Monday, March 3, 2014

The Outcast Dead

Title: The Outcast Dead
Author: Elly Griffiths
Publisher: March 11th 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Genre: Mystery
Source: Amazon Vine Program
Series: Ruth Galloway #6

This book felt completely different to me. Compared to the previous, this book was more toned down, not as frantic feeling as the previous. I am not sure if it was because Ruth is becoming more comfortable in her shoes, or her daughter’s near miss in the previous book has put life in a better balance, but Ruth is different in The Outcast Dead.

Blending two storylines, both Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway and DCI Harry Nelson are dealing with dead children and their caregivers. Ruth has excavated a body of a woman that she believes to be a Victorian era murderess called Mother Hook and Nelson is tracking down the clues in child deaths and abductions.

Since Ruth and Nelson have a child in common, this is hitting a bit too close for both of them. Not only do they have to protect their own, but also they need to find the truth. Ruth, with the help of Frank Barker ”a dishy American”, set out to prove one innocent and DCI Nelson needs to convince his team of the guilt of another.

As the story goes back and forth, you see the doubt and persistence that is needed from both. They care passionately for the truth, but that can only be accomplished with solid proof.

Nelson’s team is another story. He seems to be fighting them the whole way. When an abduction hits too close to home, when pushed beyond his comfort zone, DS Dave Clough must come to the realization that there are things that are not explainable, but instrumental.

The characters within the Ruth Galloway series are complicated. They have back stories that require the reader to start at the beginning of the series and keep their histories straight. Revelations in book one, will pop up later own causing the reader to stop and think.

Elly Griffith does leave a few danglers in there. Two new characters are introduced and where she takes them can only be guessed at. Suddenly the tangled web of King’s Lynn just became a little more interesting.

The Ruth Galloway books need your complete concentration. This is not a series that you can pick up, read a page or two, and put away until next week. You need to dedicate your time and concentration and in the end, you will be rewarded with an exceptional series and a phenomenal set of characters.

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