Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013, 9:08 am
Harry Bingham's riveting U.S. debut introduces readers to Fionna Griffiths, a Welsh detective with razor-sharp intelligence and a mysterious past.
We are in what could rightly be called the golden age of euro-thrillers. Authors like Jo Nesbo, Stieg Larsson, Tana French, Peter May and Henning Mankell are all making their mark in U.S. markets. While this represents a crowded (and first-rate) field, I'd suggest readers who appreciate the genre make room for author Harry Bingham and his newest protagonist.
In Talking to the Dead, Bingham introduces Detective Constable Fionna Griffiths, a rookie investigator stationed in Cardiff, Wales whose intensity and impulsiveness are balanced by her intuition and keen intellect. Griffiths is originally assigned to investigate a rather routine embezzlement case, but is quickly drawn to a murder investigation that is deeper and more disturbing than anyone could imagine.
Bingham is a talented storyteller. His pacing is deliberate and his exposition is never pedantic. The real star though is Fionna Griffiths. In a genre where damaged detectives and damaged investigators seem to all be damaged in the exact same way, Griffiths stands out. She's a refreshing change, and one that leaves this reader anxious for her next installment.