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The Outcast Dead: The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 6 Hardcover – 6 Feb 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 287 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (6 Feb. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857388908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857388902
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (287 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 244,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'A compassionate novel that raises questions about parental love and guilt' Sunday Times. (Sunday Times)

'If forensics, history, detectives, romance and some psychologically impaired individuals are your bag, this novel delivers them all ... The twist at the end will have you in a spin' The Sun. (Sun)

'Told with a deepening sense of unease, seasoned with a touch of the occult, it is no surprise that BBC television are developing it as a series' Daily Mail. (Daily Mail)

Book Description

Forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway discovers the skeleton of a long-dead murderess, while DCI Nelson has a new killer on his hands. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 months old. Nelson is certain it is the mother who has committed these murders but there seems to be a lot of evidence to the contrary.

Ruth meanwhile meets a dashing 'George Clooney lookalike' American historian, Frank Barker, who is involved in a factual tv series, Women Who Kill. The producers want to include Ruth in this particular documentary to discuss the finding of the bones of Mother Hook.

Amidst all this, a baby goes missing whilst she is asleep in her bed and a mysterious note is found. Soon afterwards another child is kidnapped and it becomes a race against time to discover who is doing this and, more importantly, to get the baby back and reunited with the mother.

The pace never lets up and I couldn't put it down. I thoroughly enjoyed it and never guessed the perpetrator at all.

I loved this book very much and am going to miss Ruth and Nelson et al until the next book.

Brilliant and highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is another colourful outing for Ruth Galloway filled with Griffiths’ trademark wit and quirky characters. To be fair, we don’t read these books for their plots which tend to be a bit repetitive, contrived and implausible (how many more child abductions can there be in one part of Norfolk?) but for the ongoing interactions of the cast of characters who fill this series.

From the new-age druid Cathebad with his purple cloak, to the love lives of DI Harry Nelson and his crew of police officers, to Ruth’s own life and wrestles with the awful Phil, head of department, the personalities of the characters shine through. In this book, Ruth makes it onto TV and has a potential new love interest; stoic police officer Judy reveals a whole other side; and Clough finds himself a little off his food...

So there are far too many infant deaths and abductions to be credible in one book, and the lines being drawn between past and present are very tentative – but this is more than made up for by Ruth’s fabulously cynical, wry and sceptical view of the world: (“her sympathy for people who buy million-pound mansions and then have trouble with dry rot in the orangery is limited”).

So the crime story element is not completely satisfying, but this is a great read for fans of this series who are following the tangled lives of the characters – and Ruth is a gem of a character!

(This review is from an ARC courtesy of the publisher)
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By Anne TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was gripped by this book all the way through because of its excellent plotting, the atmospheric description of the landscape, and the character development. The author has taken the best of the preceding books featuring Harry Nelson and Ruth Galloway and produced a very satisfying read. You don't have to have read the earlier books to understand this one but if you have then you will really appreciate the developments of characters and relationships which take place in this novel.

The book links Nelson's investigation into a dead child with Ruth's discovery of the body of a notorious child killer from the past. The two enquiries are not linked but they shadow each other throughout the book as the author uses the parallel plots to examine issues around children, adultery, childcare and working mothers. The book is by no means preachy but the author raises lots of interesting questions with much of what she looks at being reflected in our daily newspapers. There are also side plots involving Ruth and Nelson and their colleagues and friends including the introduction of a possible love interest for Ruth (I am very much looking forward to seeing what the author does with that in future installments).

Once again the book skirts around the spirit world but the author makes no firm commitment to this and many of the characters remain unconvinced. This adds a little originality to the book and doesn't get in the way of the plot. The resolution to all the sub-plots works well in the context of the book and reflects the characters as we have come to know them. Although the atmospheric landscape writing is excellent as usual it doesn't play as large a part in the novel as it has in previous books.

The beauty of this novel is its readability.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having loved this series from the beginning I do look forward to Elly Griffiths new book which she releases each year. The mystery plot this time seemed only to be in the background; another abduction of a child putting Norfolk as a dangerous place to live, secondary to Midsommer! There was little if none archeological content this time and an almost vague murder plot floating around in the distance but for me, seeing the return of a favorite, Cathbad and his purple cloak, he saved the day! Ruth is as ever; cynical, insecure and a bit lost at times. Nelson still has his issues with her and his "love child" and the whole of the North Norfolk constabulary is thrown into turmoil when one of their own becomes personally involved in the unfolding tragedy. I enjoyed reading this as I love to revisit Ruth and her gang and the way Elly bounces her off against Nelson is often hillarious and moving at the same time. I missed the history which often has the reader gripped and also the lack of forensic archeology but saying that, to revisit the "family" once a year is rather nice and I am sure next year Ruth will be up to her neck in another mystery from the past and hopefully back digging to save someone's life in the present. A good light read with some memorable characters and a smile along the way.
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