Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway has excavated a body from the grounds of Norwich Castle, a forbidding edifice that was once a prison. She believes the body may be that of infamous Victorian murderess Jemima Green. Called Mother Hook for her claw-like hand, Jemima was hanged in 1867 for the murder of five children in her care.
DCI Harry Nelson has no time for long-dead killers. Immersed in the case of three infants found dead, one after the other, in their King’s Lynn home, he’s convinced that a family member is responsible, though others on his team think differently. Then a child goes missing. Could the abduction be linked to the long-dead Mother Hook? Ruth is pulled into the case, and back towards Nelson.
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Excellent addition to the series
Elly Griffiths Is Better than Ever
The story is more complex than previous Ruth Galloway novels, and the elements all fit together beautifully. I've listened to the book twice in two weeks, and saw the hints and nuances that make this such a thought-provoking story.
The characters are all evolving, changing with time and experience, though Nelson is as unpleasant as ever. It is a pleasure to see the younger police maturing, and Ruth seems more comfortable in herself than she has been previously.
Male and female characters are easily distinguished and identified by their tones and accents, and her children's voices are delightful.
The relationship between Cathbad and Judy has been a source of such unhappiness and difficulty for them, that when Judy spoke to her husband about their marriage and he responded so honestly and touchingly, I had tears in my eyes.
This author has published novels in different genres, all of which I have enjoyed. But this book, The Outcast Dead, is a huge leap forward in her writing.