Thursday, May 5, 2016

LOVE STORY, WITH MURDERS by Harry Bingham









Harry Bingham's Love Story, With Murders has an unusual ending.

Cardiff, Wales Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths decides to investigate her own life.

Prior to that, Fiona had helped solve the five-year-old murder of a young woman whose severed leg police found under mounds of food in a local freezer.

Police found other body parts stored in other places around the neighborhood. Someone murdered the woman, cut her up, and scattered her body parts far and wide.

Fiona also helped solve the murder of a brilliant engineer involved with a local tool and die fabricating company. She investigated the apparent suicide of a man who worked for the company. (He had been framed and was in prison.) She faced her own death, a unique experience given her death-centered mental illness. And she continued her affair with a fellow cop.

Along the way, Fiona learns surprising things about her intimidating supervisor. She suspects her father (a long-time local mobster) may be connected to the murders. And she talks to the spirits of the dead (another symptom of her mental illness).

In other words, this book keeps you reading.

(For a while, I hesitated to say what comes next, but now I will.)

In a strange way, Harry Bingham's Fiona Griffiths books remind me of my favorite writer, Ed McBain. Bingham writes clearly and keeps the story moving. His characters are real and interesting. And his stories are unusual.

McBain’s 87th precinct novels involve an ensemble cast. Bingham's Finoa Griffiths novels have an ensemble, but they center on Fiona. Still, I always look forward to reading them.

The one difference which would make me lean to McBain over Bingham, is that McBain writes tight prose. Bringham's books are full of detail and much longer.

But still, if you are looking for a good story well-told, I don't think you can go wrong with Harry Bingham's Fiona Griffiths stories.

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