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TALKING TO THE DEAD by Harry Bingham Kirkus Star


by Harry Bingham

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-345-53373-9
Publisher: Delacorte

Introducing Fiona "Fi" Griffiths, a young Welsh police detective with a difference. She's in recovery from a rare dissociative condition that, at its worse, makes her feel as dead as the prostitutes whose murders she is investigating.

Five years ago, in her late teens, Fi had a prolonged breakdown. Now, she relates to people and experiences herself in strange ways. She's able to identify emotion, but not feel it. But that only enhances her go-getter investigative skills. Her willingness to break rules puts her at odds with her kindly superiors in Cardiff—until the truths she uncovers lead to breaks in the case. She quickly connects the murder of a prostitute and her six-year-old daughter to a sex-trade ring run by a British millionaire that brings in Russian prostitutes, hooks them on heroin, enslaves them and snuffs them when they have outlived their usefulness. The plot is a good one, the climax in a remote lighthouse better than good. But what sets the book apart is the first-person narration of Fi, one of the most intriguing female characters in recent fiction. Even Lisbeth Salander wouldn't spend the night in a morgue lying between dead bodies in an effort to get closer to their killers. After getting viciously slapped by a former cop gone bad, Fi is stricken with fear. Not only does she overcome it, she comes to appreciate her attacker's better qualities. A budding romance with a sensitive and caring fellow cop helps.

The promising first installment in a new series, this book is so good it has you wondering who should play Fiona on the big screen. How about Keira Knightley?