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The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths
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The Outcast Dead (2014)

by Elly Griffiths

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4613535,109 (3.85)95
"Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway uncovers the bones of a Victorian murderess while a baby snatcher threatens modern-day Norfolk in this exciting new entry in a beloved series. Every year a ceremony is held in Norwich for the bodies in the paupers' graves: the Service for the Outcast Dead. Ruth has a particular interest in this year's proceedings. Her recent dig at Norwich Castle turned up the body of the notorious Mother Hook, who was hanged in 1867 for the murder of five children. Now Ruth is the reluctant star of the TV series Women Who Kill, working alongside the program's alluring history expert, Professor Chet Bruce. DCI Harry Nelson is immersed in the case of three children found dead in their home. He is sure that the mother is responsible. Then another child is abducted and a kidnapper dubbed the Childminder claims responsibility. Are there two murderers afoot, or is the Childminder behind all the deaths? The team must race to find out--and the stakes couldn't be any higher when another child goes missing. "--… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
A less compelling story compared to The Dying Fall, A Room Full of Bones, and The Crossing Places. The major flaw was too much backstory and repetition of the previous plots from the earlier books. Largely this felt like padding a thin story; most of the information wasn't needed for the current developments in the book and engendered quite a bit of boredom.

The enjoyable pieces were filming an archaeological dig and developing a theme to right an old wrong. I also enjoyed Ruth's unexpected reunion with Simon (her brother) and the two nephews. There was a twist at the end which was not entirely unexpected, but that anticipation didn't ruin the ending. And no eyeroll scenarios, which I was quite happy to do without! ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Aug 1, 2019 |
The Outcast Dead is the sixth book Ruth Galloway by Elly Griffiths and as usually I'm having a bit of a problem reading the book, because even though I often enjoy the stories in the books I just can't stand the characters. Well, I don't hate them, they just annoy me, things they say or thinks can make me mentally roll my eyes. So when I pick up and read a book by Elly Griffith will I know that Ruth will as usually always bring up in her mind how fat she is and how thin everyone else is. Nelson, the cop she has a baby with will constantly nag her about what's best for their daughter and so on...

But I keep coming back to the books for the stories, for the cases, for the archaeology, for the mix of the past and the present time. In this book, a woman gets accused of killing her own child and at the same time, Ruth has discovered the body of who they think is notorious Mother Hook who was hanged 1867 accused of killing children.

So the rating for the books is 3.5 stars with less annoying characters it would have gotten 4 stars. ( )
  MaraBlaise | May 19, 2019 |
This one was my favourite so far. There was a lot of crime for Nelson to be dealing with: a third cot death in one family and two child abductions. Ruth got to be on television and the Judy/Darren/Cathbad dilemma was resolved.

My only niggle: I don't believe Ruth would have removed the medallion from the dig rather than logging it as usual. ( )
  pgchuis | May 17, 2019 |
I find this series quite fun to follow. This one is number six and the author fleshed out some of the minor characters from earlier books and introduces more of the main character's early family experiences. Could probably be read on its own as Griffiths tells enough of the backstory to get the gist of relationships, but I am definitely a “read from the beginning” reader of series.
TW for missing children. ( )
  beebeereads | Feb 3, 2019 |
A recent dig at Norwich has turned up bones thought to be those of notorious child killer Mother Hook who was hanged in 1867. Ruth becomes involved in a TV production about Mother Hook and contemporary children are found dead and go missing. Interesting period detail, and unexpected conclusion. ( )
  pennykaplan | Dec 28, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
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For my children, Alex and Juliet
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'And we ask your abundant blessings, Lord, on these, the outcast dead ...'
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