Talking to the Dead

Talking to the Dead

A Novel

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A mesmerizing and thrilling novel--perfect for fans of Tana French and Stieg Larsson--that introduces a modern, unforgettable rookie cop whose past is as fascinating and as deadly as the crimes she investigates.
The Boston Globe * The Seattle Times

At first, the murder scene appears sad, but not unusual: a young woman undone by drugs and prostitution, her six-year-old daughter dead alongside her. But then detectives find a strange piece of evidence in the squalid house: the platinum credit card of a very wealthy--and long dead--steel tycoon. What is a heroin-addicted hooker doing with the credit card of a well-known and powerful man who died months ago? This is the question that the most junior member of the investigative team, Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths, is assigned to answer.
But D.C. Griffiths is no ordinary cop. She's earned a reputation at police headquarters in Cardiff, Wales, for being odd, for not picking up on social cues, for being a little overintense. And there's that gap in her past, the two-year hiatus that everyone assumes was a breakdown. But Fiona is a crack investigator, quick and intuitive. She is immediately drawn to the crime scene, and to the tragic face of the six-year-old girl, who she is certain has something to tell her . . . something that will break the case wide open.
Ignoring orders and protocol, Fiona begins to explore far beyond the rich man's credit card and into the secrets of her seaside city. And when she uncovers another dead prostitute, Fiona knows that she's only begun to scratch the surface of a dark world of crime and murder. But the deeper she digs, the more danger she risks--not just from criminals and killers but from her own past . . . and the abyss that threatens to pull her back at any time.

Praise for Talking to the Dead
"Gritty, compelling . . . a procedural unlike any other you are likely to read this year."-- USA Today
"With Detective Constable Fiona 'Fi' Griffiths, Harry Bingham . . . finds a sweet spot in crime fiction . . . think Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander . . . Denise Mina's 'Paddy' Meehan [or] Lee Child's Jack Reacher. . . . The writing is terrific." --The Boston Globe
"The mystery-thriller genre is already so staffed with masterminds that it's hard to make room for another. But along comes a book like Talking to the Dead, and suddenly an unadvertised opening is filled. . . . [This] has the feel of something fresh and compelling."--New York Daily News
"A stunner with precision plotting, an unusual setting, and a deeply complex protagonist . . . We have the welcome promise of more books to come about Griffiths."-- The Seattle Times
"Recommended highly . . . [a] riveting procedural thriller." --Library Journal (starred review)
Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press, 2012.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9780345533739
Characteristics: 337 p. ; 25 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jun 14, 2016

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

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.

May 02, 2015

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

Feb 23, 2014

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

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.)

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.

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.

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.

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.

Apr 30, 2013

I am thrilled to have found a new thriller series to fall in love with. I just hope the author doesn't 'cure' the lead character too quickly, as I love the detectives with a personnal quirk, and this one is great. Her psych history makes her believably sympathetic to victims, alive & dead. Also, good for the European writers who keep shining a light on the horrid abuse of East European women by prostitution rings.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at PDL

To Top