Monday, May 4, 2015

The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths by Harry Bingham

I managed to borrow and read the last Fiona Griffiths book before I went back to Japan (Although the review is only going up a month after I get back). And to be honest, the third book has left me satisfied for quite some time - I'd be interested in reading the fourth book, but I can wait for it.

You see, The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths takes quite a different tack from the previous two books. Instead of Fiona investigating murders directly, she takes on a new identity and goes undercover as Fiona Grey. That means a lot of the supporting characters, like Buzz and her family, have to fade into the background.

The case in this book involves payroll fraud, which does not sound glamorous until you realise the amount of money involved and the fact that two people were murdered in the course of the book for it. For Fiona, her 'death', would be how her new identity starts to take over her, and the fragile grip she has on Planet Normal starts to fade. That means that she's really good at her job, but it's also not good for her, because of her existing mental state.

For me, the ending of the book was more satisfying than the previous one. That's because while it isn't a perfect "all bad guys are in jail" ending, at least some of the bad guys were caught. Plus, I find that I quite like the idea of this team coming back to hunt down Fiona Grey - They might get quite a big surprise when they meet Fiona Griffiths.

Oh, and a non-police related note about the ending: I didn't really like the note Fiona's personal life ended on, although I do understand why she did it. I just find it a pity, because I was really hoping that it didn't happen.

Personally, I'd like to see more of Fiona's family, and some other characters from the previous book. But, there are new characters introduced, and with luck, they'll reappear in the next few as well.

All in all, I like this third book. I'm looking at the back of the book as I type this review, and I just saw THE TIMES call Fiona "ditsy, funny, stubborn and sharp". Fiona is stubborn and sharp, but I don't think she's ditsy (just strange in her own way), and funny (sometimes. Unintentionally). A weird note to end the review on, but hey, Fiona's weird too, so there's something in common.

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