RogerBW's Blog

The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths, Harry Bingham 14 August 2019

2014 police procedural mystery, third in the Fiona Griffiths series. A routine payroll fraud blows up into a murder enquiry, and Fiona goes undercover.

This series feels as if it's taken a sharp turn in the direction of reality; Bingham has clearly done extensive research into the realities of undercover police work, and if this means the bad guys need to be unnaturally good at operational security compared with your normal real-world criminal conspiracy in order to justify the extended operation, that's a price worth paying to get a story about Fiona doing a thing she turns out, slightly to everyone's surprise including her own, to be really good at.

That does mean that there's slightly less of the flashy larger-than-life supporting characters than in the previous books, and quite a bit less action (mostly loaded into the end), but the characters are more real even if less colourful, the practicality of day-to-day life as an undercover cop comes through very effectively, and I found myself… enjoying isn't quite the right word, but liking this book even more than the first two. (Fiona's entirely off-the-rails style is somewhat restrained too; while she still has mad impractical ideas, she now thinks about them before making them happen, which given that she is a serving police officer whose superiors are meant to respect her at least a little bit I think must be counted as an improvement.)

Quite a few mysteries I've read lately cut off short after the dénouement and arrests; when I've got involved with characters and their stories, I like to have some feeling of what's going to happen to them next, and that's something Bingham provides effectively here.

I like Fiona as a character, and I like the situations she gets involved in, and Bingham's unpretentious but attractive writing style doesn't hurt either. Recommended by Gus.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog.

Previous in series: Love Story, With Murders | Series: Fiona Griffiths

Add A Comment

Your Name
Your Email
Your Comment

Your submission will be ignored if any field is left blank, but your email address will not be displayed. Comments will be processed through markdown.

Search
Archive
Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech base commerce battletech beer boardgaming bookmonth chain of command children chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 existential risk falklands war fandom fantasy film firefly first world war flash point food garmin drive gazebo geodata gin gurps gurps 101 harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life kickstarter learn to play leaving earth linux mecha men with beards museum mystery naval non-fiction one for the brow opera perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha quantum rail ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1