Fiona and the Wales police teams of which she is a small part investigate three crimes.
The first is what she calls “a corpse without a crime.”
The second is “a crime without a corpse.”
And the third is a crime ring made up of wealthy entrepreneurs. The police can’t even figure out what crime they are committing.
All three investigations falter. Fiona’s brilliance, persistence, and unusual mental illness combine to help them solve all three crimes.
The dead house is a small holding place in an almost-ancient cemetery. In Victorian times, families sometimes laid out their dead there rather than keeping them in their homes until burial.
Fiona spends a night protecting the corpse of a beautiful young woman laid out in the dead house.
As it turns out, the woman died of natural causes. But Fiona’s intuition tells her there has been a crime.
Fiona’s investigation leads to the “crime without a corpse,” a missing young woman from eight years ago.
And her mental illness saves her life. Fiona fixates on the dead. In this book, she plots a lifesaving map using the names of the corpses she has found over her police career as mnemonic devices to help her remember where the landmarks are.
The Dead House has two harrowing, life-threatening scenes. It harks back to medieval times in a bone chilling way. And like all the Fiona Griffiths books so far, it is a police procedural.
At one point Fiona says of her supervisor, “Flashes of insight and occasional obsessive brilliance: that’s what I bring to the party. But effective policing is about much more than that, and Burnett’s skills in managing this operation show why he’s heading for DCI, and I never will.”
If you can’t already tell, I like to read about Fiona Griffiths.
To learn a little more about Fiona’s mental illness read my comments on an earlier book here..