Monday, September 10, 2012

Talking to the Dead-Harry Bingham

Talking to the Dead

Harry Bingham

Delacorte, Sep 25 2012, $26.00

ISBN: 9780345533739

In Cardiff, Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths works on the tedious Pentry embezzlement case in which everyone knows the culprit eventually will confess, but for now every T must be crossed and every I dotted. Detective Sergeant David “Buzz” Bryden shows Fiona the expired credit card of affluent Brendan Rattigan who died in a plane crash nine months ago, but his body never was found. The card was found in the rubble of a house containing the corpses of a twentyish drug using female and a six years old girl in which a sink crushed her head. They investigate the deaths as everyone ponders why a hooker had the deceased steel king’s credit card.

Her peers believe Griffiths is wired differently as she obsesses on cases with an intensity that leads to burnout; which most cops believe she suffered when she vanished for a couple of years. Still, though she fails in office politics and socialization as she misses all non-verbal communication, Fiona believes that the little girl April, who Fiona believes is in a better place, is the key to solving the Mancini mother and daughter murders even as she learns of a second dead prostitute.

This is an engaging Wales police procedural made fresh by the unique heroine. Fiona reminds this reader of a high functioning Aspie; as she feels empathy but cannot show it, fails to “read” social messages, and prefers detailed procedures to interpret in her different but very moral way; though her wiring comes from a different cause. Filled with action made fun by the heroine’s unorthodox methods that makes one wonder how she was hired as a copper, readers will enjoy Fiona’s inquiry.

Harriet Klausner

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