Talking to the Dead

Talking to the Dead

A Novel

Book - 2012
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Rookie cop Fiona Griffiths, on the cusp of breaking her first big case, uncovers a dire conspiracy that takes her into a dark underworld that threatens her with her own personal demons.
Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press, c2012.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9780345533739
0345533739
Characteristics: 337 p. ; 25 cm.

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ValinOR14
May 01, 2019

What can I say about Fi? Det. Constable Fiona Griffiths has social awkwardness and intensity that makes her unpopular among her fellow officers in Cardiff, Wales. She's a few steps beyond quirky ... make that a few leaps! Yet, she fascinated me. This book is more than a crime thriller. Talking to the Dead is first and foremost the tale of a courageous, vulnerable, compassionate, and intelligent young woman who is trying to succeed in a procedure-dominated police force. For much of the book we are told Fi suffered from an unspecified illness for two years while a teenager. As a result, she finds following procedure to be a challenge. I held my breath every time Fi ignored procedure and stepped out on her own, totally driven to figure out the true story behind the investigation. There were times she was so brilliant that it astonished me. Other times she was so odd that I felt uncomfortable reading it.

Toward the end of the book there is some insight into Fi's illness, which I found to be very interesting. The author's notes at the end of the book made Fi's illness even clearer. I can't wait to read the next book!

m
Memawrayne
Jun 14, 2016

A beautifully written story. I loved the main character Fi.

s
Scrabblenut
Jun 02, 2015

I wasn't sure at first if I could relate to the strange character of Fiona Griffiths or care about solving the mystery of the murders. However, I stuck with it and soon began to care very much as I got to know Fiona and it became evident how much she cared and acted to make a difference in the lives of women on the fringes of society and trapped in a life they didn't necessarily choose. It was interesting to learn about the very strange Cotard's syndrome, and I'm very much looking forward to the next book in the series.

s
samntha
May 02, 2015

Couldn' t put this book down. Keeps our interest with every page. Looking forward to the next.

m
Minkelina
Feb 23, 2014

A terrific read and one I could not put down. I'm looking forward to the next in this new series.

s
StarGladiator
Feb 09, 2014

" Fans of Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander will cotton to the heroine of British author Bingham's highly entertaining U.S. debut, Det. Constable Fiona Griffiths . . . " Man oh man, but I wish every time a novel takes place in some country in Scandinavia (but not Sweden) or else the main character is a woman, they make some completely arbitrary, incorrect comparison to Stieg's character, Lisbeth Salander - - NOT! ! ! A police procedural but with a vulnerable, in certain respects, unique woman detective, who catches all the breaks, it seems from this story? Well written, not bad, but, NO LISBETH SALANDER, for God's sakes! (The emotional parallels between Detective Constable Griffiths' life, and the case she was working on were deftly handled.)

s
sjhy
Sep 12, 2013

I thought the plot was well thought out however the 'places' where Fiona went & her actions were often inappropiate. I am sure the male contingent of the police force found her a pain to work with & she would not have lasted long in the real world.
After 4 days of reading & finishing the book I felt drained mainly due to trying to keep up with the lead characters shennagins on the job & in her personal life.
I do agree that it was a bit long.
I would like to read another book by the same author & see how it compares.

a
athena14
Aug 11, 2013

Too many strong men step in to rescue our scatterbrained heroine. That her idea of aftercare for severe mental illness is being on-again, off-again lovers with a former therapist shows her lack of common sense and his lack of integrity.

a
anfieldfan
Jul 14, 2013

I liked the main character in this book and the story was compelling. I do think the book could have been shorter as it did ramble on a bit. Also, it seems all new police/detective stories have lead characters who have some disease or issues and I think that's being overused. But I look forward to the next book in the series if there is one.

c
calvoer
Jul 11, 2013

This is a police procedural wannabee. I started to give 2 stars, but threw in another because the author does start out very well with clever writing and interesting cast of characters. I thought for 50 pages I had found another Lynda LaPlante, But then. For almost the entire novel, we stay in the heroine's head, which proves to be a very weird place to be. The action begs belief as DS Griffiths behaves more and more inappropriately and bizarrely, which in real life would get her fired instantly from police work if not worse. Here, her superiors and romantic lead nod benignly as she fulfills every impulsive whim that enters her head, including breaking & entering a suspect's house and stealing from him. Then develops a fond relationship with him. As the plot struggled along distractedly, trying to find definition amongst the heroine's personal drama, I lost interest.

What has happened to the mystery novel? Is mystery dead? I hear deep writers are trying the crime genre to jack up sales, but they just don't get what makes a good mystery tick. And we end up with dreck like this book.

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