Monday, March 23, 2015

Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham

I first heard of Harry Bingham when I came across his "Big Publishing and Me" series of blogposts, which is a really fascinating read. I wanted to read "The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths", apparently his latest, but since it's a series, I thought I should pick up the first book before I picked up the latest, if only to familiarise myself with the characters.

Talking to the Dead introduces Fiona Griffiths, a relatively new rookie cop who's also kind of strange. She has to remind herself to feel emotion (she takes her cues from her physical reactions to things), and she's not really a rule-follower. For some reason, the latest case, about the deaths of a prostitute and her six year old daughter dig into her skin, and D.C. Griffiths begins to investigate. The more she learns, the more connections she finds between this murder and another, seemingly mundane embezzling case she's also investigating.

Fiona Griffiths is really a unique character. She's very intense, and very detached. She does, however, want to live on "planet normal" as she calls it. In a way, she reminds me of Bones, from the TV show, although Fiona's detachment stems from something else. The two aren't that alike, when I compare them, but for some reason, as I was reading the book, I kept thinking of Bones. Fans of the TV show, you might want to give this a go.

There's also a huge supporting cast of characters, including a love interest, that I hope make a second appearance, because I have trouble keeping track of them. I recognise Fiona's boss, her love interest (though I got very confused sometimes), and her co-worker, but the rest were just background noise. The victims actually stood out more than the living officers, but that may be because of how Fiona ticks.

Overall, I really liked this mystery. The ending explained a lot about Fiona, without giving much away - I wanted to read more so badly! The case was solved, yes, and we know a bit more about Fiona than at the start of the book, but after putting this down, all I wanted to do is go straight back to the library and borrow the next book. Sadly, I probably only have one more library trip left, so I'll have to do my best to spend time reading.

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