Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham

Talking to the Dead Reviewed by Teri Davis

Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths is new to her job, insecure, and finding it difficult fitting into the “old boys” detective mold with the police force in the town of Newport in Wales. Knowing that she has a tendency to not fit in anyway, she finds the job a challenge that is quickly becoming a life obsession.

For Fiona, her first murder scene is shocking and disturbing. Sure, woman on drugs would seem to have an outcome of being murdered, stabbed. That part didn’t completely bother her. What she didn’t plan on was the woman’s six-year-old daughter being killed by having a sink smashed over her head. How could a six-year-old have deserved that kind of a death? Also, the young girl seems to have a smile on what is left of her face. She appears happy and content.

Curiously though, a platinum credit card was found at this crimescene. The card belonged to a man who went missing months ago. Even though his body had not been found, he is believed to be dead. Could he be alive? What would this wealthy man’s platinum card be doing at the home of this single mother? Added to that is that the neighbors didn’t ever see the daughter. Was she hiding in the house and fearful to even look out the windows? It seems that each discovery brings with it a multitude of questions that are not easily answered.

Also, she is currently assigned the job of investigating embezzlement by another police officer. She finds that somehow he seems to be linked to both the murders and the missing person.

For whatever reasons, Fiona becomes obsessed with this murder. She searches out the history of the credit card and the missing man, as well as those who knew both the mother and her child. Unfortunately, she manages to question too many people and another prostitute is killed. As she finds herself connecting with the world of the victims, she discovers a healing process herself for her own breakdown years ago.

The author of Talking to the Dead is Harry Bingham who is the literary consultant of the U. K. largest literary consultancy firm, The Writer’s Workshop. He is currently working on his next novel featuring his unlikely heroine, Fiona Griffiths.

The character of Fiona Griffiths is refreshing as a realistically flawed and insecure character who has her own set of rules and is willing to put her own money with her beliefs. Although definitely unconventional within her police department, Fiona discovers her own way of doing things might just be the best. At times, she was a depressing person but considering the crime, that was appropriate.

Talking to the Dead is a hauntingly realistic tale of real police work with the quirky and likable protangonist, Fiona Griffiths, who is a refreshing character to the mystery scene. I look forward to the next Harry Bingham book featuring this unlikely heroine, Fiona.

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