Norwich Castle provides setting for author’s latest crime thriller

Author Elly Griffiths has set her new book The Outcast Dead at Norwich Castle. Photo by Jerry Bauer. Author Elly Griffiths has set her new book The Outcast Dead at Norwich Castle. Photo by Jerry Bauer.

Friday, January 24, 2014
7:00 AM

One of Norwich’s historic sites is being put into the literary limelight in a new crime novel.

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Norwich Castle. Photo: Steve AdamsNorwich Castle. Photo: Steve Adams

Norwich Castle is one of the key settings in Elly Griffiths’ latest book - The Outcast Dead - which will be launched in the castle’s keep on February 5.

The book is the latest in Ms Griffiths’ Norfolk-based series featuring forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway.

“The book before, Dying Fall, went away from Norfolk and Ruth went to Blackpool, but I really wanted this one to be centred in Norfolk and Norwich,” said Ms Griffiths who came up with the idea for The Outcast Dead while doing a tour of Lincoln Castle, a former prison like Norwich Castle.

This time around Ruth excavates a body from the grounds of Norwich Castle which she believes may belong to infamous Victorian murderess Jemima Green. Meanwhile DCI Harry Nelson is immersed in the case of three infants found dead in their King’s Lynn home and a missing child, and there is a question mark as to whether there could be a link between the modern day crimes and the Victorian killer hanged in 1867 for murdering five children.

Ms Griffiths said Jemima Green’s story was “totally made up” although partly based on an amalgam of cases from the time.

“I visited Norwich Castle a few times and read books about its history. I also looked at the whole idea of the body snatchers,” said Ms Griffiths, who lives near Brighton but has family in Norfolk.

“One of the things I love about Norfolk is its layers of history,” she said.

“I’m writing the next book now, that’s going to be about the abandoned RAF bases. Norfolk has got a few more stories left in it for me yet.”

Ms Griffiths’ books could also be set for the small screen, with the BBC currently working on a script.

Norwich Museums Manager Rachel Kirk said they were very pleased the castle featured in the book and hoped it would inspire more visitors.

• The Outcast Dead costs £16.99. Ms Griffiths will be talking about her book at the launch, organised by Jarrold, at Norwich Castle on February 5 at 6.15pm. Tickets £10 and include £5 off the book at the event. Tickets can be bought at Jarrold in Norwich or at www.jarrold.co.uk

• Are you involved in a Norfolk-inspired arts project? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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