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The Outcast Dead

(Ruth Galloway #6)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  13,740 ratings  ·  1,122 reviews
Ruth Galloway uncovers the bones of what might be a notorious Victorian child murderess and a baby snatcher known as "The Childminder" threatens modern-day Norfolk in the latest irresistible mystery from Elly Griffiths.

Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway uncovers the bones of a Victorian murderess while a baby snatcher threatens modern-day Norfolk in this exciting new ent
Hardcover, 374 pages
Published March 11th 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 2014)
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Lynda I started with the second one and became totally hooked on them However I would suggest reading the first one first as you need to know the history of…moreI started with the second one and became totally hooked on them However I would suggest reading the first one first as you need to know the history of all the characters as they are all included in future books. (less)
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Anita Vela-Johnson
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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Jacki (Julia Flyte)
Julia sits down to write her review of The Outcast Dead. She has read all of the books in this series and enjoyed them. However she's torn about what to write about this instalment. The story worked well, encompassing two main plotlines, both centered on the relationships between mother and child. All the familiar characters made an appearance and somehow Cathbad seemed less annoying this time round.

And yet, something makes Julia hesitate. It's the way that Elly Griffiths writes all her books in
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library

This book starts with a litany for the “outcast dead” - the poor, the unknown, the plague victims, the lepers. Ruth may not be religious, but she appreciates the sentiment behind a service for the unknowns.

Ruth is carrying out a new dig at the Norfolk Castle when she discovers bones that might possibly be Mother Hook, a Victorian childminder found guilty of murder and executed. The story attracts the attention of a tv show, and Ruth is featured on the show. Simultaneously, Nelson is investigatin
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5000-2020
I always enjoy the books in this series but I think this was the best one yet! The forensic archaeology aspect is always interesting but in The Outcast Dead we get that plus a whole lot more.

Ruth is engaged in digging up the remains of an historical reputed child killer and at the same time Nelson is running a case involving current day missing children. The two stories run parallel but with characters who cross over in different ways.

Many of the regular characters have larger roles than usual
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. This was such an unputdownable read! Read as a buddy read with goodreads friend Lisa Vegan, reading around 50 pages at a time, at the same time. I marked where we were going to read up to with a bookmark each time so I didn't go over, this was so absorbing, everytime I saw the bookmark I said an involuntary NO! realising I would need to stop!

In this Ruth Galloway mystery a family who have lost their three children to cot death are under suspicion and two other children go missing. Alt
Pat (not getting friend updates currently)
This one was all about missing and dead children - no not in a gruesome way - and families and relationships. At a dig at Norwich Castle Ruth uncovers the body assumed to be that of Jemima Green, or Mother Hook (because she had lost a hand in an unfortunate industrial accident). She was hanged in 1867 for murdering some children in her care but the historian at the dig thinks she may have been innocent. Either way a production company wants to film some of the action at the dig for a show called ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: 'And we ask your abundant blessing, Lord, on these, the outcast dead. . . '

There is a murmured response from the group gathered on the bank below the castle walls. But Ruth Galloway, standing at the back, says nothing. She is wearing the expression of polite neutrality she assumes whenever God is mentioned. This mask has stood her in good stead over the years and she sees no reason to drop it now. But she approves of the Prayers for the Outcast Dead. This brief ecumenical service is hel
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
4-1/2 stars This one was extra hard to put down!!!

This is the sixth in the Ruth Galloway mystery series. I buddy read this one with Hilary. As is typical for us we read sections at the same time, even though our time zones are 8 hours apart. (view spoiler)
Diane S ☔
Oct 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
A wonderful series that combines archeology, mystery and some amazing characters, one who has a delightful three year old. The personal relationships are almost as interesting as the storylines. Of course Cathbad, the druid, is one of my favorites. Also appreciate the author's not at the end, explaining what was true in history, the buildings, graveyards and churches as well as people, in this particular installment. ...more
Sam H  Arnold
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think it is important to say before I start this review that I love Elly Griffiths. She has fast become one of my favourite authors and this book does nothing to change this. Elly Griffiths is that rare writing talent that can mix; historical fact, familiar character developments and a dame good thriller into one.

This book is one of the best I have read from her and as usual I find myself enthralled by the historical information which is passed throughout this book. The book also has a fair a
John Carter McKnight
I love this series. The characters are (mostly) people I just really enjoy spending time with, and I don't much need the pretext of a plot. Which accounts for the 3 stars in this review, because otherwise this book is pretty thin.

It seems to mark a transition in the series story structure from local archaeological expedition/thematically related murder, which had been stretched a little farther than it could go, to Ruth being affiliated with a lurid-archaeology TV show, which allows for a wider
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. Again a great mystery story starring Ruth Galloway (although she definitely wouldn't use the word 'starring' herself). ...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
The Outcast Dead is the sixth book Ruth Galloway by Elly Griffiths and as usually I'm having a bit of a problem reading the book, because even though I often enjoy the stories in the books I just can't stand the characters. Well, I don't hate them, they just annoy me, things they say or thinks can make me mentally roll my eyes. So when I pick up and read a book by Elly Griffith will I know that Ruth will as usually always bring up in her mind how fat she is and how thin everyone else is. Nelson, ...more
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've been reading the Ruth Galloway series in order, and this one is my favorite so far! There is less emphasis on the archeology and history, although it is still present. And there is more emphasis on human relationships, and in particular, parent and child. I couldn't put this book down!

150 years ago, a childminder was hanged for murdering children in her care. In present time, two children are abducted. Another family has lost their children to SIDS. Through the weaving of the families into
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
In one sense, this was another solid entry in the Ruth Galloway series. Yet, the modern mystery or mysteries were all over the place. I would have preferred a different way of tying the past with the present.

On the positive side, there was some needed closure on several character fronts... and for that this book earned a fourth star.

On to the next book.

PS- Anyone else peeved when there’s a mystery with no way of the reader being able to truly puzzle out the villain? Yeah, that happened here an
Sep 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery series lovers
Recommended to Margie by: Lisa and Hilary
I am now hooked on the Ruth Galloway series as if I were watching a favorite Masterpiece Mystery series with memorable characters, great plotting and  fascinating historical details.  These page-turning mysteries are a perfect escape for me.  As I follow the lives and families of all the major characters and become invested in their stories, the books get better and better.  The age of Ruth's daughter, Kate, is a good timeline.  Kate is now three and a year has elapsed since the events of the pr ...more
First Sentence: Every year a ceremony is held at Norwich Castle for the bodies in the paupers’ graves: the Service for the Outcast Dead.

Archeologist Ruth Galloway is on a dig at Norwich Castle when she uncovers the remains of a woman who may be Jemima Green, aka Mother Hook. She was a woman in the 1800s, thought to have taken in orphaned and abandoned children, only to murder and sell them to a resurrectionist. Her boss interests a television station in including the dig in their program, “Wome
Oct 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This is a tricky series in that it is people centred in their ever changing and complex relationships. As usual the author takes just a few pages to bring her readers up to speed. What I find completely amazing is the ability of Elly to weave another original story from the perspective her previous novels in the series have left her.
The main character is a forensic archaeologist, a reserve and humble single mother, Ruth Galloway. Ruth isn't on every page; nor does she drive the investigation. Ho
I'm running out of things to say about this series! If you're looking for a good mystery series that is not too violent, you've found one here.

The main character is smart, interesting, and has some cool friends. She is a forensic archaeologist, and works with police to solve a crime in each volume. There is a lot of dry humor, and the characters start to develop relationships that go beyond friendship. All of the audiobooks are well done, even though there have been two narrators (so far).

A sm
Apr 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
My apologies....I shouldn't write a review after night shift Elly Griffiths has a lot of gall. Imagine having the nerve to create a series based on a smart, slightly overweight (read: normal) woman who is a professor & single mom. But does she stop there? Noooo.
Then she adds an interesting well rounded cast that runs the gamut from conservative middle aged cop to flighty intuitive druid & plunks them all into stories containing murder, mayhem, archaeology, humour & evolving personal lives. I mea
Rachel Hall
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After the highs of Dying Fall and Dr Ruth Galloway and her fantastic ensemble cast going "on tour" in Blackpool, The Outcast Dead is a thrilling and triumphant return to the Fens for everyone's favourite dysfunctional family! Introducing new characters to the party and serving up a whopping three mysteries into a single novel, this is once again an utter delight.

As Ruth discovers what looks to be the remains of the reputed body-farmer and child murderess Mother Hook, in the grounds of Norwich C
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
This is the last in the series at present; a series I have enjoyed very much. The first book was just great and this, the last one, is just fantastic.

Ruth finds some bones which appear to be of the notorious child killer Mother Hook (aka Jemima Green) who was hanged for her crimes some 150 years previously.

Nelson, simultaneously, is working on a case of a mother, Liz Donaldson, whose two children, Samuel and Isaac, had died suddenly in infancy and now the new baby, David, has suddenly died at 8
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
3.5 Stars
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn’t find the mystery in this one quite so good as usual. It was still an excellent read because I love all the different relationships between the characters.
Christine PNW
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one reminded me a lot of A Dying Fall, reaching back into the past for a significant part of the mystery. I also developed a distinct fondness for Dave Clough in this book - his character just keeps getting more and more engaging.

Review written February 25, 2019

3.5 Stars - Always good to be with Ruth & co

Book #5
- Another good mystery/crime from Elly Griffiths. Enjoyed it as a audiobook listening in a terrific Swedish edition very well narrated by Angela Kovács.

Best of all; (view spoiler)
Mike Sumner
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best of six, so far. Well, that is my opinion! I love this series. I like the characters. The vulnerable Dr. Ruth Galloway and her daughter Kate, the old-fashioned copper DCI Harry Nelson, his bagman DS David Clough, a tough, dedicated officer and Cathbad (Michael Malone), raised a Catholic and now a druid and self-professed shaman. The series knits seamlessly together; elements of forensic archeology, myth, the supernatural and superstition. In The Outcast Dead child abduction is a major el ...more
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
In what is the sixth Ruth Galloway novel, The titled character, a forensic archaeologist, is involved in a local dig and uncovers remains that might be those of a notorious child killer of the 19th century. This act, though outwardly not much different than other digs she has been involved in, unleashes something entirely new---television and television commentators who want to report on the bones of a woman who killed!

Meanwhile, there also seems to be a modern day child kidnapper in the area to
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths.

The well known pauper's grave just outside of Norwich Castle has a yearly event or celebration This that celebration has taken a mysterious turn. Ruth has uncovered the remains, or so it seems, of a notorious child murderess known as Mother Hook. Mother Hook was convicted and hung for the murder of 5 children who were in her care.
Ruth's discovery takes on an entirely new outlook when she is asked to be a major part in a TV program of Women Who Kill.
All this ho
Blodeuedd Finland
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Book 6! Yes I have gone through these fast. Quite addicted, I did not know I had it in me.

In this one Ruth is looking at the bones of a woman convicted for killing children. While Nelson is investigating actual child killings and kidnappings.

I have given up the though of these two together, wont happen, should not happen.

Another thrilling book where she does her archaeology thing, and the police solves cases. I just really like these and want more.
Julia Buckley
Feb 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
I love Elly Griffith's Ruth Galloway series. ...more
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Inaccuracy in the novel. 1 16 Sep 02, 2018 07:49PM  
Play Book Tag: The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths - 4 stars 1 11 May 26, 2018 04:40PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Change format, publisher, cover etc 2 14 Feb 16, 2017 08:57AM  
Play Book Tag: The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths - 4.5 Stars 1 8 Apr 13, 2016 02:59PM  
ruth galloway series 4 38 Feb 03, 2015 02:47PM  
Mansfield Public ...: The " The Outcast Dead" review by Ann Pedro 1 3 Jun 26, 2014 04:03PM  

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Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway novels take for their inspiration Elly's husband, who gave up a city job to train as an archaeologist, and her aunt who lives on the Norfolk coast and who filled her niece's head with the myths and legends of that area. Elly has two children and lives near Brighton. Though not her first novel, The Crossing Places is her first crime novel.


Other books in the series

Ruth Galloway (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • The Crossing Places (Ruth Galloway, #1)
  • The Janus Stone (Ruth Galloway, #2)
  • The House at Sea's End (Ruth Galloway, #3)
  • A Room Full of Bones (Ruth Galloway, #4)
  • A Dying Fall (Ruth Galloway, #5)
  • The Ghost Fields (Ruth Galloway, #7)
  • The Woman in Blue (Ruth Galloway, #8)
  • The Chalk Pit (Ruth Galloway, #9)
  • The Dark Angel (Ruth Galloway, #10)
  • The Stone Circle (Ruth Galloway, #11)

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83 likes · 7 comments
“Grey’s OK on a man,’ says Mary-Anne. ‘Silver fox and all that.’ Ruth notices that Frank doesn’t seem to mind this description. She also muses that there isn’t a female equivalent to ‘silver fox’. ‘Grey-haired old bat’ doesn’t cover it somehow.” 6 likes
“I know you've all got it in for me," says Bob. "You fitted me up for one crime, why not pin every child murder in the last twenty years on me?" His voice rises hysterically.

"That seems rather an extreme reaction," says Tim. "I just asked what you were doing yesterday afternoon.”
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