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Talking to the Dead: A Novel by Harry…
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Talking to the Dead: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Harry Bingham

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2822839,987 (3.8)76
Member:becker
Title:Talking to the Dead: A Novel
Authors:Harry Bingham
Info:Delacorte Press (2012), Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, mystery, Wales, detectives, murder, prostitution

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Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham

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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
I nearly gave up on this book on Page 1 because it's written in the present tense. I hate the present tense for books.

Still, I'm glad I persevered with this one.

Fiona Griffiths is a very junior detective constable in Cardiff; she's the sort of person you like to have on your team as long as she's managed by somebody else: bright, efficient, but with a bit of a blind spot when it comes to following orders. As is de rigueur with detectives nowadays, Fiona has a Dark Secret In Her Past. I do wonder whether, in real life, she would have got into the police force at all, or once in, managed to stay that way but, hey, whatever.

As a protagonist, Fiona works well if you like your detectives slightly strange, but in a weird-loner way, not a krazy, kooky, klutzy way. I can see that she might not be everybody's cup of tea, but I took to her immediately.

The plot itself moved along with multiple strands, some of which bore fruit and some of which did not. Various characters are introduced (one particularly I hope will reappear). I don't know how much research Bingham did into police procedure, but there was a believable groundedness about his descriptions - a lot of telephoning, a lot of chasing and paperwork.

I didn't quite believe the end - but Bingham did it so well that I didn't care. I burned through this in a sitting, and went to buy the sequel immediately. Despite my slight misgivings about the realism of certain aspects, this was a five star read. Thoroughly recommended. :-) ( )
  T_K_Elliott | Mar 12, 2017 |
There's no way I can summarize this protagonist and series without making it sound banal, so instead I will say: count me a fan of Fiona Griffiths. The narration in the present tense is a bit weird, but Fiona herself is an interesting protagonist. I loved her impulsive generosity and the dedication she shows to her job, even when she's gallivanting off on a hunch. As for the book itself, one detail that really tickled me was the fact that the cops put all their case notes on a Sharepoint-type project management system called Groove. My office uses just such a system for our documents and the thought of the police using it too tickled my highly nerdy funnybone.

I'd hardly shut the book when I rushed off immediately to request book 2 in the series, so this is a winner. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Mar 10, 2017 |
Terrific book, a little hard to get into at first but I think it's because I read the books out of order, Love Story with Murder, first. I kept trying to fit what I knew about the characters already with what was happening in this story.

This is the story of Fiona Griffiths a young Welsh police officer who's brilliant and clever and quite a bit creepy/scary but in an "I'm so glad she's on our side" sort of way. She's also not so much for following the rules so as the story progresses she manages to irritate her higher-ups who want things to be by the book. Fiona also has some personal issues that she's trying to work through which are aggravated by the case she's working on.

Very much enjoyed this book, especially once I quit trying to match-up what I knew from the first book I read. ( )
  mmoj | Mar 2, 2017 |
Fiona is smart and quirky. There is definitely something off about Fiona, but I like her and will happily follow along on her sleuthing adventures. Besides, I want to find out what's up with her past....

I liked it enough to join the Fan Club and get a free download of a prequel and a short story. Yay! ( )
  Berly | Mar 2, 2017 |
Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham is the first book in his series featuring Detective Fiona Griffiths. This first case is an emotional one for Fiona, a mother and her young daughter murdered and left lying in the filth of a squalid low-rent drug house. The mother was known to have worked as a prostitute, but why anyone would have murdered her six year old is a mystery. Fiona feels a connection with the dead and she is sure that the little six year old is trying to tell her something.

As heinous as this case proved to be, my real interest lay with the main character. Fiona is a complex multi-layered individual. She doesn’t work well with rules, and has the reputation of being a maverick. The story is told from Fiona’s perspective and her unique voice lifts this book to a much higher level. There is a mystery about Fiona and why she is so different. She had an emotional breakdown in her late teens that cost her a couple of years of her life. She was able to overcome this, graduate from Cambridge University and find a position with the Cardiff police and works at appearing to be a citizen of “Planet Normal” but underneath we can see how vulnerable she is.

I found Talking to the Dead to be both a great story and an introduction to a fascinating new character. The author excels in slowly revealing the layers of both the mystery and his main character, and I look forward to reading more about the damaged, slightly weird yet very sympathetic Fiona Griffiths. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Feb 10, 2017 |
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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.

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