The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths

The Outcast Dead cover

The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths is the sixth book in her Ruth Galloway series. As Ruth is an archaeologist specialising in bones they usually entail the discovery of a body and this one is no different.

The location of her dig is Norwich Castle which had been a prison in the past. People who had been hanged were buried in the grounds and when the body that Ruth is excavating turns out to have a hook where a hand should be, she’s sure that it’s a locally famous child murderer.

Whilst Ruth is busy with that body her one time lover DCI Harry Nelson is investigating a supposed cot death, but it’s the third such tragedy in the same family and he’s thinking that three times is just too many to be natural.

I enjoyed this one although I’m beginning to wonder what Elly Griffiths has against happy couples as in her books nobody seems to be with the correct partner. I’m not at all sure that that adds much to the reading experience. No doubt it is the sort of thing that creative writing courses suggest as being a good thing to do to introduce conflict, but it can be overdone I think.

4 thoughts on “The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths

  1. I still like the series and will continue to read them. I don’t think the lack of satisfaction in the relationships is too bad. Harry’s wife even seems to have accepted the situation. They seem more like real people trying to cope with a stressful situation. I’m just glad no one is an alcoholic or drug user or chain smoker. Those are easy outs, way too common.

    • Joan,
      I found Harry’s wife’s attitude to be completely unlikely – mature no doubt but I’ve never known any woman to behave like her in the circumstances. You’re right about the addiction thing but as I don’t read many contemporary books I haven’t come across those situations much.

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