‘Talking to the Dead’ is the first novel I’ve read by Harry Bingham and the first in his Fiona Griffiths series.
Fiona is a lowly DC, so ends up with a lot of the legwork on cases. She appears a bit strange to her colleagues because she has a lot of trouble exhibiting emotions and socialising normally. Her managers see her as hard work. When she’s good, she’s brilliant, but she has a tendency to follow her own ideas.
She has been working on a tedious case, putting together paperwork for an embezzlement case. So, when a new case starts up in the office, she is eager to insert herself in it. A woman and her six year old daughter have been horribly murdered. The woman was an ex drug user and occasional prostitute who was doing well until 6 weeks earlier. So why is she now dead in a dingy filthy squat and what is she doing with the credit card of a millionaire who died months earlier. Fiona is sure that the dead six year old is trying to tell her something but she can’t work out what.
Pretty soon Fiona (off on her own again) finds some tenuous links between the murder case and the embezzlement case. As she starts to look deeper, Fiona finds herself getting closer to the darker side of Cardiff. She thinks the tingly feeling she has must be fear.
With the links so tenuous and Fiona operating on instinct, she can’t possibly take her thoughts to her colleagues. So she’s on her own again taking risks, that eventually pay off.
And finally she works out what the little girl is trying to tell her.
I loved this novel. Fiona was a very different sort of character and we find out in the end why she is the way she is. Along the way she tries her best to be part of Planet Normal and she even starts a relationship.
There was some fairly graphic violence in this novel which was an essential part of the story.
I’m looking forward to reading the next novel in the series – ‘Love Stories, With Murders’.
Book Published 2012