown source. In fact, far too many people are not what they seem in this labyrinthine case.Ruth's second appearance (The Crossing Places, 2009) is an enthralling page-turner that delights in complex characters.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.