Talking to the Dead – Harry Bingham

Published 2013 by Orion

harry bingham talking

It’s DC Fiona Griffiths’ first murder case – and she’s in at the deep end. A woman and her six-year-old daughter killed with chilling brutality in a dingy flat. The only clue: the platinum bank card of a long-dead tycoon, found amidst the squalor.

DC Griffiths has already proved herself dedicated to the job, but there’s another side to her she is less keen to reveal. Something to do with a mysterious two-year gap in her CV, her strange inability to cry – and a disconcerting familiarity with corpses.

Fiona is desperate to put the past behind her but as more gruesome killings follow, the case leads her inexorably back into those dark places in her own mind where another dead girl is waiting to be found…

My thoughts

I heard about this series last year and was rather intrigued about Fiona. Essentially the book is very reliant on the rather strange and fascinating DC Fiona Griffiths. Fiona is a Cambridge educated detective constable in the police force in Cardiff. She is a maverick and has her own peculiar way of viewing the world. Quickly you start to understand that Fiona will go out of her way to solve a crime. She puts herself in danger, yet she is incredibly vulnerable at the same time.

From the start, Fiona explains that she had two years of ill health in her teens. It becomes apparent that this is because of mental health reasons. We see her communicating with the dead murder victims, actually talking to them. She has difficulty with her emotions. She cannot express them or understand them, in a ‘normal’ way. Fiona seemed to me to be possibly on the autistic spectrum, from the way she presents. I could not help but be drawn to her.

The storyline takes us to ex-coppers who are on the make, the murder of a dead woman and her child in a brutal way, to sex workers and the ugly grim side of the Cardiff area.

A very readable, quirky start to a crime series. I liked Fiona and her voice.

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About Christine

Welcome to my blog. #crime #thrillers #books Twitter @northernlass73
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6 Responses to Talking to the Dead – Harry Bingham

  1. crimeworm says:

    I hugely enjoyed this one, Christine. I’ve actually got the next two – Love Story With Murders (great title!) and The Strange Death Of Fiona Griffiths – which I bought on the strength of the first one. I’m with you about enjoying Fiona and her voice. I’m surprised there haven’t been more people talking about these books, tbh (assuming the first two are as good as no. 1!)

    • Christine says:

      Yes there is something really special about Fiona. I think more people should discover her. She is a delight. I’ve got the other two books as well 🙂

  2. Kay says:

    I’m planning on reading this book soon. Have heard a little about it, but maybe not a lot. I’m intrigued by Fiona and am glad to get in on a series at an early point.

  3. This is on my list of books to read and after reading Harry’s answers to the first draft series I’m even more keen!

    • Christine says:

      I thought that was ever so spooky that Harry Bingham was on your website, as I was reading his book. I hope more people discover Fiona now.

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