Thursday, November 6, 2014

THE OUTCAST DEAD by Elly Griffiths


Elly Griffiths The Outcast Dead was a hard book to read.

The book dealt with murdered children. Archeologist Ruth Galloway found what she thought might be the bones of Mother Hook, alleged to be a Victorian era child-murderess.

At the same time, DCI Harry Nelson investigates the deaths of three infants. Officials had listed their deaths as accidental.

Then to top it off, there are child kidnappings.

Amidst all this, Ruth becomes involved in filming a TV documentary on Mother Hook. Along the way she meets a potential love interest.

As always, the continuing characters fascinate. The Druid Cathbad has run away from his true love, a married woman. Circumstances force him to return. (For those not familiar with this series--The main characters have intricate relationships. Ruth, for example, has a child by the married DCI Nelson.) 

So much child murder was hard for me. We have small children we love dearly.

For several years I served on the Child Fatality Board of my county. The state-mandated board (convened by the corner and involving a representative of the county child abuse agency, the county prosecutor, the sheriff, the police, the highway patrol, and a local pastor) reviewed the deaths of all minors in the county. We were trying to make sure that “accidental” or “natural” deaths were indeed that.

So reading about the deaths of children is hard for me.

Also, I found the filming of the TV show, the jockeying for position, especially by Ruth’s boss, true to life but boring. I have trouble relating to those kinds of false values.

Still, I find the Ruth Galloway series fascinating. This book was as interesting as the Ruth Galloway books always are.

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