Love Story, With Murders: A Novel

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Overview

Harry Bingham’s Talking to the Dead introduced readers to one of the most compelling new heroines in crime fiction, Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths, earning comparisons to Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander. Now D.C. Griffiths returns to investigate a series of gruesome murders—and their connection to her own shadowy past.
 
D.C. Fiona Griffiths is facing the prospect of a dull weekend when the call comes in, something about illegal ...

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Love Story, With Murders: A Novel

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Overview

Harry Bingham’s Talking to the Dead introduced readers to one of the most compelling new heroines in crime fiction, Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths, earning comparisons to Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander. Now D.C. Griffiths returns to investigate a series of gruesome murders—and their connection to her own shadowy past.
 
D.C. Fiona Griffiths is facing the prospect of a dull weekend when the call comes in, something about illegal dumping in a Cardiff suburb. But when she arrives on the scene she finds, in a garage freezer, a severed human leg, complete with a pink suede high-heeled shoe.
 
South Wales police are able to ID the body part as that of a young woman who went missing five years earlier; a young woman who once made a living as an exotic dancer. All at once, Fiona’s job as a detective and her role as a loving daughter collide: Fiona’s father owns a Cardiff strip club and was once deeply involved in the local crime scene.
 
Still in recovery from a devastating psychotic breakdown, Fiona is wary of exploring a path that might end at her father’s door . . . yet her obsessive approach to criminal investigation leaves her no other option.
 
But Fiona’s specialty is not the living, it is the dead. And as she is just starting to get into the murdered girl’s head, a severed hand is found—and this one is male.
 
Soon, police are swamped with an increasing number of body parts found in and around suburban gardens, sheds, and garages. Media attention is intense, and investigators are working from a list of hundreds of persons of interest. When the department identifies the second victim, Fiona struggles to connect him with the dead stripper. What do the victims have in common? And why this macabre method of disposing the corpses?
 
The answers may be more than Fiona can handle. Because in order to solve the riddle of these hideous murders, D.C. Fiona Griffiths will have to delve into the mysteries of her past—and hope she comes out intact . . . and alive.

Praise for Love Story, with Murders
 
“A most intriguing, if peculiar, detective . . . Although his volatile protagonist certainly dominates the first-person narrative, [Harry] Bingham doesn’t stint on plot (very complicated), procedures (very detailed) or action (very brutal). . . . Satisfying.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
 
Love Story, with Murders is a dark delight, and I look forward to Fiona’s future struggles with criminals, her demons and the mysteries of her past.”The Washington Post

“Bingham’s superb second police procedural featuring Det. Constable Fiona Griffiths delivers an even more intense plot and richer character study than his first. . . . Fiona’s past mental problems and her unconventional personality make her a distinctive lead.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“Some of the most memorably staccato narration in the genre . . . [Bingham’s] remote, unquenchable heroine makes her stand apart from every one of her procedural brothers and sisters.”Kirkus Reviews
 
“Compelling . . . [Love Story, with Murders] amply proves the freshness and flair that [Bingham] has brought to the police procedural. . . . Surprisingly delicate, it weaves a sinuous, seductive spell and confirms we have a new crime talent to treasure.”Daily Mail (UK)
 
Love Story, with Murders boasts what must be the most startling protagonist in modern crime fiction.”The Sunday Times (London)

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
Although his volatile protagonist certainly dominates the first-person narrative, Bingham doesn't stint on plot (very complicated), procedures (very detailed) or action (very brutal). There's also a satisfying dimension to secondary characters…
Publishers Weekly
★ 12/09/2013
Bingham’s superb second police procedural featuring Det. Constable Fiona Griffiths delivers an even more intense plot and richer character study than his first, 2012’s Talking to the Dead. Mary Langton, a university student who briefly worked as an exotic dancer, has been missing for years when her leg is found in a freezer at the home of a recently deceased elderly widow. Soon, more of the young woman’s body parts are discovered throughout a neighborhood in Cardiff, Wales. The case becomes even odder when the police find parts belonging to the recently murdered Ali el-Khalifi, a North African metallurgist and college lecturer. Fiona also tries to learn why as a toddler she was left in the car belonging to the couple who eventually adopted her. Back in the day, her adoptive father, now a legitimate businessman, had the reputation as Cardiff’s most talented—but unconvicted—criminal. Fiona’s past mental problems and her unconventional personality make her a distinctive lead. Agent: George Lucas, Inkwell Management. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
“A most intriguing, if peculiar, detective . . . Although his volatile protagonist certainly dominates the first-person narrative, [Harry] Bingham doesn’t stint on plot (very complicated), procedures (very detailed) or action (very brutal). . . . Satisfying.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
 
Love Story, with Murders is a dark delight, and I look forward to Fiona’s future struggles with criminals, her demons and the mysteries of her past.”The Washington Post

“Bingham’s superb second police procedural featuring Det. Constable Fiona Griffiths delivers an even more intense plot and richer character study than his first. . . . Fiona’s past mental problems and her unconventional personality make her a distinctive lead.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“Some of the most memorably staccato narration in the genre . . . [Bingham’s] remote, unquenchable heroine makes her stand apart from every one of her procedural brothers and sisters.”Kirkus Reviews
 
“Compelling . . . [Love Story, with Murders] amply proves the freshness and flair that [Bingham] has brought to the police procedural. Written with unexpected warmth and wry observation, it brings its gruesome story to life without turning the stomach. . . . Surprisingly delicate, it weaves a sinuous, seductive spell and confirms we have a new crime talent to treasure.”Daily Mail (UK)
 
Love Story, with Murders boasts what must be the most startling protagonist in modern crime fiction. . . . Brutal, freakish and totally original.”The Sunday Times (London)
 
“DC Fiona Griffiths . . . is ditsy, funny, stubborn and sharp. . . . Bingham provides a spirited Welsh response to the Scottish domination of British crime fiction.”The Times (London)
 
“They say there is nothing new under the sun. . . . I have to say that in a lifetime of reading crime fiction I have never come across anyone quite like Fiona Griffiths. . . . Read this book. Enjoy every syllable. Hold your breath, and tick off the weeks until the next one.”Crime Fiction Lover

Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-22
A pair of murders five years apart forms the basis of a fact-based sophomore case for DC Fiona Griffiths, of the South Wales CID, that's just as intense as her first (Talking to the Dead, 2012). Since Fiona is on hand to discover Mary Jane Langton's severed leg in the late Elsie Williams' chest freezer, she feels a special attachment to the victim, who disappeared in 2005. But her colleagues soon challenge her privileged position by turning up not only other sections of Mary's corpse (though it's reserved to Fiona to find her head), but, even more disturbingly, a hand and other body parts more recently associated with Ali el-Khalifi, a lecturer at the Cardiff School of Engineering whose expertise turns out to have connected him to a more sinister sideline. As everyone runs around trying to connect the two murders under Operation Abacus, which the cops promptly nickname Operation Stirfry, Fiona, shunted onto the Khalifi investigation by imperious, ill-tempered DI Rhiannon Watkins, is the only one to sense the more pressing connection between Khalifi's murder and the suicide of Mark Mortimer, who slit his wrist with a piece of a broken bottle after he was jailed as the most inept drug smuggler in Welsh history. In fact, it's Fiona, whose Cotard's syndrome prevents her from feeling all kinds of emotions and sometimes even sensing feelings in her own body, who has what it takes to close the case and deliver some of the most memorably staccato narration in the genre. Not as surprising or carefully structured as Bingham's striking debut, but his remote, unquenchable heroine makes her stand apart from every one of her procedural brothers and sisters.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345533760
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/18/2014
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 130,745
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Harry Bingham is an author and literary consultant who runs the U.K.’s largest literary consultancy firm, The Writers’ Workshop. He resides in Oxfordshire, where he is at work on the next novel in the Fiona Griffiths series.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2014

    Very enjoyable

    Very different, main character has major issues that are used to her advantage. Look forward to Fionas next adventures.

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