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The Outcast Dead: A Ruth Galloway Mystery

 
 
Author
Elly Griffiths.
Publisher Houghton Mifflin  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 8.5 x 5.85 x 1.25 inches
ISBN 9780547792774
Pages/Publication Date 374/2014
Daedalus Item Code 61365
This item is not available.
Description
The annual service of the Outcast Dead in Norwich commemorates the bodies interred in paupers' graves, and in this sixth book in Elly Griffith's Mary Higgins Clark Award–winning series (following A Dying Fall), the proceedings hold special interest for forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway. She has just unearthed the body of notorious murderess Jemima Green, known as Mother Hook, who was hanged in 1867 at Norwich Castle for killing several children. While Ruth reluctantly stars in a television special on the historical case, DCI Harry Nelson investigates after three children are found dead in their home. When another child is abducted, Ruth begins to wonder if the cases are connected—and if the crimes of the Victorian child killer may hold the key to solving them.

"Griffiths bases her title and the book's opening scene on an actual ceremony for 'the outcast dead' (paupers and prostitutes long ago flung into a mass grave), held every year at Cross Bones Graveyard in London. The ceremony, which Griffiths transports to Norwich, fits beautifully with the fictional recent find at Norwich Castle of a grave likely containing the bones of Mother Hook, a woman hanged outside the castle for murdering children entrusted to her care. Heroine Ruth Galloway, the Norwich University lecturer and forensic archaeologist seen in five previous mysteries, does a star turn for a TV series in considering the guilt or innocence of the Victorian Mother Hook. At the same time, Galloway's sometime lover and father of her three-year-old daughter, DCI Nelson, investigates the wrenching case of a mother accused of smothering her baby. Griffiths deftly blends the themes of two women accused of child killing. Then she turns up the heat under this seething cauldron of blame and guilt by having two Norwich children kidnapped. A deft blend of death in the past, death in the present, and death chillingly close to occurring."—Booklist

 
 
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