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Talking to the Dead: A Novel Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • ISBN-10: 0345533747
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345533746
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)

More About the Author

I'm Harry Bingham. I write crime novels and love it. When I'm not doing that, I run the Writers' Workshop, a British literary consultancy. I live in Oxfordshire, England, but I spent a lot of my childhood in Wales, where my crime novels are set. Things I love apart from writing: wild swimming, rock-climbing, walking, & dogs. I'm married, have two kids, and I love my life.

Customer Reviews

I liked the story and the main character was very interesting and special.
PVC
I knew if she could just keep out of trouble long enough, she would have things sorted in the nick of time.
J.Prather
A unique character, but the story was too slow to develop and weird for me.
OlyNomad

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Brody TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Fi Griffiths is a new detective with the Wales police department. Something about her is different than others but it is fairly subtle. It is obvious enough, however, so that her colleagues wonder what makes Fi tick. Fi is very smart, a Cambridge philosophy graduate. However, there are two years on her resume that are unaccounted for. Fi's answer to questions about this two year blank in her history is that she was sick.

Fi is hired as a detective constable which is the lowest rank in the Wales police department. Her first case involves a murdered woman, Janet Mancini, and her daughter, April. Janet is dead of a heroin overdose and six year-old April has had a sink drop on her head. The murder is gruesome and Fi becomes obsessed with the dead victims, especially April, the little girl.

Interestingly, the ATM card of a very rich citizen is found in the dead woman's room. He was supposed to have been killed in a plane accident quite a while ago and Fi wonders why this card is there. Is he really dead? Did the victim have a relationship with Rattigan, the rich man? Was she a prostitute? These questions go round and round Fi's brain.

The case is called 'Lohan' after Linsay Lohan, the American actress who has had a drug-filled background. It is possible that Janet died from an overdose but it is also possible that she was killed. Though Fi is supposed to be working on an embezzlement case, she can't get her mind off of the Lohan case and she spends every free moment on it.

Another prostitute is murdered and the case goes into full gear. Fi is busy investigating this case without the permission of her superior. Her obsession won't let her do anything else.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By SanjeevP TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A young woman, Janice, with high levels of heroin in her blood is found dead in an abandoned house in Cardiff, Wales. With her is found the body of her 6 year old daughter, April, face brutally smashed by a heavy sink; and platinum Visa debit card of Brendan Rattigan, a scrap metal tycoon, who supposedly died in a Light aircraft crash 9 months before but his body was never recovered.

That is how the book starts and introduces, Cambridge educated, pot smoking, ambisexual, rookie Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths, originally assigned to the case just peripherally but who ends up unraveling the mystery. Like most other mystery thrillers of the last few years by Joe Nesbo, Stieg Larsson etc. Griffiths has her own idiosyncrasies and personality traits that add spice to the story.

My most favorite contemporary mystery writer is Henning Mankell and his Kurt Wallander based mysteries because they do not have the gory violence and brutalities of some of the other writers like Joe Nesbo, Jussi Adler-olsen and others.

At times this book drags details of Fiona's personal life and mundane details of police procedures, but overall the book is well written, absorbing for the most part, and has a good pace. I enjoyed it. So if you like Henning Mankell books, you will probably like Harry Bingham.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Darcia Helle TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I enjoyed the start of this book. Fi's personality intrigued me, and the plot grabbed my attention.

About one-third in, I began losing interest. The plot stalled and moved at a lackluster pace. Fi's character didn't unfold enough. She made odd choices and her behavior was not really explained until nearing the end of the story. Considering the book is written in first person, from Fi's perspective, I didn't think the connection to her was strong enough.

I could easily have put this book down halfway through and not bothered to pick it back up. That being said, there were some great parts to the writing. Overall, it was just okay for me.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bill Oterson VINE VOICE on August 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Talking to the Dead: A Novel", by Harry Bingham is written in first-person narrative from within the mind of Fiona Griffiths, an extraordinary Welsh detective on her first case who goes beyond just getting the job done. The story is mesmerizing, gut wrenching and almost real beyond imagination. The author provides a deep insight into the thinking process of the protagonist, her feelings and reasoning processes. What she sees as touching or humorous really is. It builds continually toward a blockbuster ending and when it's done it isn't really finished, there's more.

I found the story very interesting and believable. All characters were well developed and the writing caused me to feel I was part of it all. I didn't want it to end. This book is the authors U.S. debut and entirely readable from beginning to ending. It is totally unique. And Mr. Bingham is already engaged writing another installment. I can't wait.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cathy G. Cole TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
First Line: Beyond the window, I can see three kites hanging in the air over Bute Park.

The crime scene is a sad one: a woman killed after a short life ruined by drugs and prostitution... and her small six-year-old daughter lying dead beside her. The only thing that marks this crime scene as unusual is one small piece of evidence. Why would a drug addicted prostitute have the debit card of a very wealthy man who's been dead for months?

Police headquarters in Cardiff, Wales, has more important cases to focus on, but there's one person who can't let this one go: young Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths, who's got a reputation for being odd. She can become intensely focused on certain aspects of an investigation, and she doesn't always pick up on social cues. And everyone has heard about that two-year gap in her past.... (Psst! She had a breakdown. Mind-- you never heard it from me!)

Even though she has to get called on the carpet by her superior officer and told that she must do as she's told (no ignoring bits of the investigation that bore her, no haring off on some wild idea that she's gotten), Fi Griffiths has all the hallmarks of a brilliant, intuitive investigator. Told to check out the dead man's credit card and nothing more, Fi rapidly heads off on her own investigation because she's positive that dead little six-year-old has something important to tell her.

From the very beginning, Fiona Griffiths grabbed my attention and my sympathy. Throughout most of the book, her mental state is dealt with mostly by hints and innuendo, but the deeper she dives into this investigation, the more obvious it is that something is very wrong with her.
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