Quirky protagonist with a sense of humour, intelligence and a mental illness – great read!
Love Story, With Murders
Random House Publishing Group – Bantam Dell
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.
I found this novel refreshing, intriguing and delightful to read. I enjoyed the quirky character that is DC Fiona Griffiths – her honest commentary, her sense of humour, her wit and attempts to stay “normal”. This protagonist will not be easy to forget –a unique character that I enjoyed meeting in this the second Fiona Griffiths mystery which can most certainly be read as a standalone however I will be seeking out the first novel as I enjoyed this so much.
This is a police procedural with a difference; Fiona has her own unique methods of investigating, she likes to get a “feel” for the victims and their lives, she likes to get to know them and sometimes the dead communicate back to her, while she tries to stay grounded and in the present, a task she sometimes struggles with. I like this flawed unassuming hero, her idiosyncrasies and her attitude.
This story takes place in Wales – on icy roads, in rural back yards, in pole dancing clubs…and in the international world of commerce. The narrative weaves an intricate thread linking the deaths of three superficially unrelated victims; the jigsaw of data, of behaviours, of work, of leisure activities and Fiona’s instincts finally makes a complete picture that reveals all. At no point did I guess what this picture would look like. A great read. This is an author I want to know more about.