The Outcast Dead

Griffiths, Elly

Book - 2014
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Outcast Dead
"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. "--

Publisher: Boston :, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,, 2014.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
ISBN: 9780547792774
Characteristics: 374 pages ;,22 cm


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Jan 04, 2015
  • samdog123 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Another excellent installment in this mystery series featuring Ruth Galloway, Forensic archeologist. The action heats up when Ruth uncovers the skeleton of infamous Victorian child killer, Mother Hook. But was the woman as guilty as she was made out to be? I love the character development that we see in the major players. Well done and looking forward to the next in the series.

Dec 04, 2014
  • gvenkatesh rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

A very tame mystery novel that has enough storylines with babies to set off maternal instincts more than all of the Subaru commercials put together. As such, it will likely appeal more to women than men.

The novel tries to develop the characters more than the mystery itself. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, the book may have missed out on a great opportunity to make the plot more interesting/intricate leveraging the baby-related mysteries from the two periods.

Moreover, the character treatment is itself a bit shallow and less than credible where most of the characters appear to have been involved with each other having had affairs, or sired children in or out of wedlock. Just to ensure there are enough babies to populate the novel, it seems.

Jul 31, 2014
  • mvkramer rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

This book bored me, which is not what you want from a mystery novel. In my opinion, it spent too much time on the personal lives of the characters and not enough on the plot. I didn't really enjoy the writing style either - the author tended to "tell" rather than "show." Did anyone else notice that it switched between past and present tense a lot for no discernible reason? That really irked me.

Jul 29, 2014
  • Palomino rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Who doesn't like a detective-archeologist mystery? Educational AND murder. This is well written, nothing "cute", but not too hard-boiled. I will look for others in the series.

Jun 12, 2014
  • LaughingOne rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I know women like Ruth Galloway. She is someone I would like to personally know: somewhat eccentric, curmudgeonly, confident, a bit shy. Read the books in this series in order as the stories definitely build from book to book, and the characters and relationships develop in interesting ways. I completely enjoy this series.

Apr 19, 2014
  • Edgarmole rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed reading this book, and sharing the lives of the familiar characters. It was not as anguished as some novels in this series but still true to the story. Just a calmer mystery in comparison. It does seem to foreshadow events to come, for instance some shifts in the protagonist's lackluster love life.


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