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This Thing of Darkness by Harry Bingham
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This Thing of Darkness

by Harry Bingham

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I'm madly in love with Harry Bingham. Fiona Griffiths is so flawed, struggles so hard, is such a survivor. And this is a story 'ripped from the headlines' of the electronic age, so to speak. It is wonderful how Fiona pulls the strands of different reported crimes into a coherent web, and Bingham is nice enough for us slow folks to have her explain it all to her managers toward the end of the book, and it doesn't feel old at all. The writing really lets the reader feel the physical surrounding, and in this book that's especially important. And of course, Fiona is desperately trying to be normal, not to go rogue, and she almost makes it. ( )
  ffortsa | Sep 23, 2017 |
Fiona Griffiths is the first to acknowledge that her skill set makes her particularly suited to the work of exhibits cataloguing; her speed and efficiency are valued when one investigation alone is generating thousands of exhibits. However, it is mind-numbingly dull work, so to take her mind off things, she thinks over some recent incidents: robberies in which the stolen goods were returned, a fall off a cliff, and a suicide that is deemed utterly impossible by the family. Eventually Fiona realizes these incidents are connected. The depth of their connection and the consequences of revealing this connection puts her in great jeopardy.

I love Fiona Griffiths. She’s resilient and persistent, and she has the strength and courage to do what’s right. This was a nail-biter of a book that I devoured in a single day, unwilling to leave Fiona behind for even a moment. My favourite part was the scene on board the ship: this scene was the one that Bingham started off with, as he explains in his afterword, and it is a great sequence. This series keeps getting better and better, and I definitely recommend it to all and sundry.

A note: This book may be tough to read if you are uncomfortable with scenes of torture. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Jul 23, 2017 |
This is the fourth of the five novels in the Fiona Griffiths series that is currently available, which is very too bad for me -- means there's just one left to read. This is a terrific series, with a quirky but engaging heroine, strong plots, convincing secondary characters, and a wonderful sense of place. In this novel, Fiona uncovers and "truffles out" a massive financial conspiracy based on a very simple idea. In so doing, she takes big risks, faces the consequences, and goes under cover again -- Fiona undercover is really interesting, because she seems to be more comfortable with her cover identities than with herself. Not too much point saying more since I'm obviously a fan, but I would reiterate that it is WORTHWHILE TO READ THESE NOVELS IN ORDER. ( )
  annbury | Sep 1, 2016 |
Whenever I see those "all-time favorite" book lists, I avoid them like the plague. I just don't feel like putting all the books that have touched me deeply into an organized and rated row. (Yes, it is a lot like asking a mother to name her favorite child.) However, if someone asked me to name the best mystery series being written today, without hesitation I would say Harry Bingham's Fiona Griffiths. To date, there are four books, and I have given all four the highest possible rating. I can't say that about any other author I've read.

Yes, the setting of Wales adds texture and richness to the books. Yes, the mysteries are some of the most intriguing you'll ever come across. Yes, the pacing draws you inevitably forward, faster and faster. You have to know what happens, and you have to know now. But the best and brightest thing about Harry Bingham's superb series is the main character, Fiona Griffths.

At one time Fiona suffered from Cotard's syndrome, a rare mental illness in which an afflicted person holds the delusion that they are dead, either figuratively or literally. Fiona is one of the brightest people you'll ever run across, but Cotard's syndrome has colored every aspect of her life, and most especially in the way she interacts with other people. As can be seen in This Thing of Darkness, Fiona now has two superior officers who--though they may not really understand her-- can see her almost limitless potential as an investigator. To the best of their ability, they are now trying to groom her for bigger and better things. Will Fiona cooperate? Your guess is as good as mine.

I will warn you that this book does contain scenes of torture, and they do involve Fiona. They are tough to deal with but not impossible because we see these scenes through Fiona's eyes... those eyes that do not see the world as we do. There are also scenes of humor that bring needed warmth and laughter to the book, as when Fiona and Inspector Watkins conduct an interview together.

As different as Fiona is, she can also be very familiar. When she says, "Just when I see a barrier saying Do Not Cross, I have an almost overwhelming impulse to cross it," I understand because I've felt the same way many times.

Harry Bingham is the first writer who's been able to write scenes that take place on board ship that made me seasick, so be forewarned. He also made me nervous about a purchase Fiona made-- an uneasy foreshadowing of what's to come in book five, The Dead House? Unfortunately I'll just have to wait and see.

If you haven't read any of the books in this series, I urge you to do so, and you need to start with the very first book, Talking to the Dead. If you do that, Fiona will make sense-- and then you will be as hopelessly hooked as I am. Fiona Griffiths is as wild and wonderful in her own way as Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander is in hers. I can't recommend Fiona-- or this entire series-- highly enough. ( )
1 vote cathyskye | Jan 29, 2016 |
4.5 stars. Brilliant! I've read all in this series & this may be the best of the bunch. Satisfying for fans as Fiona's character continues to evolve & there are some developments in several ongoing story lines. Not recommended as a stand alone as you may have difficulty understanding the MC's condition.
It's been a long time since I sat & read a book this size in one day. Can't wait for the next one. ( )
  RowingRabbit | Oct 2, 2015 |
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A marine engineer is found hanged in a locked apartment. Some artwork is stolen, then mysteriously returned. A security guard is found dead at the base of a Welsh cliff. When Fiona Griffiths is tasked to look through a stackload of cold cases, her bosses don't expect her to find anything of interest. But then she finds that an impossible robbery really happened. That a nailed-on suicide was anything but. That the dead security guard was almost certainly murdered. Before long, Fiona is embroiled in what will become the toughest case of her career so far - one that forces her to enter the heart of darkness, and a journey that will test her mental toughness to its very limits. This international smash hit murder mystery series is ideal for fans of Stieg Larsson, Gillian Flynn, Tana French ... and for anyone at all who loves their crime noir and their female protagonists strong, brave and smart.… (more)

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