I have found a new series that really intrigues me! It features a female detective, DC Fiona Griffiths, who is quirky, smart, likes to think out-of-the-box, but is socially inept and often skirts the rules. Additionally, her adoptive father is a reputedly a criminal mastermind but although investigated on numerous occasions he was never convicted. As a result, DC Griffiths is an enigma to most of her colleagues in the South Wales PD, who don’t quite know how to relate to her vaguely suspect past and her brusque, odd ways.
In Talking with the Dead, Griffiths investigates the murder of a prostitute and her six year old daughter. Although it looks like a ordinary murder scene, among the detritus at the crime scene is a millionaire’s platinum credit card. Although initially things look pretty straightforward, Griffiths begins to suspect that there is more to the murders than it seems.
In Love Story with Murders, Griffiths and the South Wales police are called to investigate a human leg discovered in the garage freezer of an upper class suburb. Soon other body parts are found as well but they are from a black male and not a match to the leg which is white and female.
Throughout both investigations, Griffiths must go deeper into her own difficult past and soon we learn that that she has Cotard’s Syndrome, a mental delusion that makes a person think that they are already dead. After getting extensive therapy and having been hospitalized for a prolonged period of time, Griffiths is now trying to cope with her illness as well as negotiate her life. But her illness gives her a unique perspective, and it seems to motivate her even more to investigate and find the people who took the lives of the victims in her cases. Like another fan of these books I found Fiona to be one of “…the most complex, beautifully flawed and unique protagonist that I have encountered in any mystery novel.” But Bingham doesn’t stint on the supporting characters, either, and Griffith’s boss, her father, and her coworker boyfriend are each fully formed unique characters in their own right.
As I mentioned previously I have become leery of books that describe violence against women and these books do include some, but Griffiths doggedness to find the killers and bring them to justice along with her ability to relate to the dead seems to draw forth the humanity of these women who died in way that is very unique to this genre.
Brenda’s Rating: ***1/2 (3 1/2 out of 5 Stars)
Recommend this book to: Sharon and Marian.
Book Study Worthy? Yes
Read in ebook format.