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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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1441183,153 (3.87)4
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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English (9)  Dutch (2)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
I remember Ian Rankin commenting to a questioner at a book signing that he doesn't write about female protagonists because he feels that he can't get the female voice quite right; he added that he thought that was true of most other male writers as well. I had that in mind as I read Harry Bingham's excellent "Talking to the Dead". Not only does he get the voice "right", but he does it writing in the first person, which I imagine makes it a bit more of a challenge. Fiona is a very interesting copper, a member of the force in Cardiff for the past 2-3 years, a lowly DC. But Fi is bright and a hard worker. She doesn't hang around with the boys at the local pub, and consequently is the butt of numerous whispers and har-har-har's back at the station. She becomes involved in a case involving dead prostitutes which expands to include drugs, people trafficking, embezzlement, etc. There is a hint of past substance abuse problems for Fi and perhaps some other dark episodes to her past. The prose is well done and entertaining, Fi's observations are spot on and occasionall rather humorous. Characters are well developed, including Dave, aka "Buzz", a potential love interest. The tension builds nicely throughout, and includes some scenes that are both shocking and touching at the same time. The biggest flaw is a fairly common one, once again we have the hero charging in without calling for support first; it seems to me that could have been easily avoided given the well done climax the author had developed..I will definitely look forward to book #2 "Love Story with Murders". ( )
  maneekuhi | Feb 27, 2014 |
Almost a four but slow in places. ( )
  pharrm | Jan 3, 2013 |
I wasn't sure what to expect from Talking to the Dead, but I was blown away. D.C. Fiona Griffiths will be compared to Carol O'Connell's Mallory, but she's her own person with her own set of issues and weaknesses and many strengths. It's obvious from the beginning that something is off with her, but Mr. Bingham doesn't slam you over the head with her difference and this makes the mystery more compelling - the mystery of her and the mystery she's working to solve.

Fiona is a Cambridge graduate with a brilliant analytical mind. She finds her initial work on the police force stultifying - how interesting can forensic accounting really be when you aren't a forensic accountant? When a child and her mother are found dead in a squat, Fiona is captivated and begins to insert herself into the investigation finding unexpected links and causing lots and lots of mayhem.

Fiona isn't one note. Her character is well-developed and seeing the events of the book through her eyes is pretty amazing. Her intellect and attention to detail and essential vulnerability make you want to cheer her on and to protect her from herself and the rest of the world. With the beginnings of some great secondary characters, Mr. Bingham's got himself a great series going if he wants to continue the story. If he doesn't the work stands on its own. Much enjoyment to be had in reading this one! ( )
  kraaivrouw | Jan 3, 2013 |
D.C Fiona Griffiths is a very interesting cop. She seems disconnected from her feelings and throughout the book we learn that she was institutionalized as a teen and though she appears fragile, she goes above and beyond to try and catch the killer or killers of a young mother who was trying to get clean and provide a decent life for her little girl. They are murdered in a horrendous fashion. Her supervisor knows Fiona has a habit of going off book and tries to reign her in but he knows she gets results.
For the most part this was quite enjoyable. Though I found Fiona a bit disconcerting with her intensity. But it began to make sense as the novel progressed and i think and hope it was providing background for a new series. I would definitely read another book with this character. ( )
  bookmagic | Oct 15, 2012 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this story of first year Detective Constable Fiona Griffith of the South Wales Police Force. At barely over five feet tall she is not an imposing figure, but more than makes up for it in determination. She is not one to take readily to orders and often thinks outside the box. She does however want to keep her newly won position, so she is burying her head in financial figures trying to uncover the embezzlement trail of an ex-police officer. She finds some relief from this drudgery, when a double homicide is called in to the office. A prostitute and her young daughter have been brutally murdered. Fiona is assigned only a small part of the investigation. She finds herself drawn to the young girl whose skull has been crushed in and the mystery surrounding her death. Fiona is hiding her own mysteries. As a teenager she had a complete breakdown. For a long period of time she felt that she was dead. She was out of touch with reality and spent a lot of time under psychiatric care. Even now she has times when she is more comfortable around the dead than the living. Fiona must face her past as well as the dangerous threats of the present if she is going to find the murderer. This book provided for review by Delacorte Press. ( )
  Ronrose1 | Oct 9, 2012 |
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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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