Talking to the dead A novel

Harry Bingham, 1967-

Book - 2012

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Mystery fiction
New York : Delacorte Press 2012.
1st U.S. ed
Physical Description
337 p. ; 25 cm
Main Author
Harry Bingham, 1967- (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

When a prostitute and a young girl are found murdered in a run-down South Wales apartment building, police immediately place the blame on drugs. But when a dead millionaire's credit card is found at the crime scene, Welsh Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths suspects something even more sinister afoot. Faced with cracking her first big case, the Cambridge-educated rookie cop must take care not to ruffle feathers as she pursues leads. Everyone on the squad knows she suffered a psychological breakdown years before joining the force, and her supervisors err on the side of caution when assigning her tasks. DC Griffiths may be battling demons, but she's not going to let them win, proving herself more than worthy as she closes in on possible culprits, including a corrupt former cop who's equal parts trouble and charm. She also finds a romantic diversion with a handsome blond colleague. In his American debut, British novelist Bingham renders a sympathetic heroine and a crackerjack mystery. Happily for readers, he's already working on the next series installment. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Murdering a prostitute is terrible enough, but killing her innocent child as well is horrific, think the members of the Cardiff, Wales, police department. A powerful clue was left behind: the credit card of one of Wales's richest shipping magnates. The trouble is, he died the year before. Cambridge-educated DS Fiona (Fi) Griffiths is determined to pursue this tenuous lead. Fi, who carries her own dark secret, tries to fit in, but it's a near-impossible task for the oddball, brilliant detective. Brilliant doesn't mean sensible though, and Fi uses tactics that break most rules—and that put her in extreme danger. She senses that the sex trade and the shipping industry intersect somehow, but she'll need to think outside the box to make the complex case come together. VERDICT Bingham's riveting procedural thriller series debut has winner written all over it. The author's ability to juxtapose his protagonist's introspection with an inflammatory and violent storyline makes for an edgy, totally unsettling read. Recommend highly for S.J. Bolton and Tana French fans. [Page 60]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Fans of Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander will cotton to the heroine of British author Bingham's highly entertaining U.S. debut, Det. Constable Fiona Griffiths, whose social awkwardness and intensity make her unpopular among her fellow officers in Cardiff, Wales. Fiona's current assignment, which makes use of her paper work expertise in tracking money stolen from a Catholic boys' school fund, allows her to worm her way into the murder investigation of a woman with a history of drugs and prostitution. Fiona believes that the platinum credit card of a wealthy, recently deceased tycoon found at the scene of the crime hints at a deeper conspiracy, especially when another prostitute is murdered. Fiona's habit of spending time with the corpses in the morgue may be bizarre, but Bingham makes this quirk a believable and thoughtful way for her to process clues. An insightful look at a damaged, unusual woman trying to fit in as well as a view of past and present Wales enhance the brisk, realistic plot. Agent: George Lucas, Inkwell Management. (Oct.) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A U.S. debut by an award-winning British novelist introduces rookie cop Fiona Griffiths, who on the cusp of breaking her first big case uncovers a dire conspiracy that takes her into a dark underworld that threatens her with her own personal demons.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Rookie cop Fiona Griffiths, on the cusp of breaking her first big case, uncovers a dire conspiracy that takes her into a dark underworld that threatens her with her own personal demons.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A mesmerizing and thrilling novel—perfect for fans of Tana French and Stieg Larsson—that introduces a modern, unforgettable rookie cop whose past is as fascinating and as deadly as the crimes she investigates. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BYThe Boston Globe • The Seattle TimesSHE KNOWS WHAT IT’S LIKE. . . . At first, the murder scene appears sad, but not unusual: a young woman undone by drugs and prostitution, her six-year-old daughter dead alongside her. But then detectives find a strange piece of evidence in the squalid house: the platinum credit card of a very wealthy—and long dead—steel tycoon. What is a heroin-addicted hooker doing with the credit card of a well-known and powerful man who died months ago? This is the question that the most junior member of the investigative team, Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths, is assigned to answer.But D.C. Griffiths is no ordinary cop. She’s earned a reputation at police headquarters in Cardiff, Wales, for being odd, for not picking up on social cues, for being a little overintense. And there’s that gap in her past, the two-year hiatus that everyone assumes was a breakdown. But Fiona is a crack investigator, quick and intuitive. She is immediately drawn to the crime scene, and to the tragic face of the six-year-old girl, who she is certain has something to tell her . . . something that will break the case wide open.Ignoring orders and protocol, Fiona begins to explore far beyond the rich man’s credit card and into the secrets of her seaside city. And when she uncovers another dead prostitute, Fiona knows that she’s only begun to scratch the surface of a dark world of crime and murder. But the deeper she digs, the more danger she risks—not just from criminals and killers but from her own past . . . and the abyss that threatens to pull her back at any time.Praise for Talking to the Dead “Gritty, compelling . . . a procedural unlike any other you are likely to read this year.”—USA Today “With Detective Constable Fiona ‘Fi’ Griffiths, Harry Bingham . . . finds a sweet spot in crime fiction . . . think Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander . . . Denise Mina’s ‘Paddy’ Meehan [or] Lee Child’s Jack Reacher. . . . The writing is terrific.”—The Boston Globe “The mystery-thriller genre is already so staffed with masterminds that it’s hard to make room for another. But along comes a book like Talking to the Dead, and suddenly an unadvertised opening is filled. . . . [This] has the feel of something fresh and compelling.”—New York Daily News “A stunner with precision plotting, an unusual setting, and a deeply complex protagonist . . . We have the welcome promise of more books to come about Griffiths.”—The Seattle Times “Recommended highly . . . [a] riveting procedural thriller.”—Library Journal (starred review)