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The Janus Stone: The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 2 (English Edition) Format Kindle
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Description du produit
A light breeze runs through the long grass at the top of the hill. Close up, the land looks ordinary, just heather and coarse grass 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 on the grass – sure indications 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 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.
She turns and sees a man walking toward 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 turning silver at the temples. Ruth recognizes 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 having a notoriously short fuse at work (at home with his wife and daughters he is a pussycat), he is not normally a shouter. Brusque commands are more his line, usually delivered on the run while 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 blowing all the lights on the second floor.
“No. Well, once or twice.”
Leah dives beneath the desk to check the connections. “Seems okay,” she says. “Press a key.”
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.”
“I assume it’s programmed to say good morning,” says Leah equably. “Mine plays me a tune.”
“Chief Superintendent Whitcliffe says everyone’s got to familiarize themselves with the new computers. There’s a training session at four today.”
“I’m busy,” says Nelson without looking up. “Got a case conference out Swaffham way.”
“Isn’t that where they’re doing that Roman dig?” asks Leah. “I saw it on Time Team.”
She has her back to Nelson, straightening files on his shelves, and so doesn’t see the sudden expression of interest on his face.
“A dig? Archaeology?”
“Yes,” says Leah, turning around. “They’ve found a whole Roman town there, they think.”
Nelson now bends his head to his computer screen. “Lots of archaeologists there, are there?”
“Yes. My uncle owns the local pub, the Phoenix, and he says they’re in there every night. He’s had to double his cider order.”
“Typical,” grunts Nelson. He can just imagine archaeologists drinking cider when everyone knows that bitter’s a man’s drink. Women archaeologists, though, are another matter.
“I might have a look at the site on my way back,” he says.
“Are you interested in history?” asks Leah disbelievingly.
“Me? Yes, fascinated. Never miss an episode of Sharpe.”
“You should be on our pub quiz team then.”
“I get too nervous,” says Nelson blandly, typing in his password with one finger: Nelson1. He’s not one for ambiguity. “Do me a favour, love, make us a cup of coffee, would you?”
Swaffham is a picturesque market town, the kind Nelson drives through every day without noticing. A few miles outside and you are deep in the country – fields waist-high with grass, signposts pointing in both directions at once, cows wandering across the road shepherded by a vacant-looking boy on an all-terrain vehicle. Nelson is lost in seconds and almost gives up before it occurs to him to ask the vacant youth the way to the Phoenix pub. When in doubt in Norfolk, ask the way to a pub. It turns out to be quite near. Nelson does a U-turn in the mud, pulls into a road that is no more than a track and there it is, a low thatched building facing a high, grassy bank. Nelson parks in the pub parking lot and, with a skip of his heart that he does not want to acknowledge as excitement, he recognizes the battered red Renault parked across the road, at the foot of the hill. I just haven’t seen her for a while, he tells himself. It’ll be good to catch up.
He has no idea where to find the dig, or even what it will look like, but he reckons he’ll be able to see more from the top of the bank. It’s a beautiful evening; the shadows are long on the grass and the air is soft. But Nelson does not notice his surroundings; he is thinking of a bleak coastline, of bodies washed out to sea by a relentless tide, of the circumstances in which he met Ruth Galloway. She had been the forensic archaeologist called in when human bones were found on the Saltmarsh, a desolate spot on the North Norfolk coast. Though those bones had turned out to be more than two thousand years old, Ruth had subsequently become involved in a much more recent case, that of a five-year-old girl, abducted, believed murdered. He hasn’t seen Ruth since the case ended three months ago.
At the top of the hill he can see only more hills. The only features of interest are some earthworks in the distance and two figures walking along the top of the bank, which curves around like a wall: one a brown-haired woman in loose, dark clothes, the other a tall man in mud-stained jeans. A cider drinker, he’ll be bound.
“Ruth,” calls Nelson. He can see her smile; she has a remarkably lovely smile, not that he would ever tell her so.
“Nelson!” She looks good too, he thinks, her eyes bright, her cheeks pink with exercise. She hasn’t lost any weight though and he realizes that he would have been rather disappointed if she had.
“What are you doing here?” asks Ruth. They don’t kiss or even shake hands but both are grinning broadly.
“Had a case conference nearby. Heard there was a dig here.”
“What, are you watching Time Team now?”
“My favourite viewing.”
Ruth smiles skeptically and introduces her companion. “This is Dr. Max Grey from Sussex University. He’s in charge of the dig. Max, this is DCI Nelson.”
The man looks surprised. Nelson himself is aware that his title sounds incongruous in the golden evening, with the birds swooping overhead and the smell of hay in the air. Crime happens, even here, Nelson tells Max Grey silently. Academics are never keen on the police. But Dr. Grey manages a smile.
“Are you interested in archaeology, DCI Nelson?”
“Sometimes,” says Nelson cautiously. “Ruth . . . Dr. Galloway . . . and I worked on a case together recently.”
“That affair on the Sa... --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition kindle_edition.
Revue de presse
'It's always a pleasure when an author's second book lives up to the promise of the first, and this is certainly true of the second in Griffiths's series... There s a satisfying meaty plot family secrets, insanity and ancient mythology, both pagan and Roman but it's Griffiths's dryly humorous writing and the appeal of her two main characters that make these books such a treat ... More please.' --Guardian.
'...it is topically terrifying enough but far more so when it is combined with pagan rites ... bone-chilling stuff' --Times. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition kindle_edition.
Détails sur le produit
- ASIN : B004EYT54K
- Éditeur : Quercus; 0 édition (29 juillet 2010)
- Langue : Anglais
- Taille du fichier : 3829 KB
- Synthèse vocale : Activée
- Confort de lecture : Activé
- X-Ray : Activé
- Word Wise : Activé
- Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 337 pages
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- 1 en Archaeology
- 12 en Archéologie
- 29 en Politique et sciences sociales en langues étrangères
- Commentaires client :
Meilleures évaluations de France
Un problème s'est produit lors du filtrage des commentaires. Veuillez réessayer ultérieurement.
L'intrigue en quelques mots: Ruth Galloway, expert judiciaire et archéologue, est sollicitée lorsque des entrepreneurs découvrent le corps décapité d'un enfant sous un portique. La découverte du corps est-elle liée à la disparition de deux enfants d'une maison d'accueil il y a plusieurs décennies ? Au fil de l'enquête, il devient de plus en plus évident qu'encore aujourd'hui, quelqu'un essaie de dissimuler la vérité, un monstre obsédé par les rites anciens et dont Ruth semble bien être devenue la cible.
L'ensemble n'est pas mauvais mais à mon sens un peu trop ordinaire, malgré les quelques informations culturelles distillées çà et là. L'écriture est relativement banale, le style un peu trop dénudé à mon goût (par exemple, un chapitre commence par "Ruth is at Woolmarket Street.", ou encore "Sunday afternoon in a King's Lynn suburb.", sans la moindre recherche ou construction un peu plus littéraire). De même, le thriller était qualifié de "bone-chilling", je ne peux pas dire que j'aie beaucoup frémi, sans compter que l'ensemble manque un peu de plausibilité -ce qui peut être compensé par d'autres aspects mais pas ici.
En résumé, pas mauvais mais ne brille pas ni par sa qualité ni par son originalité malgré un contenu prometteur. Je n'ai pas passé un mauvais moment mais dans le genre, je vous conseillerais plutôt "Haunted Ground" de Erin Hart ou encore S.J. Bolton.
The case seems easy to solve as it seems that the bones are very old.
But that is a bit more complicated and the case become darker after every chapter.
I liked also the atmosphere of the book: a mix of old legends and an investigation in modern times.
Moreover I liked the main character - Ruth Galloway - who seems to be so "normal" with her weight problem and
her love affairs. Her reactions were even funny sometimes.
I found it easy to read in English: well written, no slang...
I will certainly read other books of this author.
Meilleurs commentaires provenant d’autres pays
Sadly she repeated this gratuitous description of violence upon a cat in this, the second book of the series. What has the author got against cats? If her detailed description had been about murdered, or sacrificed, babies, many people would have been as upset as I am, at least I hope so. But because this is an animal, apparently it's acceptable to use its suffering as a literary device, to capture the reader's attention.
Such gross insensitivity lost her a star - and indeed I feel like giving both books only three stars; but since I have to admit to enjoying them, it seems hardly fair.
Fortunately Griffiths doesn't persist with this horror in her subsequent Ruth Galloway books - maybe she's actually taken on board her readers' sensibilities? I'd certainly like to think so.
This is the second book in the Ruth Galloway series, which now runs to twelve books and is still going strong. I started in the middle, as usual, read several as they came out and eventually gave up on the grounds that I felt the series had run out of steam, but before then I had acquired a couple of the earlier books, including this one. Since it’s quite a while since I last read one, I wondered if the old magic could be rekindled, and to a certain extent, it was.
The same things irritated me as had always done – the clunky use of present tense, Ruth’s obsession with her weight, the romantic tension (or lack thereof) of Ruth’s and Nelson’s never-ending non-relationship, the plot-stretching that is always required to make it seem in any way normal for an archaeologist to be so involved in a police investigation. Add in that in this one Ruth is pregnant, so we’re treated to all the usual stuff that goes with that, including much vomiting – always a favourite feature *eyeroll* – and I must admit I seriously considered giving up after the first few chapters.
However I decided to power on through the pain barrier and eventually found that the things I used to enjoy about the series were still enjoyable too. The plot is interesting and well done, and the element of Ruth being deliberately frightened has some nicely spine-tingling moments. There’s the usual humour amid the darkness, and the old regulars are all there – Ruth’s friends and colleagues, Nelson’s team, and, of course, Cathbad the druid. There’s also a new man on the scene who looks as though he might provide a new romantic interest for Ruth – Max Grey, a fellow archaeologist, unmarried and handsome to boot!
The plot involves elements of Roman mythology. It did rather niggle me that Ruth was apparently ignorant of this subject and unable to read even straightforward Latin inscriptions, since I find it hard to believe that anyone teaching archaeology at university level in the UK could possibly have avoided learning something about these, given that so much British archaeology is of Roman remains. But it allows Griffiths to tell the reader about the mythology via the device of Max, a Roman expert, explaining it all to Ruth.
The setting adds a lot to this series – Ruth’s isolated cottage looking out over the salt marshes of Norfolk provides plenty of room for spooky occurrences, and Griffiths gives a real feel for the brooding beauty of the place, and for some of the myths and superstitions attached to it.
So overall I enjoyed this return visit to a past favourite, although not quite enough to make me want to read the other ones that I’ve missed.
Several years on and with a lot of time on my hands do I feel any different?
Well....um...no. I do not. Druids and bones and rituals abounded in this second book of the series. Our semi-reclusive heroine seems to have all these men half in love with her, but something always seems to scupper any of their chances to get close. It's just all a bit too dull for me I'm afraid.
Some people will like the setting on the Norfolk coast. The murder story was ok. I just found the place too depressing and bleak. I won't be rushing out for the next episode, though I can see how this could be right up some people's street...if they like cats and barren windy beaches.
As a former children’s home is demolished to make way for a new development of chic apartments, the discovery of a child’s mutilated skeleton draws Dr Ruth Galloway and DCI Harry Nelson into a web of secrets and deceit. When forensic examination proves the skeleton to be modern, the hunt for a killer is on, and as Ruth becomes the recipient of macabre ‘gifts’, Harry Nelson finds himself determined to protect her… she is, after all, carrying his child!
This, the second book in the Dr Ruth Galloway series, certainly doesn’t disappoint: Well plotted, and once again shot-through with myth and legend, there’s plenty to keep any devotee of classical studies content. More complex than the first novel in the series (‘The Crossing Places’), and packed with twists and turns, this is absorbing right to the very end. However, as with the first book, it very much remains a character-driven story. Throughout the text Elly Griffiths continues to reveal more of her protagonist, Dr Ruth Galloway, an extraordinary character whose mix of strength and fragility intrigues, entices, and never fails to hold one’s attention.
Overall: A complex mystery that builds to a thrilling climax, and features the wonderful Dr Ruth Galloway. Fabulous!
She is also pregnant, following her unanticipated liaison with Detective Inspector Harry Nelson, who had led the two investigations. Nelson is another complicated character - superficially surly, and inclined to moroseness. Ruth had initially dismissed him as just another blunt norther copper (he had grown up in Blackpool, and professed to hate North Norfolk, whither he had moved on promotion at the urging of his glamorous and ambitious wife. He does, however, have hidden depths, as Ruth discovers after she becomes better acquainted with him as the investigastions move forward.
As this novel opens, Ruth has been called to the discovery of a body of a child on the site of a former Roman Catholic orphanage, which was being redeveloped as part of an ambitious housing scheme. It is clear that the bones uncovered by the workmen were old, but from initial consideration it isn’t clear whether their age is to be reckoned in decades of centuries. The police review records for the orphanage, and find that around forty years previously two of the children from the orphanage had disappeared, never to be seen again. It is at this point that Ruth starts receiving threatening message.
Elly Griffiths manages to blend themes of history, myth and modern police work successfully, and also manages a rich cast of characters (including the local Druid leader, Cathbad, who works by day at the university’s chemistry department as a laboratory technician). I realise, having just glanced over what I have written so far, that I am making it all sound very chaotic. That is far from the case, and I found myself caught up in the novel right from the start.
I see from the inside cover of my copy that this series now extends to at least twelve novels. My first response to seeing this was pleasure, thinking of some engrossing reading to come, but I do have a slight worry about whether there is likely to be sufficient variety in plots to sustain so many books. There were, to my mind, strong similarities between this and the previous book, although that may have been because I read them fairly close together. I also worry that the following books might veer increasingly heavily into the fantastical, which I fear I might find irksome.
Still, it is not fair to speculate about other books that I haven’t read yet while trying to revie this one, so I should reiterate that I enjoyed it, and will certainly be moving on to the mext in the sequence, although I think I shall wait for a few weeks.