No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Sunday, July 10, 2016

2016/38: The Outcast Dead -- Elly Griffiths

... bodies and treasure are often found buried in marshes, to mark that boundary. Was Liz stuck in her own liminal zone, dazed from sadness and lack of sleep, unable to distinguish between dreams and reality? [loc. 1405]

Ruth Galloway is excavating the remains of executed prisoners at Norwich Castle when she discovers a skeleton with a hook for a hand. Could it be the notorious child-killer Jemima Green, who was known as Mother Hook? Her boss Phil would certainly like to think so: he's excited at the prospect of appearing on television, and by the attention of the documentary team working on 'Women Who Kill'. Meanwhile, DC Nelson is investigating the death of a child. He suspects the mother, not least because her other two children died -- apparently of natural causes.

The Outcast Dead is about children and mothers, childcare and neglect and the lengths to which some will go to in defence of their beliefs, or when driven by maternal love. It's not the most enthralling of Griffiths' forensic archaeology novels -- I missed the archaeology, of which there's very little -- but it's a well-paced read with some interesting character development and a hint of the supernatural.

Norwich has changed a great deal since I was at university there and I confess I didn't recognise many of the locations. I really should go back for a visit some time.

No comments:

Post a Comment