Synopses & Reviews
In this dazzling addition to Deborah Crombie's acclaimed mystery series, a disappearance, a murder, and a child in danger lead Scotland Yard detectives Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid into London's legendary East End—a neighborhood where the rich and the poor, the ambitious and the dangerous, collide—to solve one of the most challenging and disturbing cases they've ever faced. . . .
Necessary as Blood
Once the haunt of Jack the Ripper, London's East End is a vibrant mix of history and the avant-garde, a place where elegant Georgian town houses exist side by side with colorful street markets and the hippest clubs. But here races and cultures still clash, and the trendy galleries and glamorous nightlife of Whitechapel disguise a violent and seedy underside, where unthinkable crimes bring terror to the innocent.
On a beautiful Sunday afternoon in mid May, a young mother, Sandra Gilles, leaves her daughter with a friend at the Columbia Road Flower Market and disappears. Shortly thereafter, her husband, a Pakistani lawyer, is killed. Scotland Yard detective Gemma James happens upon the scene in time to witness the investigator making a mistake.
When Duncan and his trusted sergeant, Doug Cullen, see Gemma's name in the report, they decide to take the case. Working together again, Gemma, Duncan, Doug, and Melody Talbot must solve it before the murderer can get his hands on the real prize, Naz and Sandra's daughter.
But just as the case grows more dangerous, a personal issue threatens to throw Gemma and Duncan off the trail. In the end, it is up to them to stop a vicious killer and protect the child whose fate hangs in the balance.
"What connection could the discovery of a notorious child killers corpse have to a new series of unnerving crimes? Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway thinks that the body shes unearthed near the walls of Norwich Castle may be that of Mother Hook, a woman who took in unwanted children, possibly sold their bodies and was hanged for murder in 1867. . . . Griffiths lovingly develops the complicated, often testy relationships between the continuing characters in the course of a mystery perhaps a shade less exciting than her usual fare."--Kirkus Reviews
"Griffiths bases her title and the books opening scene on an actual ceremony for “the outcast dead” (paupers and prostitutes long ago flung into a mass grave), held every year at Cross Bones Graveyard in London. . . . Griffiths deftly blends the themes of two women accused of child killing. Then she turns up the heat under this seething cauldron of blame and guilt by having two Norwichchildren kidnapped. A deft blend of death in the past, death in the present, and death chillingly close to occurring."--Booklist
"The latest captivating and enjoyable Griffiths novel does not disappoint. Set along England's northern coast, the story brings Ruth, an archaeologist whose work with old bones has involved her in several police cases, to a back-water university in Lacashire, where one of her old school friends has been murdered. The victim had been working in a dig that seemed to involve the Raven King, aka King Arthur. . . . The characters are strong and believable, the plot intriguing and well developed, and there is plenty of atmosphere." -- San Jose Mercury-News
"Both plot strands make compelling reading, but the way Griffiths interweaves them is absolutely masterful. As with all Ruth Galloway mysteries, the application of forensic archaeology is intriguing. . . readers are in for a really good time with this flesh-and-blood bone expert."—Booklist, STARRED
"Intricately plotted. . . all will enjoy Ruth's largely self-aware sardonic perspective on life, death, and relationships."—Publishers Weekly
"Another gem packed with offbeat, well-developed characters and a quirky, challenging mystery."—Kirkus
From "New York Times" Notable author Crombie comes a thrilling new mystery featuring favorite Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James.
Necessary As Blood is the latest entry in Deborah Crombies New York Times Notable, Edgar®, Agatha, and Macavity Awards-nominated mystery series featuring Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. A Texan frequently compared to the masters of British crime fiction—including P.D. James, Martha Grimes, Barbara Vine, and fellow American Elizabeth George—Crombie dazzles once more with Necessary As Blood—a relentlessly suspenseful tale of a vanished mother, a murdered father, and a helpless, endangered child.
Ruth Galloway uncovers the bones of what might be a notorious Victorian child murdress 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 entry in a beloved series.
Every year a ceremony is held at Norwich Castle for the bodies in the paupers graves: the Service for the Outcast Dead. Ruth has a particular interest in this years proceedings. Her recent dig at Norwich Castle turned up the body of the notorious Mother Hook, who was hanged in 1867 for the murder of five children. Now Ruth is the reluctant star of the TV series Women Who Kill, working alongside the programs alluring history expert, Professor Frank Barker.
DCI Harry Nelson is immersed in the case of three children found dead in their home. He is sure that the mother is responsible. Then another child is abducted and a kidnapper dubbed the Childminder claims responsibility. Are there two murderers afoot, or is the Childminder behind all the deaths? The team must race to find out—and the stakes couldnt be any higher when another child goes missing.
Forensic archeologist Ruth Galloway investigates her most heart-stopping case to date after an old university friend and fellow archeologist is murdered in an arson attack.
Ruth Galloway is shocked when she learns that her old university friend Dan Golding has died tragically in a house fire. But the death takes on a sinister cast when Ruth receives a letter from Dan written just before he died.
The letter tells of a great archaeological discovery, but Dan also says that he is scared for his life. Was Dan’s death linked to his find? The only clue is his mention of the Raven King, an ancient name for King Arthur.
Then Ruth is invited to examine the bones Dan found. Ruth travels to Lancashire–the hometown of DCI Nelson–with both her eighteen-month-old daughter, Kate, and her druid friend, Cathbad, in tow. She discovers a campus living in fear of a sinister right-wing group called the White Hand. She also finds that the bones revealed a shocking fact about King Arthur–and they’ve mysteriously vanished. When Nelson, visiting his mother in Blackpool, learns about the case, he is drawn into the investigation, especially when Ruth and his beloved Kate seem to be in danger. Who is willing to kill to keep the bones a secret?
About the Author
Elly Griffith's Ruth Galloway novels — The Crossing Places, The Janus Stone, The House at Sea's End, A Room Full of Bones, A Dying Fall, and The Outcast Dead — have been praised as "gripping" (Louise Penny), "highly atmospheric," (New York Times Book Review), and "must-reads for fans of crime fiction" (Associated Press). She is the winner of the 2010 Mary Higgins Clark Award.